Courts order demolition of $1.1 million Macomb County mansion built too close to property line | Detroit Free Press | freep.com
The Michigan Court of Appeals has told a couple they have to tear down all or part of their $1.1 million mansion because they built it too close to their property lines.
The order came in a lawsuit a neighboring couple filed in 2004 against Simon and Saca Palushaj over their 9,000-square-foot house in Macomb County’s Washington Township, 25 miles north of Detroit...The Thoms’ attorney, Thomas Kalas, said he was not surprised by the ruling because courts already have determined deed restrictions are legally enforceable. “These are not new or novel issues,” Kalas said. “Deed-restriction law is pretty much settled. You have to abide by them.”
Don Nordeen sent this link to a pretty extreme example of the way US courts view deed restrictions. Historically British courts were somewhat dubious about deed restrictions because they thought over time use restrictions would accumulate and reduce the value of property, but as we know the US judiciary buys the argument that restrictions are good for property values because they prevent unwanted uses of land. The truth is not that simple--either way--but of course now the real estate development industry has taken this simple tool and injected it with steroids and growth hormones and created the homeowner association-run subdivision.