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Cristian andreasen et al v. Steven Garman et al

September 1, 2011

CRISTIAN ANDREASEN ET AL., PLAINTIFFS AND APPELLANTS,
v.
STEVEN GARMAN ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND RESPONDENTS.



(Super. Ct. No. 166147)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Butz ,j.

Andreasen v. Carman

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

In this declaratory relief action, the trial court agreed with defendants that the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&R's) for a commercial shopping center (the Shopping Center)--in which plaintiffs and defendants own respective parcels--precluded plaintiffs from leasing their parcels to a church.

On appeal, plaintiffs contend the trial court erred in (1) interpreting the CC&R's, (2) making certain findings, and (3) awarding attorney fees to defendants. We shall affirm the judgment and the attorney fees award.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The Shopping Center, comprising eight parcels, is located in Redding and was created in 1988.

Plaintiffs bought parcels 1 and 5 in 2001. Parcel 1, the "anchor store" for the Shopping Center, was originally occupied by a supermarket and then by a telephone call center. In 2005, the call center closed and parcel 1 has been vacant since then (although the lease on the parcel 1 call center continued until January 31, 2011). Parcel 5 is a parking lot for the Shopping Center's general parking.

Defendants own parcels 2, 4, and 6 in the Shopping Center, all of which are improved with rental space. (Parcels 3, 7 and 8 are owned by others.)

Plaintiffs sought to lease parcel 1 to Bethel Church (Bethel), using parcel 5 for parking. Parcel 1 was to be used for Bethel's (1) internet department, which includes sales (20 to 30 full-time employees); (2) School of Ministry (a two-year, full-time course with a total student enrollment of approximately 1,000); and (3) two church services on Sunday, each with around 600 attendees.

Defendants objected to plaintiffs' proposed lease to Bethel, contending that the lease would violate the Shopping Center's CC&R's, which specify that "[t]he Shopping Center shall be used for commercial purposed [sic] only for . . . mercantile, business and professional establishments . . . ."

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs sued defendants, alleging two causes of action: (1) declaratory relief ...


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