Rick (plaintiff) owned a plot of vacant land which he subdivided and upon which he recorded a covenant limiting the land to single-family dwellings. West (defendant) purchased a plot on the land and built a single-family home on it. Unable to sell more than a few plots of land, in 1959 Rick attempted to sell his land to commercial interests for commercial developments. Although the city re-zoned the area to permit commercial purposes, West refused to release her covenant, thwarting the development. Rick sued, arguing that the character of the neighborhood had so substantially changed so as to render the covenant unenforceable.