Question: We have owned a home in Chandler for over eight years. Our neighbor recently built a large wooden pool deck next to his swimming pool only five feet from our property line. We were in Colorado for most of the summer while this pool deck was being built. Our neighbors and their guests can now stand on this pool deck and look directly into our backyard. We never had any notice from the HOA or from the neighbor about the construction of this pool deck. Although we recently planted large ficus trees on our property line, this pool deck still affects our privacy. The CC&Rs for our community required our neighbor and the Architectural Review Committee (“ARC”) to give us notice of the construction of this pool deck because our privacy was affected. If we had notice, we then had the right to a hearing before the ARC. We now know that the ARC approved of this pool deck without any notice to us, and without any ARC hearing. Are we entitled now to an ARC hearing? If we win at this ARC hearing, can we make the neighbor tear the pool deck down?
Answer: The CC&Rs for your community are private regulation by the homeowners. If the CC&Rs were not followed, e.g., the required notice of the construction of the pool deck was not given to you by the ARC or by the neighbor, you should now be entitled to an ARC hearing. At this ARC hearing, you are entitled to present evidence, e.g., photographs of the pool deck, and the testimony of witnesses, including an appraiser or real estate broker, on the loss in value of your home due to the construction of the pool deck. Your neighbor could be required to alter or even remove the pool deck.