Thursday, August 4, 2011


A Lake Pointe couple has filed a lawsuit against a neighbor, the NTRCA Board of Directors and
the Modifications Committee on grounds that the Board breached their fiduciary duty by allowing
the neighbor to construct an addition above their detached, three car garage which now alters
the backyard view and allegedly depreciates the value of their Lake Pointe home.
On the advice of legal counsel, the Board would not discuss the pending lawsuit at their June
meeting but allowed homeowners to address other topics of concern, including property values,
deed restrictions, and modifications committee procedures.
Homeowners questioned the Board’s decision to allow Charles and Carolyn Pickle to construct
a garage addition against the objections of Jeffrey and Barbara Myerson who share backyard
views. Both neighbors are original homeowners who have resided in their homes for close to 20
The Pickles said they had obtained approval from the modifications committee last year but
were then denied by the Board because the Myersons protested. When the Pickles presented
more information about the plans, the Board reportedly approved it, he said.
The Myersons allege that the Board failed to notify them of the subsequent meeting in which
the plan was approved and that the matter should have been handled more openly. “I have a
serious problem with the way the NTRCA board is doing business and this is not the type of
thing that should be handled in executive session,” he said. “There should be an open hearing
involving all interested parties, with advanced public notice,” he said.
Board President, Michael Pincomb, stated at the June meeting that the board carries out
business according to their CC&Rs and it would require approval by 67% of the voting
members to change practices.

“We are talking about an interior lot which backs up to other people’s homes. Their addition
changes the aesthetics of our home and the neighborhood,” said Jeffrey Myerson. “Look in
your backyard and imagine your neighbor with a second story over their garage. If everyone
had that, we would be living in a canyon of homes. That would drive the property values down
over time,” he said. The Myersons argue that the main duty of the homeowners association
is to uphold standards for the sake of property values. “Otherwise, homeowners associations
would not need to exist. They exist to ensure the original intent of the community remains
consistent,” he said.

Garage additions are not an anomaly in New Territory, however, and the NTRCA has approved
a dozen such projects over the years, said Pickle. They had been thinking about building
one for several years - ever since other neighbors on the street constructed living quarters
over their garage. Garage additions are allowed per the Covenants, Codes, and Restrictions
(CC&Rs) as long as they meet specific criteria.

The Pickles said they met with the Myersons and the neighbors on either side of them to show
them a drawing of the project, prior to seeking modification approval, and only the Myersons

objected. The other neighbors said they did not mind, said Charles Pickle.

“We wish no ill will to them. We tried to be as neighborly as possible. We wanted to make it as
pretty as possible with landscaping,” said Carolyn Pickle. The three transom style windows
overlooking the Myersons backyard are frosted to maximize privacy and there is no visibility
from the garage addition, pointed out Charles Pickle. “We were very sensitive to that issue,” he

“This is our property. We haven’t sidestepped anything. Everything has been in the open and
we have followed the process. The HOA gave us full approval and we did everything we were
asked to do,” said Pickle.

The parties are now engaged in settlement negotiations, and the August 16 trial date

will be postponed pending final settlement, said the Myersons attorney.