Richardson v. FrancAnnotate this Case
In 1989, the Poksays built their Novato home, including a 150-foot long driveway within the 30-foot wide easement running to the site, which was hidden from the street. The easement was over property then owned by the Schaefers and was for access and utility purposes only. The Poksays hired a landscaper, who dug holes, added plants and trees along both sides of the driveway, and installed a drip irrigation system with a line under the driveway. Water fixtures were installed along the driveway for fire safety. The Poksays added lighting, regularly tended to the landscaping, and paid maintenance, water, and other costs. Respondents purchased the property from the Poksays in 2000. The landscaping was mature. Appellants purchased the Schaefer property in 2004. In 2010, without notice, appellant cut the irrigation and electrical lines on both sides of the driveway, including those irrigating respondents’ own property and sent a letter demanding removal of all landscaping and supporting systems from the easement. Respondents filed suit. The court granted respondents an irrevocable parol license. The court of appeal agreed that it would be inequitable to deny respondents an irrevocable license given the substantial investment of time and money and years of acquiescence.