DIANNE ELIZABETH LUTZAK, TRUSTEE OF THE DIANNE ELIZABETH LUTZAK FAMILY REVOCABLE TRUST v. PHOENIX AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS, L.P. ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Oct 18, 2017

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Suzette Peyton, Brentwood, Tennessee, and George E. Copple, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Phoenix American Development Partners, L.P. and Spring Hill Place Homeowners’ Association, Inc.

Attorneys 2:

Douglas Berry, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Dianne Elizabeth Lutzak, Trustee of the Dianne Elizabeth Lutzak Family Revocable Trust.

Judge(s): MCBRAYER

The owner of undeveloped property sought a declaratory judgment that restrictive covenants governing an adjacent subdivision did not apply to its property. The developer of the subdivision and the homeowners’ association of the subdivision filed counterclaims seeking a declaratory judgment that the restrictive covenants applied to the undeveloped property and attorney’s fees and costs. On cross-motions for summary declaratory judgment, the trial court granted summary declaratory judgment to the owner of the undeveloped property. On appeal, the defendants argue that the trial court erred in finding no express restrictive covenants applicable to the undeveloped property and in refusing to enforce negative reciprocal easements by implication from an alleged common development plan. We conclude that the restrictive covenants, by their express terms, do not apply to the undeveloped property. We further conclude that the trial court properly declined to impose negative reciprocal easements on the undeveloped property. Thus, we affirm.

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