Sanborn v. Mclean

233 Mich. 227, 206 N.W. 496, 60 A.L.R. 1212 (1925)


In 1891, 91 lots were platted to be sold strictly for residential lots. The avenue along which the lots were sold was a high-grade residential street. In 1892, McLaughlin was the owner of lots 37-41 and 58-62 inclusive all of which were deeded by them to others with the restriction that nothing but residences should be erected on the lots. In 1893 lots 17-21 and 78-92 and lot 98 were all deeded with the same restrictions. The restrictions were imposed for the benefit of the lands held by the grantors to carry out the scheme of a residential district and a restrictive negative easement attached to the lots retained and title to lot 86 was still in McLaughlin. McLean (Ds) owned a lot in this residential area upon which there was a dwelling house. Ds title, through mesne conveyances, runs back to a deed by McLauglin in 1893 without the restrictions mentioned herein. Subsequent lots were deeded since then by McLaughlin some with restrictions and some without. The reciprocal negative easement had attached to lot 86 by acts of the owners as mentioned. Ds began building a gas station at the rear end of their lot. Sanborn (P) and other neighbors sought an injunction to stop construction. They claimed that it violated the general scheme of the residential purposes that were fixed for all lots. Everyone had obtained title through a common grantor, McLaughlin. P's deeds had the restrictions, Ds’ did not. P claimed that D's lot was subject to the same reciprocal negative easements that barred use so detrimental to the enjoyment and value of its neighbors. Ds lost at the lower court and appealed.