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Dear Counselor . . . Clearing the Street of an Eyesore

Question: I have a neighbor who has decided to park his recreational trailer on the street in front of his home. Apart from being an eyesore, it blocks visibility down the street. Is what he's doing legal? And can I stop it?

Answer: While recreational vehicles can offer a great escape from our scorching summers, no one likes to look out the front window of one's home and stare at the side of the camper. Fortunately for you, this camper is in the street, so the Davis Municipal Code is your friend. It prohibits vehicles from being parked in the same spot for more than 120 hours. A non-emergency call to the Davis police will result the police giving notice to the camper's owner to move it or get towed.

But what happens when the camper just gets moved into your neighbor's driveway? That question is a little tougher. Private restrictions, called CC&Rs (covenants, conditions and restrictions) may prohibit your neighbor from parking the vehicle in his own driveway. For example, a private restriction might allow campers but only if kept in a covered side yard.

Where do you find those private restrictions? If they exist, they can be found in the chain of title of your property. Long ago, when the developer subdivided the land, he or she may have imposed some restrictions on how a person could use the property. Those restrictions "run with the land" from one title to another, and you may be able to enforce those rules against your neighbor.

But private restrictions mean that you can only privately enforce them. Translation: You will have to file in court, and that may mean a (slightly more expensive) trip to your attorney.

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Kopper & Morgan
417 E Street
Davis, CA 95616

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