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Evans v. Pollock

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Evans v. Pollock, 796 S.W.2d 465 (Tex. 1990), is a property law case involving the subdivision of property with restrictive covenants for the purpose of furthering the owner’s general development scheme.

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Contents

Summary of Case Facts

A plot of land was subdivided into various tracts. These tracts were held by two owners who subdivided the tracts into smaller lots. The lots were placed up for sale with substantially the same restrictive covenants allowing only residential use and only one residence per lot. When one of the owners of the lots passed away, the lots passed to their devisees without the restrictive covenants. The devisees sold the property without the restrictions to Pollock who sought to build commercial businesses as well as a condominium development on those lots. Evans, an owner of a lot in the subdivision with the restrictive covenants recorded in his deed, sought to enforce the restrictive covenants against Pollock under the reciprocal negative easement doctrine.

Issue

To imply a reciprocal negative easement against a lot owner in a subdivision, must the restrictions apply to the entire subdivision?

Holding and Law

No. “We hold that the general plan or scheme may be that the restrictions only apply to certain well-defined similarly situated lots for the doctrine of implied reciprocal negative easements to apply as to such lots.”

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