In Clear Lake Riviera v. Cramer, the court ordered a homeowner who knowingly built a home in violation of the association’s height restrictions to fully comply with the association’s architectural guidelines, even though reducing the height of the owner’s house “will be expensive and inconvenient, and its cost may exceed the amount of economic harm inflicted…on the neighboring properties, at least as measured by the diminution in market value of those properties.”
The court ruled that the non-conforming house must be reconstructed to comply with the Association’s height restrictions, reasoning that:
1) The violation of the height restriction was not “innocent” because the offending homeowner was aware of the restriction.
2) The violation caused irreparable harm to neighbors because the new construction blocked their views of the lake. Additionally, the neighbors suffered a loss of privacy, since the new house looked onto these residences.
3) The $200,000 cost of correcting the violation was not “grossly disproportionate” to the hardship caused to the association because the height violation caused the value of one neighbor’s home to be diminished by over $75,000.
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