Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Kentucky

Deed Restrictions and Developer Approval

We recently purchased a home in a community that has deeded restrictions. Before the purchase of the house, we worked with the developer who gave us approval to make an exception to the rules regarding fences because of the unique pie sized lot we have. In return, we agreed to keep the fence further off the sidewalk than we originally have to according to the rules. However, a neighbor is now threatening law suit and says the developer had no right to give us permission. We have two written approvals from the developer. In the deed of restrictions, it says that the developer may alter these rules where not in conflict with zoning so we thought he had the authority and never gave it another thought. Can the developer excercise these discretions and can I present my approvals in my defense in court. There are 2 other homes with this exact violation and many others that the developer has made exceptions on.

Asked on 4/06/04, 8:05 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Philip Owens Philip M. Owens, Attorney at Law

Re: Deed Restrictions and Developer Approval

Once a developer files the plat of the development, he "dedicates" it and when people buy into the development, they do so with the design in mind. I do not know the exact wording of the provision upon which you are relying however, there is a good possibility the other lot owners may have a point. You have to remember, that once the first lot is sold, the developer has little control over the layout and any exception that he might make must take into account the general design of the development and its regulations. At this point, you need to consult with an attorney familiar with real estate, who can look at the development, its rules and restrictions to determine the context of the changes you relied upon. This can be a problem

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Answered on 4/07/04, 7:03 am

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