Legal Guidance For Easements And Views
Sometimes property owners have the right to use neighboring land for a specific purpose. This right to use another’s land without actual ownership of the property itself is called an easement. Common examples of easements are where there are shared driveways, private roads, and paths or roads going through property owned by another person. Easements are often created by agreement, but they can also be created by use or implied by law.
Easements, and other issues involving use of another’s property, can be some of the most difficult problems faced by a property owner. Zacks, Freedman & Patterson, PC has experience in representing clients in all aspects related to easements, including:
- Working with neighbors to reach an agreement on the use of neighboring properties;
- Advising you when a neighbor’s use of your property could result in an enforceable easement;
- Going to court to enforce your right to use a neighboring property or prevent a neighbor’s use of your property; and
- If an easement already exists, advising you as to its scope, and protecting your interests if that scope is being limited or exceeded.
Protecting Your Views
Views add significant value to many Bay Area properties. However, protecting a property owner’s continued enjoyment of these views can be difficult. If a building project is code compliant, or if a tree has grown to obstruct a view, the law offers little protection for the property owner whose views become obstructed. Obstructions of views, light and air are generally not considered a nuisance.
Despite the difficulty in preventing a property owner from obstructing your view, Zacks, Freedman & Patterson, PC has been successful in finding creative solutions that protect neighboring owners’ property rights, while preserving existing views and property values. We strive to reach amicable solutions when these disputes arise between neighbors. However, when an agreement cannot be reached, we have often successfully achieved our clients’ goals through the building and planning departments’ appeals process, and through litigation in superior court. We are familiar with local planning and building codes, and we can successfully use these laws to protect your views.
For instance, if your view is being obstructed by a project built pursuant to a variance, your view is sometimes a protected right that can be preserved. In addition, one of the purposes of the San Francisco Planning Code is to provide adequate light, air, privacy and convenience to property. Often, a neighboring project that implicates one of these property interests also obstructs your view, and the project may sometimes be successfully opposed on that basis.
Likewise, we understand the importance of your property rights, and we often represent those property owners whose neighbors are trying to oppose our clients’ projects, for the benefit of the neighbors’ property values.
Fighting For Clients
We are committed to helping our clients protect their property rights in a cost-effective manner, and we will advise and assist you on all issues related to protecting your views. We can provide you with creative alternatives for achieving your goals, with the primary objective of reaching an amicable agreement with your neighbors.