Article Courtesy of Nebraska News
December 5, 2017
LINCOLN — A homeowners association in Sarpy County
might be feeling the blues after a Nebraska Supreme Court ruling Friday.
Duane and Kathryn
Korth, who live in the Gretna area, were sued by their
subdivision’s homeowners association for painting their
house a shade of blue that, according to neighboring
homeowners, was “a nuisance” and “obnoxious to the eye.”
But the state’s highest court found Friday that the
Korths did not violate the restrictive covenants of the
Estates at Prairie Ridge subdivision. The court ruled
that the covenants required new homes to be painted in
earth tones, but they did not restrict the color when a
house is repainted.
The ruling reversed a decision by Sarpy County District
Judge George Thompson.
In 2004, the Korths built their house and proposed to
paint it blue. But their developer denied this proposal
and recommended that they choose an earth-tone color
instead, in compliance with local covenants.
Ten years later, the Korths informed a member of the
Estates at Prairie Ridge Homeowners Association of their
decision to repaint their house a shade of blue. A
disagreement ensued, but the Korths went ahead with
That led to a lawsuit from the homeowners association.
During a trial, a representative of the Prairie Ridge
developer testified that the intent of the covenants was
to provide “a very natural, earth-tone environment” that
blends in “with the environment.” However, he said that
there was no language in the restrictive covenants
specifically referencing which paint colors are
considered earth tones.
Duane and Kathryn Korth, who live in the Gretna
area, were sued by their subdivision’s homeowners association
for painting their house blue. But the state’s highest court
found Friday that the Korths did not violate the restrictive
covenants of the Estates at Prairie Ridge subdivision.
Current and former residents of surrounding lots also testified that they
had been required to disclose exterior paint color for approval by the
developer when building their residences. They all additionally
testified that the blue color chosen by the Korths was a nuisance, an
annoyance and obnoxious.
Thompson ruled in favor of the homeowners association, agreeing that the
blue color “clashed with the neighborhood” and “does not fit in.” The
exact shade of blue was not disclosed in court documents.
The homeowners appealed, which led to Friday’s ruling by the Supreme
We strive for accuracy. Report a typo, inaccuracy, or mistake here.