Posted: February 25th, 2021
Assume that you are lucky enough to own 200 acres of land in a beautiful valley. Your land begins about half way up the hill and slopes gently down to a stream, which runs through the valley. The central portion of your land has been cleared just enough to give you a spectacular view across a meadow you own, which is filled with wildflowers, is edged by large trees, and slopes gently down to the stream. Your house is at the top part of your land, close to the one road that goes through the area.
On the other side of the highway, 100 acres of land is owned by someone who has lived in the area for years, and like the rural character of the area, but is financially tempted to subdivide the land if that becomes feasible. Your neighbor’s house is situated so that he also benefits tremendously by the view across your land to the stream.
Right now, your neighbor seems interested in making a deal with you that if you will not increase the height of your house, which would block his view of the stream, then he will not subdivide his land. Thus, the rural character of the area would be preserved – at least for a time.
As a lawyer, you realize the conditions may change, so the permanent restrictions (such as easements) would not be appropriate for either you or your neighbor. But you would like to impose some restrictions on both pieces of land so that, for the foreseeable future, the rural character of the land will be preserved.
Draw up an equitable servitude that will appropriately restrict the height of buildings to be built on your land in the future. And ALSO draft an appropriate equitable servitude for your neighbor to place on his land – limiting subdivision and constructions of additional buildings.
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