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A property owner may put his own property to any reasonable and lawful use, so long as he does not thereby deprive the adjoining landowner of any right of enjoyment of his property which is recognized and protected by law, and so long as his use is not such a one as the law will pronounce a nuisance. The "reasonableness" of such use must be determined according to the circumstances of each case, and in accordance with established legal and equitable principles.
Appellant owned and operated a small private airport. Appellee purchased land contiguous to the landing strip of appellant's airport and planned to build a drive-in theatre on that land. Appellant brought suit against appellee seeking to enjoin him from constructing the theatre contending that the construction constituted a nuisance and hazard to the appellant and to the public generally. Appellee contended that operation of a drive-in theatre was a legitimate use of its property and that his usage of the property did not violate any rules concerning civil aeronautics or create a hazard. The trial court entered a decree for the appellee which appellant sought review of.
Could an airport owner enjoin an adjoining landowner from using his property in a manner hazardous to the operation of the airport, but which use would not be hazardous to the operation of any other business?
The court concluded that both parties' rights as landowners were co-equal, and that appellee's planned operation of a theatre on his land was legitimate and allowable. According to the court, the operation of a drive-in theatre was not, per se, a nuisance; and there was no physical invasion of the plaintiff’s premises by the defendant. The court affirmed the trial court decree finding no trial court error.