DALE LEE and KATHI LEE, Husband and Wife, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
WILLOW CREEK RANCH ESTATES NO. 2 SUBDIVISION HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION, INC., an Idaho corporation, Defendant-Respondent, and DOES I-X, inclusive, Defendants.
from the District Court of the Third Judicial District of the
State of Idaho, Canyon County, Hon. Christopher S. Nye,
judgment of the district court is affirmed.
Bower & Haws, PLLC, Boise, for Appellants. Daniel W.
& Burke, PA, Boise, for Respondent. Matthew C. Parks
and Kathi Lee appeal the district court's decision
granting summary judgment in favor of Willow Creek Ranch
Estates No. 2 Subdivision Homeowners' Association, Inc.
(the HOA). The dispute between the Lees and the HOA involves
a 1997 agreement (the Agreement) that purportedly grants the
Lees three access points to a private road owned by the HOA.
The Lees conceded in the district court that the Agreement
alone does not create an enforceable easement. The Lees
asserted, however, that an easement exists based on the
doctrine of part performance or that an enforceable
encumbrance exists through the doctrine of equitable
servitudes. The district court determined that neither the
doctrine of part performance nor the doctrine of equitable
servitudes were applicable to this case and granted the
HOA's motion for summary judgment. We affirm.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Lees and the Kemp Family Trust (Trust) owned adjoining
property in Canyon County. The Lees and the Trust both
contemplated future development of their property. To further
its plans for development, the Trust desired to purchase land
from the Lees to develop the Willow Creek Ranch Estates No. 2
subdivision (Subdivision). On June 1, 1997, the Lees and the
Trust executed the Agreement for the sale of the property.
The Agreement states that "[the Lees] shall also be
entitled to 3 driveway accesses from the gravel road to be
constructed by [the Trust] adjoining [the Lees']
property. Such accesses shall be constructed at [the
Lees'] cost and subject to [the Lees] obtaining any
necessary government approvals." The gravel road
referenced in the Agreement ultimately became Kemp Road. The
Agreement was signed by the Lees and by an individual
purportedly representing the Trust. The Agreement does not
contain a legal description of the land or the three
"driveway accesses" from the gravel road. The
Agreement was never recorded.
August 1997, the Lees executed a warranty deed granting
ownership of the land to the Trust. The warranty deed does
not reference or incorporate the Agreement, nor does it
reference or reserve an easement for the Lees to access the
gravel road mentioned in the Agreement. The warranty deed
contains the following covenant:
[S]aid premises are free from all encumbrances, EXCEPT those
to which this conveyance is expressly made subject and those
made, suffered or done by the Grantee(s); and subject to
reservations, restrictions, dedications, easements, rights of
way and agreements, (if any) of record . . . and that
Grantor(s) will warrant and defend the same from all lawful
Trust recorded the plat for the Subdivision in December 1998.
The Trust recorded the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions,
and Restrictions and Neighborhood Association (CC&Rs) for
the Subdivision in April 1999. The Subdivision plat and the
CC&Rs do not reference an easement or any other right for
the Lees to access Kemp Road.
Trust constructed Kemp Road in 2000. The Trust paid to create
three access points from Kemp Road to the Lees' property.
This construction included culverts and the placement of
gravel extending from Kemp Road to the Lees' property.
Wood fencing and metal gates were constructed along the three
access points from Kemp Road.
April 2005, the Trust executed a warranty deed granting
ownership of Kemp Road and other common areas to the HOA. The
warranty deed does not expressly reference or reserve an
easement for the Lees to access the gravel road mentioned in
the Agreement. The warranty deed states that the Trust
"does hereby grant, convey, release to the [HOA] the
following-described premises with all appurtenances and
subject to all existing easements and rights-of-way of record
Mills served on the board of directors of the HOA at the time
the Trust transferred ownership of Kemp Road to the HOA.
Mills was also the Trust's real estate agent at the time
of the Agreement. Mills stated: "As a former HOA board
member, I can say with a high degree of certainty that the
HOA at that ...