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Nature Conservancy v. Congel

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York
689 N.Y.S.2d 317 (1999)


Facts

The Eisenbergs and the Danas (plaintiffs) own property adjacent to a rural area known as the Buffer Lands. The Buffer Lands were owned by Allied Corporation (Allied) as part of a quarry. The Buffer Lands separated the plaintiffs’ residential property from the active quarry operations. In 1986, Allied sold the quarry property to General Crushed Stone Company (Crushed Stone), which subsequently became Milestone Materials (Milestone) (defendant). The deed from Allied to Crushed Stone contained a restrictive covenant that required the Buffer Lands to be kept in their natural state. The restrictive covenant ran with the land and was binding on Crushed Stone and its successors. The covenant stated that it was for the benefit of adjacent property owners and was enforceable by the Nature Conservancy (plaintiff). In 1997, Congel (defendant) purchased part of the Buffer Lands from Milestone. The deed to Congel said that it was subject to all other matters of record. However, Congel intended to develop the property as a personal residence and erect a fence. The plaintiffs sued to enforce the restrictive covenant. The trial court held that the plaintiffs could not enforce the restrictive covenant because there was no privity between the plaintiffs and the original grantors of the covenant. The plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Callahan, J.)

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