Restrictive Covenants Enforceable in Property Dispute Between Neighbors

On December 16, 1940, a restrictive covenant was recorded for the subdivision Denison Heights, where the parties live. That covenant provided that no structure shall be erected on a lot other than a detached single family dwelling. Although the restrictive covenant was recorded, it was not contained in the Cochrans’ deed when they purchased the property. In 2003, the Cochrans built a 30-foot tall “shop building.”

The court held that the restrictive covenant was not ambiguous and there had not been a change in conditions sufficient to warrant invalidation. Most of all, the court rejected the Cochrans’ defenses of waiver and estoppel because the Cochrans testified they still would have built the shop even if they had known about the restrictive covenant.

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