BISHOP v. HANES
LLOYD BISHOP et al, Plaintiffs and Respondents,
ERNEST HANES et al, Defendants and Appellants.
Nos. A129018, A130062
Court of Appeals of California, First District, Division One.
Filed October 27, 2011.
NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS
MARCHIANO, P.J.I. INTRODUCTION
This appeal stems from a long-standing dispute between adjoining neighbors over a view obstruction. When plaintiffs Lloyd and Phyllis Bishop bought their house in the Oakland Hills in 1964, they had unobstructed views from their property of the San Francisco Bay and the surrounding visual environment. For 20 years, until the defendants, Dr. and Mrs. Hanes, bought the property directly below the Bishops' property in 1984, the Bishops were able to work amicably with their down slope neighbors to preserve their views. However, the defendants allowed the trees and vegetation to grow and, over time, obstruct the views from the Bishops' property. In 2001, the Bishops filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against the Haneses based on an easement and Oakland's View Ordinance (hereafter "the View Ordinance"), seeking injunctive relief. Following amendments to the View Ordinance in 2004 and 2006, the Bishops and the Haneses engaged in failed mediation leading to a second lawsuit alleging a continuing nuisance and again seeking injunctive and other relief. This time, the Bishops' lawsuit was successful. The Haneses appeal, claiming that the Bishops' second lawsuit was barred by res judicata, that applying the amended View Ordinance to them violates their due process rights, and that the remedy, including the award of litigation costs and attorney's fees to plaintiffs, as well as all of the costs incurred to restore the Bishops' views, is unjust and unauthorized. We reject all of defendants' contentions because we find that res judicata does not bar the Bishops' second lawsuit, application of the amended View Ordinance to the Haneses does not violate their due process rights, the costs and attorney's fees are reasonable, and substantial evidence supports the court's order imposing all of the costs of view restoration on the Haneses. Therefore, we affirm the judgment and postjudgment orders.II. FACTUAL and PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
A. The Parties and Their Properties.
The plaintiffs in this case are Lloyd Bishop and his wife, Phyllis Bishop ("The Bishops"). They have owned the real property at 6807 Wilton Drive in Oakland since 1964.1 The defendants in this case are Dr. Ernest Hanes and his wife, Okhoo Hanes ("The Haneses"). They bought the real property at 6817 Wilton Drive, downhill and adjacent to the Bishop's property, from the Aldriches in 1984. One of the reasons they purchased the property was that the trees and vegetation gave the property a "Tahoe look" and a "sense of serenity," providing a visual and noise buffer.