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REAL PROPERTY, Nuisance Obstruction of Viewe

ARBITRATION RESULT: Defendant was ordered to remove a large fir tree and to trim and maintain the height of other various trees in accordance with the arborist’s report. Defendant was also ordered to perform maintenance work on said trees on a biannual basis at her own expense to preserve the Plaintiffs’ defined view corridor as set forth in the Arbitrator’s Report and Decision. The conditions of the Arbitrator’s Decision were ordered to run with the land, to burden Defendant’s property and benefit Plaintiffs’ property in the future.

CASE: William Comstock and Debra Nichols v. Dorothy Donahue, individually and as trustee of the Eddy and Dorothy Donahue Revocable Trust, Case No. CV 011167

DATE: July 9, 2002

ATTORNEYS: Plaintiffs- Barri Kaplan Bonapart (Bonapart & Associates, Sausalito)
Defendant- Mark J. Rice (McNeil, Silveira, Rice, Wiley and West, San Rafael)

EXPERTS: Plaintiff- Louie Brunn, Marin County Arborists, San Rafael

FACTS & CONTENTIONS: Plaintiffs and Defendant were next-door neighbors in Tiburon, CA. When Plaintiffs moved into their home, they enjoyed relatively unobstructed views of Richardson Bay, Belvedere Island, and to a limited extent, the Bay Bridge. Over time, Defendant’s trees were allowed to grow unimpeded so that they significantly obstructed the view from Plaintiffs’ primary living areas. Plaintiffs sent several letters requesting that Ms. Donahue remove the large fir tree and several other trees which had grown to significantly obstruct their view in violation of Tiburon Municipal Code, and even offered to engage in mediation, to no avail. The view dispute arose out of issues concerning the Tiburon View Ordinance, and Plaintiff’s right to restore the pre-existing views from the primary living areas in their home, which they enjoyed at the time of purchase. The case was arbitrated by Gary T. Ragghianti, Esq.

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