Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



With increasing frequency, the real estate lawyer is confronted with the need to determine the effect of a newly enacted zoning ordinance upon the enforceability of prior restrictive covenants affecting property in the zoned area. If the enforceability of the covenant is cut off by the ordinance, the further question arises whether the city must compensate the landowner for interfering with his property rights. Existing rules provide largely unsatisfactory answers and conclusions reached do not always reflect the balancing of public against private interests fundamental to all zoning. Moreover, new types of zoning regulations have been found to generate conflicts between public and private interests that were not foreseen when these regulations were first promulgated. This Note will set forth the present state of the law and will analyze the existing rules in terms of judicial approach and the constitutionally permissible scope of zoning under a state's police power. It also will suggest possible legislative and judicial innovation that might clarify and facilitate solution of the problems in this area.