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Million Dollar Verdict in Nuisance Case Against Developer

June 27, 2014

Houston is a unique city in that it has no zoning. Theoretically, anyone can build anything they want anywhere. In reality the ability to develop remains constrained in other ways that prevent building anything anywhere. In a recent and unique case a developer considered building a large mixed use project near single family residential areas. The residential owners sued and obtained a verdict for over a million dollars under the theory that just the plan for the new development created a "nuisance" that damaged them. Although this is an interesting case, it would be very difficult to bring a case in Utah under the same legal theory. More importantly, most new construction in Utah is subject to some zoning regulation. This case remains, however, an interesting result of the never ending tension between existing land owners and developers of nearby parcels. Morris Sperry is uniquely situated to assist both existing owners and developers in these situations.

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