Posted by: Patricia Salkin | November 22, 2017

LA Appeals Court Upholds Order Requiring the Removal of a Carport on the Grounds that Removal of Columns would Create an Overhang Rather than an Eave

The Smiths submitted plans to build a carport to the Architectural Review Committee (ARC), which rejected the plans for failure to comply with the Lakewood Property Owners’ Association (LPOA) building restrictions. Specifically, the Building Restrictions required a five-foot setback from side interior yard lines. Following this, Christine Smith sent a letter to the chair of the ARC indicating the Appellants’ intentions to move forward with constructing the carport despite the ARC’s denial. The ARC chair responded, claiming the ARC would take appropriate action if the Appellants’ structure did not comply with the Building Restrictions. The Appellants began construction, placing the structure only two-and-one-half feet from the property line. After a trial, the court granted injunctive relief in favor of the Appellees and ordered the removal of the illegally constructed carport. On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court’s judgment, finding that the Appellant’s proposed remodel did not comply with the Building Restrictions. The court further held that the only remedy was to demolish the carport.

Appellants contended that the trial court erred when it ordered them to demolish the carport, because moving the columns inward by two-and-one-half feet would have brought the carport into compliance with the building restrictions. The Appellants’ expert architect, Elmore Tregre, III, testified that the attached carport could be brought into compliance by moving the columns inward an additional two-and-one-half feet, since moving the columns inward would create an eave; and eaves were allowed to extend to the property line. On cross-examination, Mr. Tregre admitted that because the Building Restrictions did not provide a definition for an eave, the definition provided in the New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) would have to be applied. Mr. Tregre further stated that under the CZO an eave can only extend from a wall; thus, the roof extension from the columns of the carport was not an eave, but was an overhang. Based on its interpretation of the CZO and the expert testimony, the trial court correctly found moving the columns inward would not create an eave as defined by the Building Restrictions. Accordingly, the trial court’s holding was affirmed.

Lakewood Property Owners’ Association v. Smith, 2017 WL 5623021 (LA App. 11/22/2017)

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