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Where the restrictions are a part of a general building plan the courts generally recognize that a prior purchaser from the covenantee can enforce the covenants subsequently entered into between his grantor and subsequent grantees. If the covenants touch and concern the land previously conveyed out of an area subdivided pursuant to a general building plan, it is ordinarily held that in the absence of evidence of a contrary intent it will be assumed that the parties intended to benefit such land.
Rodgers brought a suit in equity to enforce a building restriction contained in a land sale contract under which Reimann purchased a lot. The lot owned by Rodgers was directly across the street from Reimann’s lot. Soon after Reimann entered into the contract for purchase of the lot, they commenced construction of a dwelling house on the lot. Rodgers brought this suit to enjoin the construction of the dwelling house, claiming that it violated the restrictive covenant. The trial court entered a decree dismissing Rodgers’ complaint, from which decree Rodgers appealed.
Was it shown that the construction of the dwelling house violated the restrictive covenant?
The court affirmed the decision, holding that the existence of a burden on land created by a covenant required a substantial foundation of proof, which Rodgers failed to establish, rather than an inference from a highly equivocal circumstance.