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Hedge Wars in Santa Barbara?

June 23rd, 2016 · No Comments · Santa Barbara Real Estate


Are Your Views Protected in Santa Barbara?

A while back the Independent magazine in Santa Barbara ran a piece that discussed overgrown hedges and view rights – the article mentioned that, “the City of Santa Barbara was pondering whether front yard shrubs be twice as high as the existing ordinance – which it ignores anyways. What’s the result?  Leafy battles aka “Hedge Wars” have pitted neighbors against neighbors. Some neighbors haven’t spoken for decades. And woe to the innocent homeowner who buys into one of these combat zones. Forget about going next door for a cup of sugar.”

Imagine, you just closed escrow on a home with gorgeous ocean views and your looking out the picture window and notice the guy downslope planting one of those fast growing hedges that will block your view. Where some cities have passed view protection laws Santa Barbara has not.  In worst case scenarios often time it means going to court. Some people have gone so far as to pay the down slope owner for a view corridor that runs with the title on the property. You may need an attorney.

At an open house recently I overheard the realtor there tell a prospective buyer that the one story house in front of the property could not build up into the property’s view. That may not be true. Unless, there is something to the effect that the view is protected in the deed of the one story house  in front in favor of the upper property that the two homeowners have agreed to in the lower neighbor’s deed that runs with the property there are no view guarantees in Santa Barbara at this time.

View Rights in California

Homeowner’s Rights to View

View Dispute Resolution Process in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara View Ordinance Methodology

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