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Hayes v. Aquia Marina, Inc.

Supreme Court of Virginia
414 S.E.2d 820 (1992)


Aquia Marina (defendant), a small commercial marina, held a right-of-way easement over Hayes’s (plaintiff) property. The “private roadway” described in the deed was an extension of a highway and served as a means of egress and ingress to the marina. The marina, in operation since 1964, had eighty-four boat slips, a public boat launch, and a gas dock. In 1989, the marina was granted permission to expand to 280 boat slips. As part of that expansion, the marina also wanted to pave the roadway. Hayes sought to enjoin the expansion on the grounds that it would overburden the easement across his land. The trial court determined that there was never a traffic problem with the easement, that the proposed expansion would not create such a problem, that the nature of the marina’s activities would not change as a result of the expansion, that the easement could be used for commercial purposes, and that paving the road was a reasonable and proper improvement to the right of way. The court held, therefore, that the expansion could not be enjoined. Hayes appealed.

Rule of Law

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Holding and Reasoning (Stephenson, J.)

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