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Demarco v. Palazzolo

Michigan Court of Appeals
209 N.W.2d 540 (1973)


Facts

The Pantelis (plaintiffs) purchased property in a quiet, residential subdivision. The Pantelis’ property faced Ten Mile Road, a small two-lane road at the time. This property was the only property in the subdivision that faced Ten Mile Road. Restrictive covenants limited the subdivision to residential use. In the 15 to 20 years after the Pantelis’ purchase, a freeway was constructed alongside the subdivision, and Ten Mile Road, which the freeway crossed, doubled in size and was commercialized. These changes produced significant traffic, dirt, and noise in the area. The Pantelis brought suit seeking to have the restrictive covenants deemed void on account of the changes to the neighborhood. The defendants were owners of property in the subdivision who sought to maintain the restrictions. The defendants’ lots did not face Ten Mile Road. Expert witnesses testified that Pantelis’ property, given its location on Ten Mile Road, had become much more suitable for commercial use than it was when the covenants were first implemented, and would be much more valuable if commercial use were permitted. The trial court ruled that the restrictive covenants were void as to the Pantelis, but required the Pantelis to see to the construction of some sort of barrier to protect the defendants’ quiet enjoyment of their residential property. The defendants appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gillis, J.)

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