Trees Planted Without Approval Removed

This case involved a dispute between two neighboring property owners (Owner 1 and Owner 2) in a subdivision that is a common interest community. The community is subject to CC&Rs that require owners to obtain approval from the homeowners association’s (Association) Architectural Review Committee (ARC) before proceeding with any landscaping or improvement on their property. Owner 1 planted 21 cypress trees without first obtaining approval from the ARC. Nine of these were trees planted without approval in common area belonging to Association that abutted the rear lot line of the Owner 1 and Owner 2 properties. Owner 2 filed an action against Owner 1 which sought injunctive relief in the form of an order directing removal of all of the cypress trees. Owner 2 did not join Association in the lawsuit.