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Panos v. Olsen

Utah Court of Appeals
123 P.3d 816 (2005)


Facts

Panos (plaintiff) planned to sell the vacant lot next door to Olsen (defendant), but he also wanted to preserve the view from his house by limiting the height of any structure Olsen might want to build on the lot. Both the sale contract and the deed contained a 32-foot height restriction, as "measured from the existing street" adjacent to the lot. The street sloped slightly downhill. Panos derived the 32-foot figure from a survey he had ordered a year earlier. The survey showed 32 feet, as measured from a brass marker in the street, to be the proper height limit. After closing, Olsen built a house on the lot. Panos measured the building's height, found it was almost 35 feet higher than the brass marker, and sued Olsen for breach of contract. Olsen measured the house and found it was just under 32 feet high, if measured from a low-lying gutter in the street. At trial, the parties disputed whether Panos ever showed Olsen the survey or discussed with him how the height restriction should be measured. The trial court entered summary judgment for Olsen, and Panos appealed to the Utah Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bench, J.)

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