Property Q&A in San Diego>Question Details

kristin_kauf…, Home Owner in San Diego, CA

Has anyone heard of a "view clause?" Our neighbor is insisting we cut down a tree on our property which is blocking his view.

Asked by kristin_kaufmann, San Diego, CA Fri May 3, 2013

He is the original owner and says its his right because of that.

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Answers

12
Hi Kristin,

See:

"Views and Trees FAQ"
http://realestate.findlaw.com/neighbors/views-and-trees-faq.html

"Neighbors Dispute Over View-Blocking Trees"
http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20110614_trees.htm

However, also, see this "California spite fence statute (Civil Code § 841.4)" post:
http://www.worth4law.com/publication.php

Personally, you just might explore exactly what your Neighbor is asking to have done in order to possibly agree on a specific solution to keep the peace.

-Steve
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 3, 2013
Hello Steve, thank you for the interesting and informative links. The main issue is that the trees provide the only shade to our back slope. We live near Qualcomm Stadium, so the neighbor's view is of Highway 8 heading East, not of a lovely ocean that cost a premium to purchase as the articles refer to.
Flag Fri May 3, 2013
There are such things as view easments in some parts of San Diego County. We have a home of 33 years in such an area. We bought our home from our neighbor who owned our entire hilltop at one time and slowly sold off parcels (1 acre minimum) to folks to cover his retirement.

He had such a clause because the west facing view is a 140 degree panoramic view of the ocean and the east facing view of the snow cap mountains and the rolling hills and countryside. They are out there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 7, 2013
"The View Clause" - Sounds like an episode of Seinfeld...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
Ask you neighbor to explain specifically what is the basis for his belief that he has the “right” to the unobstructed view.

Keep in mind that lawsuits are expensive.

If you feel like granting the neighbor’s request, ask that he pay for the removal of the tree.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 3, 2013
Kristen,
Others have given you sound advice, though, even if you are not in a property governed by CC&R's, there still could be a view easement granted to a neighbor. You mentioned that the neighbor is the original owner. Do you mean he owned the property you live in now (he could have granted himself and easement or view clause) or do you mean he is the original owner of his current home?

The legal desrcription of your property should show any "deed restrictions" and your title policy should have any listed too.

I will also say that if you have to live next to your neighbor, you might offer to trim the tree somewhat. I think living anywhere and having a conflict with a neighbor is not a good thing.

If you call our Chicago Title customer service, they can send you the vesting deed with the legal description for free.
619.521.3478 Mention my name if they ask you who your rep is!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 3, 2013
You do need to check your CC&Rs and Homeowner's Association documents to see if there are any covenants, conditions or restrictions that may be applicable. Some of these documents to have provisions that relate to presering the views of neighboring properties.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 3, 2013
Kristin,

If you live in a community with particular CC&R's or HOA rules you may want to re-read them carefully. It may not be labeled "view clause". Look for details as to front view, rear view, foilage requirements, heights, etc... In some communities, views are protected and are governed by the HOA (not necessarily the City).

There is a very helpful book called, "Neighbor Law: Fences, Trees, Boundaries and Noise" by Attorney Cora Jordan (Nolo Press) that you may want to refer too. It is an excellent resource.

Kind Regards,

Marcie Sands, REALTOR
Simply The Best Real Estate Co., Inc.
760-644-1562
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 3, 2013
Hi Marcie, thank you for your kind reply. We do not belong to a HOA. The book you referenced sounds useful, I will check it out!
Flag Fri May 3, 2013
It depends on the community you live in. You need to look at your CC&R"s, or if you have an HOA, ask them. The communities that have a home owner's association, sometimes will have certain stipulations and regulations. Being the original owner does not give him rights to your property.

Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 3, 2013
There are such things as view easements which should show on your title report or CC&R's. There could be such restrictions in HOA rules if any exist. They are fairly rare.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 3, 2013
Would you want your view blocked? What happened to treating ours as you wanted to be treated?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 3, 2013
As long as that tree is on your property and not causing a danger to yourself or your neighbor, there is zero your neighbor can do. If your thinking of entertaining cutting it down ask your neighbor to pay to have it done since the benifit is theirs!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 3, 2013
Hi Kristin,
A clause to what? As far as I am aware, there is no view protection in San Diego. Let me know if you need any additional help or information.

Thanks!
Sinead McAllister-Clifford
Real Estate Broker/ Realtor®

McAllister Homes Real Estate
Residential Sales & Property Management
http://www.McAllisterHomes.com
License 01366009
858-205-5215 CELL
brokermcallister@gmail.com EMAIL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 3, 2013
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