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Weston Forest and Trail Association v. Fishman

849 N.E.2d 916 (2006)

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Weston Forest and Trail Association v. Fishman

Massachusetts Appeals Court

849 N.E.2d 916 (2006)

Facts

Beth Fishman (defendant) owned approximately eight acres of land in Weston. The previous owners of the land granted a conservation easement to the Weston Forest and Trail Association (plaintiff). The easement prohibited any construction or placing of any buildings on a restricted area covering all but 60,000 square feet of the land. The easement’s purpose was to ensure the preservation of the property in its present, predominantly natural and undeveloped condition. The easement did permit the restricted area to be used for agricultural, farming, or outdoor recreational purposes. When Fishman purchased the property, the deed to the property specifically referenced this restriction. Fishman made several improvements to the property, including constructing a barn in the restricted area of the property. An employee of the association visited the property while the barn was being constructed, but the employee did not communicate with Fishman regarding the construction of the barn. After the construction of the barn was completed, the association sued Fishman, seeking to enforce the conservation easement. The association moved for summary judgment, which was granted by the trial court. Fishman appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Vuono, J.)

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