AZHOC - Arizona Homeowners Coalition
Voice for homeowner rights and justice.

“Similar Structure”

In my C-C and R’s, under Storage Sheds, it’s states no shed need not apply for approval if it’s 7 feet or below. I have a 9″8 pre-fab Tuff Shed, but it’s not a storage shed. It’s used as a home office and it’s 10×14.
Under “Ramadas, Gazebos, Casitas, and Similar Structures”, the limit is 10″. My argument is my personal space should be categorized as a “Similar structure” because it’s similar to a Casita. The only difference between my home office space and a Casita is a Casita has to match my home in trim, color, and stucco. My office does not, however, I could do so if need be. My office meets the neutral earth color scheme the HOA has for painting of homes.
The HOA wants me to tear down my office, and has sent me a warning letter from a lawyer about a possible lawsuit. I appealed a fine from them over a year ago on there website and never heard from them until I received this letter. I currently owe no money to the HOA. Since the HOA is transferring ownership to the residents in 4 months, I’m not sure if this is a “cleaning of the books” situation for residents to decide.
Anyhow, anyone have any experience with this? Or can add some insight? I have even as an act of good faith planted Indian Laurel trees so soon ny office won’t be visible from the street. Thank you.

1 Response

  1. Dennis Legere


    You have the right to appeal your cited violation to the board, and for a hearing on that appeal. Make sure that you request the appeal to be heard in an open meeting of the board. You and only you have the choice on this so do not let the association bully you into have this appeal heard in closed session. Make your case directly to the board. Did you request approval of your office structure by the ARC prior to setting it up? I’m sure that your CC&R’s specify that their approval is required for any exterior modification of addition. If you did not, then you are totally out of luck and the association is within its right to make you tear it down. If you challenge the decision in court it is highly unlikely that you win. While you have your interpretation, once again I’m sure that your CC&R’s establish that the board has the exclusive right to interpret the CC&R’s.

    As a note to everyone, you have committed in buying your home to comply with the CC&R’s right or wrong that obligation never goes away. I’m constantly asked to help people who made external modifications to their homes without getting prior approval for those modifications. This is a no-win situation, applying for approval after the fact will always be rejected by the association because it is bad policy and if they allow it for one, they will be asked to allow it for anyone, and prior approval will never be sought. Even if the association wanted to help you and accommodate your interpretation of the CC&R’s they are prevented from doing so because you build it first then asked for forgiveness. This will never work for anyone so please don’t put yourself and the association in a bad place that excludes any possible negotiations by not asking for approval in advance.

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