Tue | Apr 7, 2020

Judge orders Golden Triangle town houses demolished

Published:Friday | January 31, 2020 | 12:15 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

Town houses and apartments constructed at a cost of more than $100 million in the upscale Golden Triangle area of St Andrew must be immediately demolished, according to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, which indicates that the owners of the property in question breached the restrictive covenant.

Court documents obtained by The Gleaner indicate that the houses were constructed on land jointly owned by Martin Lyn and his two children.

The covenants on the title restrict the owners of the property from subdividing it with one exception, constructing more than one residence, and dictates the minimum distance that must be between the dwelling and the road and boundaries.

The Lyns made an application to the court to have those restrictions modified to allow for the construction of town houses on the property, but prompted by a legal notice informing them of the application, six residents of Upper Montrose Road – namely Sarah Hsia, Marvin Gordon, Henderson Downer, Marcos Handal, Una Witter, and Brenda Francis – filed objections to the development.

SUBDIVISION OBJECTIONS

Among their objections was that the Vale Royal subdivision was laid out as an upper-middle class residential scheme more than 80 years ago when the restrictions were imposed with the clear objective of preserving, for the owners’ of lots in the subdivision, certain residential amenities.

The residents also contended that the modifications were likely to interfere substantially with and be detrimental to the comfort and convenience of the occupiers of the adjoining lands and, in particular, would lead to an increase in traffic and noise because of the potential increase in the number of persons living on the land in question.

But while the application was pending, the Lyns began construction of the two town houses on the property, having received conditional approval from the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation, which dictated that they apply for modification or discharge of any restrictive covenants endorsed on the title.

Failure to comply with this and other conditions, according to the court document, would be considered a breach and render the building approval null and void.

Construction continued despite a letter dated May 16, 2018, addressed to the Lyns by Hsia, through her attorney, requesting that they cease-and-desist the construction.

In the ruling handed down last week Tuesday by Supreme Court judge Justice Judith Pusey, the application for modification of the restrictive covenants was refused.

Further, Pusey ruled that the claimants were entitled to the benefit of the restrictive covenants.

She consequently ordered that the two town houses be demolished forthwith.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com