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Can you tell me what the deed specifically says?
"Successors & assigns shall forever use this property only & for no other use than as a recreational area whether improved by appurtenant facilities such as that property becomes an active or passive public park. In no case shall the party of 2nd part, heirs or successors or assigns improve property or allow it to be improved for use as residential,commercial or industrial use, it being the intent of the grantor that this property becomes a public park & be used for no other purpose"
And to be clear, there's no restraint or restriction on being able to sell it or transfer it on to other individuals, other than this restriction will apply to subsequent owners of the property?
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! Property is owned by Gowanda Redevelopment Corp. They are handing it over to village of Gowanda to maintain AFTER it is a park- village wants to commercialize it for revenue. It is vacant land now. Itcwas the contaminated site of an old glue factory..toxic waste dumo
Does the deed say anything about what would happen if the conditions were not met (i.e. there was some development on the site, etc...)?
The deed can only be changed by the party that made the deed. In reality, the deed itself is not changed, but rather there would be a new deed that would no longer have those restrictions on it. Where there is a deed that has a set of restrictions, that does not spell out what happens if those restrictions are violated, in NY it's called a "fee on limitation". "Fee" here refers to "fee simple" ownership, meaning there is complete ownership of the property, but the "limitation" refers to a specific restriction in that ownership. If the restriction is violated, the property reverts to the grantor of the property. Now that grantor can waive those restrictions. Further, if the grantor is no longer in business, and there's no successor to that grantor's property, then it would not revert.
But limitations can be placed on a deed, and unless they are in and of themselves illegal, they will be enforced.
Only the grantor could modify that, OR the local government can condemn through the process of eminent domain (where the government seizes the land for its own use). This can even be done for private commercial reasons, per the Kelo case.
But the restrictions provide a "contingent" ownership interest in the grantor of the property, and as such any removal of those conditions by the government would be a Constitutional violation against that owner's 5th and 14th amendment rights (since it would be a deprivation of property without due process / just compensation).
Again, if the grantor willingly agrees to remove these conditions, then there's no issue anymore. But the government cannot unilaterally remove the conditions.
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