Taddei v. Village Creek Property Owners Association, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-07-0534, 15 pp.) (Robert C. Hunter, J.) Appealed from Chowan County Superior Court. (Jerry R. Tillett, J.) On petition for rehearing. N.C. App. Full-text opinion.
Holding: Even though one paragraph of the subdivision’s restrictive covenants only allows the declarant, or its successors or assigns, to amend the covenants in order to bring them into compliance with town ordinances, another paragraph of the covenants allows a majority of property owners to amend the covenants before they are renewed every 10 years. The defendant-homeowners’ association followed the latter paragraph’s requirements to amend the covenants.
We affirm the trial court’s order, which upheld the amendment allowing for re-subdivision of lots and which found that defendant Renz did not breach his fiduciary duty. The trial court invalidated another amendment that purported to change the manner for making assessments, but defendants did not appeal.
The covenants were amended to allow re-subdivision of lots. Plaintiffs appear to challenge the re-subdivisions that occurred in violation of the original covenants. However, neither plaintiffs’ brief nor their complaint makes it clear what remedy plaintiffs sought.
The trial court did not rule on the validity of prior re-subdivisions. We affirm the trial court’s ruling that “the provision for changes, division or combination of lots in the 2007” amended covenants is “valid” and “reasonable.”
When he proposed amending the restrictive covenants, defendant Renz was both president of the homeowners’ association and the owner of a re-subdivided lot. Since he made that fact known to the other homeowners, consulted an attorney, and attached the attorney’s opinion letter to a mailing to homeowners, plaintiffs have not shown that Renz breached his fiduciary duty to the homeowners’ association by campaigning to amend the covenants in a way that benefitted him personally.