Verdicts and Settlements
NUISANCE- Obstruction of view
SETTLEMENT RESULT: A mature Monterey pine which was the subject of this dispute was removed, with removal costs shared equally between the parties. In addition, other remaining trees were required to be pruned in order to restore and preserve views. The Marinero Heights Condominiums Homeowners Association agreed to pay for the construction and installation of a new six foot high wooden fence across Defendant’s entire back yard along the mutually shared property line. The settlement agreement also contained provisions for height requirements and ongoing maintenance guidelines so as to restore and preserve Plaintiff’s view.
CASE: Hilton v. Som, No. CV-042184
SETTLEMENT DATE: August 1, 2005
ATTORNEYS: Plaintiff and Cross-Defendant- Barri Kaplan Bonapart (Bonapart & Associates, Sausalito)
Defendant and Cross-Complainant: Robert Lee Smithton, Esq. (Arlas & Smithton, Kentfield)
Marinero Heights Condominiums Homeowners Association: Timothy M. Blaine, Esq. (Porter, Scott, Weiberg & Delehant, Sacramento)
EXPERTS: Plaintiff: James MacNair, consulting arborist, MacNair & Associates, Glen Ellen
Defendant: Joseph McNeil, consulting arborist, Pleasant Hill
FACTS & CONTENTIONS: : Defendant’s property is downhill from the Hilton property in Tiburon, CA. Due to Defendant’s allowance of a large Monterey pine and other trees and vegetation to grow unimpeded on his property, the views of Belvedere Lagoon, Richardson Bay and the southern Marin peninsula that Ms. Hilton once enjoyed were significantly obstructed, in violation of the Tiburon Municipal Code. Over the years, Ms. Hilton attempted to enter into good faith negotiations with Defendant and even offered to pay for the tree work in order to abate the nuisance herself, to no avail. Plaintiff sought Injunctive and Declaratory Relief requiring Defendant to comply with the Tiburon Municipal Code, and to remove or lower and maintain vegetation blocking her view.