Forest View Co. v. Town of MonumentAnnotate this Case
The Town of Monument (the “Town”) purchased a piece of property on which it planned to build a water tower. Neighboring property owners objected, arguing that the property was subject to a restrictive covenant limiting construction to single-family residences. According to the property owners, if the Town were to violate that covenant by building a water tower, the Town would be taking the restrictive covenant from each of the covenant-subject properties, and it would therefore have to compensate the property owners for the diminution in value caused by that taking. The Colorado Supreme Court answered the question of whether a restrictive covenant diminished the value of property adjacent to the government property such that the change constituted a taking. In Smith v. Clifton Sanitation District, 300 P.2d 548 (Colo. 1956), the Court held that when state or local government acquires property subject to a restrictive covenant and uses it for purposes inconsistent with that covenant, “no claim for damages arises by virtue of such a covenant as in the instant case, in favor of the owners of other property” subject to the covenant. Petitioners asked the Supreme Court to confine "Smith" to its facts or overrule it entirely. The Court declined, instead reaffirming that where a government entity has obtained property for public purposes, the government may use that land for a purpose inconsistent with a restrictive covenant without compensating all of the other landowners who are subject to that restrictive covenant.