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Thread: Enforcing protective covenants

  1. #1
    Cyburbian daytondevelopment's avatar
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    Oct 2003
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    Union County, Ohio (Marysville)
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    Enforcing protective covenants

    Afternoon everybody. I have a quick question regarding the enforcement of Protective Covenants at an industrial park.

    The park is now county-owned, but my office (a CIC) developed both the park and the Protective Covenants, with the covenants being approved by the county commissioners several years ago. The question has arisen: who is now responsible for enforcing protective covenants and what can/should be done to enforce them?

    The county and my office are working together to address the issue(s) at the park, but in the meantime, I just want to hear some of your thoughts and past experiences. I am sure that the county will come out with a legal option, but I am just curious until that happens.

    We do not have countywide zoning and the park is located in a township (not a municipality). To the best of my knowledge, I am guessing that the county will eventually have to involve the sheriff's department and issue a citation (?). Is there a *nice* way to get a company to comply without 1) taking them to court, and 2) forcing them out of business? Does a CIC have any role in this matter?

    Thank you all for your anticipated opinions I've searched and searched and have found nothing useful in regard to this situation, so any links, etc. would be helpful too.

    Jay
    Business Development Manager
    Union County, Ohio Economic Development Partnership

  2. #2
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Depends on who was made responsible for enforcement in the protective covenants.

    Generally speaking, municipalities/governments don't get in the business of enforcing private agreements.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  3. #3
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner View post
    Depends on who was made responsible for enforcement in the protective covenants.

    Generally speaking, municipalities/governments don't get in the business of enforcing private agreements.
    Ditto here. When a subdivision is approved by the county, we have covenants we place on the subdivision (mostly notifications and waivers of the right to protest future infrastructure maintenance and improvements). But covenants placed by the developer or property owners are not enfoced by the county. Private covenants are enforceable by civil action.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  4. #4
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    I think the key from the original poster is that the park is now owned by the county. So they have been placed in the position that a developer or property manager would usually be in with regards to covenants.

    I think it would still be some form of civil action, but in this case the county would be the one undertaking the action.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian daytondevelopment's avatar
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    Oct 2003
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    Union County, Ohio (Marysville)
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    Thank you all for your quick replies. Like bsehlvt pointed out, we (a CIC) bought and developed the park, but now it belongs to the county. We are still responsible for the business development of the park, but the land has been deeded to the county since 2002/03. So they are the rightful owners of the park itself and should be the ones to bring the case to court, if needed.

    I was a bit concerned because we (the CIC) do not want to get into legal action with a company (for multiple reasons). Frankly, I am not sure if we have the re$ource$, although our covenants do state that "The Owner shall bear any and all costs and expenses of such restoration and any and all costs of the Approval Committee, including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney fees." I think we should be OK.

    My supervisor has contacted the commissioners to see what should/can be done...I thank you all for your comments. That's why I love this board so much...so many educational opportunities!
    Business Development Manager
    Union County, Ohio Economic Development Partnership

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