Voorheesville Rod & Gun Club v. E.W. Tompkins Co.

Court of Appeals of New York

626 N.E.2d 917 (N.Y. 1993)

Unless an express, contrary agreement says otherwise, a zoning violation is insufficient by itself to render title unmarketable.

Relevant Facts

Voorheesville Rod & Gun Club (the plaintiff) agreed to purchase a portion of E.W. Tompkins Company’s (the defendant) land. The defendant conveyed a warranty deed subject to all covenants, conditions, restrictions and easements of record and to zoning and environmental protection laws. Prior to the closing, the plaintiff requested the defendant to comply with the subdivision requirements for the parcel. The defendant did not seek subdivision approval, and the plaintiff refused to close. Subsequently, the defendant cancelled the contract and returned the plaintiff’s deposit. The plaintiff sued, seeking specific performance and a court order compelling the defendant to seek subdivision approval.

The trial court ordered the defendant to seek subdivision approval and to complete the sale, finding the defendant’s failure to obtain subdivision approval to constitute a cloud on the title. The appellate division affirmed, holding that the failure to obtain subdivision approval rendered title unmarketable. The defendant appealed.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 13, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

626 N.E.2d 917 (N.Y. 1993)