Durdel Horror Story

Summary: Durdel built a shed and later added a roof extension. The HOA attempted to fine him for the roof although they could not identify a covenant he had broken. Durdel’s attorney wrote a letter to the HOA pointing out that they were in the wrong and the HOA dropped the complaint. Durdel’s attorney wrote a letter asking the HOA to reimburse Durdel for his attorney’s fees. The HOA refused to respond. Durdel took the case to small claims court and was awarded his attorney’s fees, the cost of taking down the roof, putting the roof back up and the court costs. The documents he presented to the court are below.

Durdel showed the court that there were many other sheds that had similar rooves that had been in place for years. He showed that his roof was not in violation of the covenants.

After the next board meeting, Thomas Rogers, one of the Board Members at the time, walked up to Durdel, who was talking to Johansen and Larry Raymer, and Rogers told Durdel that he would help him put his shed roof back up.

Durdel later stated that one of the board members approached him later, and told Durdel that if he put his shed roof back up, they would come after him. Durdel, not wanting more misery, decided not to put the shed roof back up.

The board later changed the covenants to limit the size of a roof overhang on sheds.

Plaintiff Opening Statement

This is a case where the Surfside Homeowners Association has attempted to enforce non-existent restrictive covenants on a utility shed roof extension located on our property at 804 345th Pl.  Ocean Park, Washington, in the community of Surfside.

The matter is over a roof extension that was installed several months after the shed was approved on 04/03/2013 by the SHOA, and placed on the property on 04/05/13. A complaint was filed. In spite of the fact that the board could not identify a covenant we had violated, the board continued to send removal demands.  On 9/23/2016 the board sent a certified letter stating a fining process will begin in 21 days. There were no applicable fines in our covenants or operations manuals. The board created fines after the fact and began fining my family. Under the threat of a new fining process, the roof extension was removed, causing damage to the original roof structure.

The plaintiff is seeking the following damages itemized below:

  1.  Cost incurred to remove and dispose the roof extension structure.     $    543.75
  2.  Cost to repair roof and replace the original roof extension structure.  $1,600.00  
  3.  Cost for attorney fees associated with demand/mediation request.    $    933.33
  4.  Cost for filing small claim #2017-002.                                                          $     14.00
  5.  Cost for process server service.                                                                    $      40.00

                                                                                    Total Claim                                 $3,131.08

Index of Exhibits

  1.   Image of utility shed installed 04/05/2013.
  2.   Image of shed and roof extension installed 08/2013.
  3.   Image of shed after extension removal and inside.
  4.   Restrictive Covenants Section 4.11 Storage Sheds.
  5.   Certified Complaint letter 09/23/2016 From SHOA
  6.   Penoyar letter 11/15/2016 informal discovery request.              
  7.   Penoyar demand letter 12/30/2016 to SHOA attorney.   Final atty.     Invoice.                         
  8.  Restrictive Covenants Section 6.12 Mediation Required.
  9.  Comments from Randy Durdel at 02/18/2016 Board meeting      requesting to settle issue.

   10)  Notarized statement from SHOA Trustee regarding Nov 2016

           conversation between SHOA V.P. Mr. Rogers and Mr. Durdel.

  11)    Durdel letter to SHOA president request to settle 02/19/2017.

  12)    Letter from Pacific County Commissioner Frank Wolfe. 

  13)    Image of 4/13/2013 SHOA shed approval.

  14)    SHOA notice of dismissal of complaints and fines on sheds.

  15)    Invoice for cost of teardown.

   16)   Estimate for cost to rebuild roof extension.

   17)   Process server affidavit/Invoice.  

   18)  12 Images of other SS RV properties with sheds and extensions.

   19)    Surfside Covenants Full Copy from SHOA web site.

   20)    Fine policy and procedures change Sept 2016                                                                                                               

Exhibit 1

               Image of Durdel’s utility shed installed 04/05/2013.  804 345th Place

Exhibit 2

                Image of shed and roof extension installed 08/2013.

Exhibit 3

        Image of roof damage on shed after extension removal and inside.

Exhibit 4

From Surfside Restrictive Covenants from SHOA website amended August 15, 2015.

4.11 Storage Sheds:  A storage shed is permitted on each platted parcel. Such storage shed must conform to applicable county codes. Storage sheds shall house objects only, and shall not be used for occupancy. Storage sheds shall be placed on any acceptable location of the plot that is appropriate for their intended use, providing they meet setbacks.

4.11a Foundations shall conform to applicable County code.

4.11b Maximum enclosed floor area shall be no greater than 120 square feet. Height shall be no greater than 10 feet from the average grade level and not more than 1 story.

4.11c Construction materials shall conform to section 4.5.  

Exhibit 5

Exhibit 6

Exhibit 6 (cont)

Exhibit 6 (cont.)

Exhibit 7

Exhibit 7 (cont.) (see page below)

Exhibit 7 (cont.)

Exhibit 8

From Surfside Restrictive Covenants from SHOA website amended August 15, 2015.

6.12 Mediation Required. Before a member or other person may commence litigation against the Association with respect to any matter related to these covenants , the Article of Incorporation or Bylaws of the Association or any action or failure to act by the Association that member of other person shall send a letter to the Association by first class certified or registered mail , return receipt requested , outlining the matter and shall participate , for a period of not less than sixty(60) days after mailing that letter to the Association , in mediation regarding the matter.  Unless otherwise agreed to between the Association and member(s) and other person(s) participating in the mediation, such mediation shall be conducted by the Mediation and Settlement Center of Southwest Washington or other similarly qualified mediation organization.

Exhibit 9

Presentation by Randy Durdel to February 18, 2017 SHOA Regular Board Meeting

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen,

For the record, my name is Randy Durdel, my family owns property in Surfside at 804 345th Place.

At last November 2016 board meeting, I stood before the board in open session and we had a conversation about our shed roof extension compliant. We talked about two facts. One, there are no Surfside HOA covenants that prohibit or require plan approvals for such an addition of a roof extension. Two, there are no revised codes, or county ordinances that prohibit an open sided roof structure similar to what was installed on our shed.

After the boards closed session at this meeting, Trustee Mr. Thomas Rogers met me outside that door, he told me we could put or roof structure back up. Mr. Rogers even graciously offered his help. I subsequently learned that similar shed complaints were dismissed for other members. Given the financial loss incurred, we sought legal help, and made a reasonable demand for reparations. We requested mediation per section 6.12 of the covenants. The board chose not to follow section 6.12 of our covenants and remained silent.

I am making myself available to the board this morning to settle this dispute in good faith, and, avoid further action.  Thank you for your time.

Exhibit 10

Exhibit 11

Hello Mr. Flood.   I am going to assume you know what was served yesterday at the board meeting by now. I also heard your frustration on the phone when your fellow Trustees would not give you ten minutes of the day to discuss it. I was frustrated for you as well.   My small claims instructions for Washington State include attempting to work out an agreement and give compromise a try. You seem like an honorable man to me , and I cannot think of anyone else to reach out to here.   After several months of review of SS covenants, county ordinances, Washington RCW , conversations with board members, HOA members , and info from Pacific County . It is clear to me, our attorney , and the HOA attorney (as rumor has it) that my case is strong and backed by substantial evidence.   This situation brings my family no joy. However, I feel the need to stand up for our property rights and the pursuit of happiness. I firmly believe the HOA needs to help us restore our shed.   I spent some time driving around SS yesterday , almost every couple of blocks , I could find examples of RV and stick home properties with 10 x 12 sheds with roof eves, extensions, even an RV roof cover structure. I have no idea why architectural committee singled a few of us out for complaint. The Durdel’s are members in good standing.   We bought a run down uncared for lot , give it regular maintenance, and make it look respectable for our stick home neighbors.   We have no other agenda here. We just want to go clamming, fishing, hiking , and enjoy some of our retirement days on our lot.   I am going to ask you if you if you would like to help my family come to an agreement prior to the March 21st court date ? At this juncture , it would be would be a win-win if we could.   Respectfully,   Randy Durdel 971-563-9306  

Exhibit 12

As far as I can find, the ordinances don’t address roof “extensions” as such. The footprint is restricted to 120 square feet. I have a feeling that a few inches of overhang on a roof would be ignored. The complete ordinance (number 162) is available on the county website for download, if you wish to look it over. I include two excerpts here that are as close as I can come to answering your question:

SECTION 21 – SUPPLEMENTARY DISTRICT REGULATIONS; 4. One accessory storage building less than one hundred twenty (120) square feet may be allowed without the primary building or structure being first established on the lot and without a building permit being issued, if all of the following standards are met:

a. The storage building is less than one hundred twenty (120) square feet in size and less than ten (10) feet in height; b. The storage building is temporary in nature in that it contains a floor constructed of wood or any other similar material, is placed on a temporary type of foundation such as pier blocks or skids, and is readily movable; c. The storage building shall be placed in the side or rear portions of the property and may be placed to within five (5) feet of the rear and side property lines; and d. The storage building is not to be used as sleeping quarters, nor shall it contain any plumbing.

SECTION 2 – DEFINITIONS;

A. General; 83. Floor Area, Gross – “Floor Area, Gross” means the sum expressed in square footage of the gross horizontal area of the floor or floors of the building, measured from the exterior faces of the exterior walls, including elevator shafts and stairwells on each floor and areas having a ceiling height of seven feet or more, but excluding roofed areas open on two or more sides, areas having a ceiling height of less than seven feet and areas used exclusively for storage or housing of mechanical or central heating/cooling equipment.

 It would appear that the Definition of sq. ft. would exclude a roofed area open on at least two sides. As long as the building is 5-feet from all property lines, and fits the other listed restrictions, I don’t think the roof counts. Having not measured your storage building, nor looked at it closely, I cannot comment further.

Sincerely,

Frank Wolfe

Exhibit 13

Exhibit 14

From: Laura Frazier <laura@surfsideonline.org>
Date: December 2, 2016 at 12:50:30 PM PST
To: ‘Patrick Johansen’ <pwjohansen@icloud.com>
Cc: “‘Flood Jr, James'” <James.Flood@PacifiCorp.com>, ‘Chris & Maryclare Hanson’ <chanson@surfsideonline.org>, Kirby Smith <sand.man02@yahoo.com>
Subject: RE: Shed documentation

Patrick,

Please consider this your notice that the complaint was dismissed and the
fines canceled.  The motions were to dismiss your complaint and the
Ottersens, which was done. I’ll send them notification.  Nothing was said
about Mr. Durdel’s shed.  I was told not to pursue complaints against sheds
with lean-tos.  

I cannot provide approval for your shed and extended roof.  My thoughts are
that the Architectural Committee needs some guidance regarding these issues
so it should be known how to go forward with that type of approval.  Until I
receive better direction regarding approvals of sheds with lean-tos I think
we should hold off on approvals of those.  Suggestion; January agenda item?

Thanks,
Laura

Exhibit 15

Exhibit 16

Exhibit 16 (cont.)

Exhibit 17

Exhibit 17 (cont.)

Exhibit 18

29604 I Street (stick home) (Design we copied for our shed extension )

Corner of 303 and G Street

Exhibit 18 (cont.)

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iwuDK79DMAM/WK2me-3d2dI/AAAAAAAAE8M/izUE1DkciM8_xO0-nHIeksbb09MPvGJ9gCLcB/s1600/IMG_2529.JPG

32106 G Place

1050 306 Place

Exhibit 18 (cont.)

32015 I Street

701 343 Place

Exhibit 18 (cont.)

35105 348th Street

32210 G Street

Exhibit 18 (cont.)

30716 G Street

Next to 30210 G Street (no address)

Exhibit 18 (cont.)

Next to 30812 L Place.  Covered RV Port In “conjunction” with RV use. Violates county ordinance 162 Section 20.I.5. 

30903 O Place

Exhibit 19

Surfside Covenants from HOA Web Site Amended August 15, 2015 ( 33 pages, may take a minute to load.)

Exhibit 20

New fine procedure adopted outside of covenants September 2016. (Following 4 pages)