VILLAGE OF NORTH HAVEN PROPERTY OWNERS FIGHT OVER SOME TREES
After D.S. planted a row of cedar trees (which were about 20 feet in height) on his property, plaintiff – an adjoining landowner – filed suit with the Suffolk County Supreme Court alleging that D.S. had violated a restrictive covenant which required the board of the community’s homeowners’ association to pre-approve any “change in landscaping.”
When the court granted D.S.’s motion to dismiss the second cause of action – which sought a declaration that the restrictive covenant had been breached, together with $4 million in damages – the plaintiff appealed. And on its review, the Appellate Division, Second Department, “modified” the outcome. It thought that the D.S. hadn’t competently shown that the tree planting wasn’t a “change” that was governed by the restrictive covenant and thus concluded that the plaintiff was the party entitled to relief in its favor.
While it found that D.S. was liable for the violation or breach of the covenant, it left the amount of the plaintiff’s damages to be determined at a formal hearing or trial.
Looks like the AD2 planted the seeds of a significant recovery.
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