Court Defers to HOA Board on Owner's Right to Operate Winery within Community

This case involved a dispute between a group of homeowners (“Plaintiffs”), their homeowners association (“Association”), individual members of Association’s board of directors (“Directors”), and other homeowners who were operating a vineyard on their property for the purpose of making wine that was being sold to the public (“Defendant Owners”). The property in question, where the vineyard was being cultivated, is a 1.75 acre lot that is part of a 28 lot residential subdivision located in Thousand Oaks, California.  The subdivision is a common interest development that is subject to a recorded declaration of CC&Rs and is governed by a homeowners association through its board of directors. Provisions contained in Association’s CC&Rs prohibit the use of property within the development for any business or commercial activity. The CC&Rs also allow deviations from the applicable deed restrictions “to avoid unnecessary hardships or expense,” but further state that, “no deviation shall be allowed to authorize a business or commercial use.”