Representing Texas Homeowners Associations & those aggrieved by them

Attorney Trey Wilson handles lawsuits and pre-litigation disputes involving enforcement of restrictive covenants/deed restrictions, Homeowner Association member voting/ballot/proxy issues, HOA Board elections, collection of assessments/dues, placement and removal of liens, CCR/Declaration disputes, developer HOA control/turnover, ACC approval, HOA Board governance, Abuses by Homeowners Associations and drafting/amendment of HOA documents including By-laws.


Stone Oak-area HOA Again Loses Bid to Halt Extension of Hardy Oak Road in San Antonio

San Antonio HOA Lawyer Trey Wilson wrote:

The Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio, has twice ruled against the Sundance at Stone Oak Association, Inc. (the "HOA") in its bid to prevent the extension of Hardy Oak Road across the HOA’s property.  [Author's Note: Hardy Oak Rd. is a major roadway in the Stone Oak master-planned subdivision, which abruptly (and somewhat frustratingly) dead-ends at points between E. Sonterra Blvd. and Knight's Cross, and again between Knight's Cross and Stone Oak Pkwy.].

The trial court had determined that, notwithstanding claims by the HOA that construction was altering the natural drainage patterns of surface waters (which would ultimately render a portion of the HOA property unusable), a 1986 easement filed by the subdivision developer (Sitterle) provided legal authority to build the extension of the road.  The Court of Appeals affirmed this determination, in an appeal filed by the Association on September 21, 2012.

In the lawsuit, the HOA argued that the rights conveyed under the 1986 easement were limited by the documents express terms, and did not allow for construction of a road. Among the HOA's claims were trespass and an unlawful taking of land based on the Hardy Oak Road extension’s construction.
The NEISD contended that Hardy Oak Road was being extended to support the flow of traffic to and from a nearby elementary school, as well as to the surrounding residential areas. The District further argued that the express terms of the Easement authorize construction of the Hardy Oak roadway across the HOA tract and that a roadway easement provides the right for all uses related to the use of a roadway, which necessarily includes the construction of the roadway. 

In its opinion, authored by Justice Alvarez, the Court of Appeals characterized the appeal as "simply a question of interpreting the [1986] Easement and the rights given to each party under it."  After reviewing the easement document's language, the Court held as follows:
Here, the plain language establishes the Sitterle Easement was granted for the purpose of building the Hardy Oaks roadway. The first paragraph of the Sitterle Easement expressly grants “a non-exclusive easement and right-of-way for . . . the 86' roadway known as ‘Hardy Oaks,’” as well as the right to construct underground electric, sewer, and water lines. Additionally, the third paragraph provides the grant is made “until the said easement and right-of-way shall be permanently dedicated by Grantor to the appropriate governing governmental authority and the said roadway known as Hardy Oaks is constructed thereon.” 
We conclude that the Sitterle Easement’s grant of the 86' roadway, and the identified rights of ingress and egress regarding pipes, cables, lines and appurtenances are consistent with the use for “road and street” purposes. See Harris Cnty. Flood Control Dist., 591 S.W.2d at 799. NEISD’s rights therefore include the uses necessary to carry out the purposes of the roadway, including construction of the roadway. Accordingly, the trial court did not err in granting Appellees’ motion for summary judgment. 
Hopefully, the ruling will bring some relief to the traffic congestion plaguing Stone Oak!