Private Restrictions on Land Usage
Land use restrictions, other than zoning, may further affect the ability to carry on business at a given location. Two popular forms of private restrictions are covenants and easements.
Covenants are contractual provision that create legal restrictions. In the current context, covenants may prohibit the use of land for certain activity or prohibit certain activity on the land. These often arise in a land sale contract or homeowner’s association agreements.
An easement is a legal ownership right in land. It allows the owner of the easement to use the land for a limited purpose, such as ingress or egress of property. The land subject to an easement cannot be used in a manner that interferes with the easement owner’s rights. This can prevent the use of the land in many ways, such as the construction of building or fences. Another form of easement that is similar to a covenant is a negative easement. This is a restriction on the use of land reserved by the transferring party at the time of transfer. The easement specifically prohibits certain types of conduct on the subject property.