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DONALD W. COVEY AND JOAN M. COVEY v. WAYNE L. GROSS AND NOREEN W. GROSS (09/14/88)

filed: September 14, 1988.

DONALD W. COVEY AND JOAN M. COVEY, APPELLANTS,
v.
WAYNE L. GROSS AND NOREEN W. GROSS, APPELLEES



Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of York County, No. 87-SU-01813-07.

COUNSEL

Bryan C. Black, York, for appellants.

Michael W. Flannelly, York, for appellees.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Wieand and Del Sole, JJ.

Author: Wieand

[ 377 Pa. Super. Page 581]

This appeal requires that we interpret a building and use restriction which prohibits the erection of a private garage on a lot unless a dwelling house shall first have been erected thereon. Where two contiguous lots are owned by the same persons and form a single tract, may the dwelling house be erected on one lot and the garage on the other lot? The trial court held that such an arrangement did not violate the restriction and refused to enjoin construction of the garage. We affirm.

Donald Covey and Joan Covey, husband and wife, are the owners of a lot containing 18,000 square feet at 4540 Davidsburg Road, Dover Township, York County. They acquired title by deed dated April 30, 1966 from Frank P. Myers and his wife. Wayne Gross and Noreen Gross, husband and wife, are the owners of adjoining land at 4550 Davidsburg Road. This land consists of two lots and contains a total of 23,625 square feet. One of these lots, containing 18,000 square feet, had been purchased by

[ 377 Pa. Super. Page 582]

Wayne Gross from Frank P. Myers and his wife on April 13, 1966. The other lot, being irregular in shape and containing only 5,625 square feet, had been purchased by Noreen Gross from Myers and his wife on November 15, 1972. Both lots were subsequently conveyed to Wayne and Noreen Gross, husband and wife, as tenants by the entireties.

All three of the foregoing lots are burdened by the following building and use restriction:

The land herein conveyed shall be used for private residence purposes only and no building of any kind shall be erected thereon except private dwelling houses, each designed for occupancy by a single family and private garages for the sole uses of the respective owners or occupants of the lot upon which such garages are erected; provided further, that no such private garages shall be erected on any lot unless a dwelling house shall be first erected upon the lot, or shall have been erected simultaneously with the erection of such garage, nor shall any building be erected or constructed of cinder block or cement block unless such cinder block or cement block shall be faced with other material so that none of the said block is exposed in the exterior walls.

A dwelling house is situated on the larger of the two lots owned by Wayne and Noreen Gross. On May 9, 1987, they began to construct a garage on the irregularly shaped lot for use in connection with the dwelling house. Donald and Joan Covey immediately filed, on May 19, 1987, an action to enjoin construction of the garage, contending that it would violate the restriction which prohibited a private garage on a lot which did not contain a dwelling house.*fn1 The defendants denied that they were in violation of the restriction, contending that although they had purchased two lots, these lots were now ...


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