Real Estate: Communicating The View

 14Jun28 New Pix

(Image Credit: Google Images –

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USING QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS WITH LAND MATTERS is almost a mantra, and most folks do. But for those experts to be effective they need to know the factors driving a transaction.

Take the case of a municipal planning board meeting we witnessed. A small group accompanied an evidently agitated though elegantly dressed lady as they entered the room en masse. The woman asked to be allowed to present her concern to the board and despite not being on the evening’s agenda the chairman permitted her to proceed. The lady articulated her experience in recently having spent a considerable sum to purchase a specific lot in a subdivision and to construct a house on it — all for the purpose of enjoying the panoramic view her acquired property offered.

However, she learned from the folks who came to the meeting with her that someone could buy the parcel resting between her plot and the view she cherished then erect a house that could be two stories high, thereby obstructing the vista. The woman informed the board she would not have purchased the property had she known her view could be blocked. Why wasn’t the vista protected, she inquired.

Board members listened attentively. The chairman finally asked what she was requesting his board to do. In so many words she responded that all development rights should be removed from the neighboring parcel, which response evidently triggered board member questions. Was her purchase conducted under the guidance of an attorney? Did she make the permanency of the view a condition of her purchase? Did her paperwork state the view would be permanent?

Yes, she had retained an attorney for the purchase but didn’t fuss about the view. She admitted the paperwork said nothing about it because she just assumed her view would always be available … after all, she reasoned, who would want to destroy such a scene?

Several board members spoke among themselves, the gist of which seemingly was their board could neither intercede in the matter nor consider removal of the parcel’s development rights. A couple of members opined their board could do nothing even if the view had been contractually preserved since it was a private matter. One member claimed to be familiar with the area and said the home the woman erected actually blocked the view of the home behind hers.

The chairman said he understood her concern, described the reasons his board could not get involved then explained the panorama she liked was not designated as a protected vista. He asked why she didn’t buy the neighboring parcel to ensure nothing would be built on it.

This was not the board reaction she wanted. Obviously disheartened, the woman and her entourage departed the meeting.

The bottom line: Tell the professionals what is expected from the transaction. After all, it’s a matter of communication.


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