Cheatham v. Taylor
Virginia Supreme Court
138 S.E. 545 (1927)
The Rivermont Company (the company) owned land on the outskirts of Lynchburg, Virginia. The company developed the land into a residential city neighborhood with streets and lots. The company created a development scheme that applied restrictions on the lots to be sold, including setting a minimum price for houses to be built and restrictions on how close buildings could be erected to the neighborhood’s streets. Advertisements for the lots included references to these restrictions as a benefit of the new neighborhood, and deeds that conveyed lots from the company to new owners included these restrictions. Cheatham (defendant) and Taylor (plaintiff) eventually acquired lots in the neighborhood through deeds that had originated with the company and that included the restrictive covenants. Cheatham owned a store on one of these lots that initially complied with the setback covenant, but he later built out the front of the store so that it was closer to the road than the restrictions allowed. Taylor sued Cheatham to enforce the setback covenant. The lower court granted the injunction Taylor requested and ordered Cheatham to remove the encroaching part of the store. Cheatham appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Burks, J.)
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