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Grant v. Breland Homes, LLC

Supreme Court of Alabama

June 13, 2014

Mike Grant et al.
v.
Breland Homes, LLC, and D.R. Horton, Inc. - Huntsville

Released for Publication January 20, 2015.

Appeal from Madison Circuit Court. (CV-12-901656). Ruth Ann Hall, Trial Judge.

For Appellants: Jason P. Statum and Joel P. Jaqubino of Paulus Jaqubino, P.C., Huntsville.

For Appellees: George E. Knox, Jr., and Jeffrey T. Kelly of Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne P.C., Hunstville.

BRYAN, Justice. Moore, C.J., and Bolin, Murdock, and Main, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 392

BRYAN, Justice.

Mike Grant, Barry Leake, Scott Schumacher, and Diane Schumacher (referred to collectively hereinafter as " the plaintiffs" ) appeal a summary judgment entered in favor of Breland Homes, LLC (" Breland" ), and D.R. Horton, Inc.-Huntsville (" Horton" ). For the reasons set forth herein, we dismiss the plaintiffs' appeal.

Facts and Procedural History

The Reserve is a subdivision in Madison County that comprises four smaller communities or subdivisions. One of the subdivisions or communities within The Reserve is named Oak Grove. Each of the four plaintiffs owns a house in Oak Grove, and all four are members of The Reserve Subdivision Home Owners' Association (" the HOA" ). Gulf Coast Development, LLC (" Gulf Coast" ), is the original owner and developer of The Reserve. On or about May 12, 2005, a " Declaration of Protective Covenants for The Reserve Subdivision" (" the Declaration" ) was filed in the Madison Probate Court by Gulf Coast, the declarant. The Declaration provides, in part:

" No exterior construction, addition, erection, or alteration shall be made unless and until plans ... have been submitted in writing to and approved by an Architectural Review Committee ('ARC') established by the Board [of Directors of the HOA]. ...
" ... The Architectural Review Committee shall be the sole arbiter of such plans and may withhold approval for any reason, including purely aesthetic considerations, and it shall be entitled to stop any construction in violation of these restrictions."

The Declaration also contains provisions that leave certain powers to Gulf Coast, as the declarant. For example, the Declaration provides that Gulf Coast may unilaterally amend the Declaration for any purpose, so long as Gulf Coast has the right to subject additional property to the Declaration and the amendment does not adversely affect the title of an owner of a lot in The Reserve. Further, the Declaration provides that Gulf Coast, so long as it has the option to subject additional property to the Declaration, may, " in the exercise of its discretion, permit deviations from ...


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