THOMAS MAZZOLA, KATHRYN MAZZOLA, EDWARD SCHERVISH, RHONDA SCHERVISH, LILLIAN KACHADOURIAN, BEHROUZ OSKUI, ANTHONY SAID, ARISTIDIS THANASAS, PANAGIOTA THANASAS, PETER MACUGA, LISA MACUGA, GREGORY AHEE, ELIZABETH AHEE, BENJAMIN BEST, LYNNE BEST, and BHARANI YERRAMALLI, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
DEEPLANDS DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LLC, Defendant-Appellee.
Circuit Court. LC No. 17-017617-CH.
THOMAS MAZZOLA, Plaintiff-Appellant: DENNIS M RAUSS.
DEEPLANDS DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LLC, Defendant-Appellee:
WILLIAM D GILBRIDE JR.
Before: GADOLA, P.J., and BOONSTRA and SWARTZLE, JJ.
Mich.App. 219] Swartzle, J.
Restrictive covenants and negative reciprocal easements on
real property implicate two fundamental freedoms— the
freedom to contract and the freedom to use property. When an
owner voluntarily agrees to restrict a particular use of real
property, the owner need not, at the same time, also reserve
all of the other, lawful uses of the property. The freedom to
use real property is the baseline, and it is the restriction
of that freedom through covenants and easements that must be
made with clarity and particularity.
this action, plaintiffs seek to impose a restrictive covenant
or reciprocal negative easement on their neighbor's real
property to prevent the development of a cul-de-sac and 18
residential buildings. Because the neighbor's proposed
development plan does not run afoul of the actual restrictive
covenants and there is no basis to impose a reciprocal
negative easement, we affirm the trial court's grant of
summary disposition to the neighbor.
reside in the Village of Grosse Pointe Shores in subdivisions
known as Deeplands Subdivision One (Subdivision 1) and
Deeplands Subdivision [329 Mich.App. 220] Two (Subdivision
2). In the early 1950s, the land now occupied by the two
subdivisions and the land at issue in this appeal (the
subject property)— a 7.83-acre parcel of land located
at 55 South Deeplands Road— were owned by common
owners. In 1953, the owners chose to divide their property
and create the subdivisions, and in so doing, the owners
subjected the subdivisions to specific deed restrictions
outlined in two formal declarations. With respect to
Subdivision 1, the declarations provide:
II A — Building Sites
1. Definition and Minimum Sizes - Nothing contained
herein shall be construed as to prevent any owner of property
from erecting a permitted type of residential building on a
site consisting of one full platted lot, plus all or any
fraction of adjacent lots in the Grantors, without reference
to the platted lot lines other than to observe the building
line requirements set forth in section III C hereof. The
minimum size of building sites shall be, for each lot, the
lot as shown on said plat except that in no case shall any
site have smaller frontage on a street than one hundred (100)
Subdivision 2 is subject to a similar, albeit more specific
II A - Building Sites — Definition and Minimum
Nothing contained herein shall be so construed as to prevent
any owner of property from erecting a permitted type of
residential building on a site consisting of one full platted
lot, plus all or any fraction of adjacent lots in this
subdivision and other adjacent subdivisions of the Grantor,
without reference to the platted lot lines other than to
observe the building line requirements set forth in Section
III C hereof. The minimum size of building sites shall be,
for each lot, ...