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Homeowners' association can enforce ban on child day care

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision that would allow two homeowners to run a child care operation out of their residences. The homeowners’ association has restrictive covenants in place prohibiting the operation of a child care home.

In Benjamin Crossing Homeowners' Association, Inc. v. Rose Heide and David F. Wilkerson, No. 79A04-1103-PL-185, Rose Heide and David Wilkerson, residents of Benjamin Crossing, sought damages and a declaratory judgment that the Tippecanoe Area Building Commission and the Benjamin Crossing Homeowners’ Association couldn’t enforce a restrictive covenant preventing the operation of a child care home in their residence. The restrictive covenant was also incorporated into the planned unit development ordinance for Benjamin Crossing, but state law prohibits enforcement of a zoning ordinance that prohibits the operation of a child care home in a residence.

The trial court ruled in favor of the homeowners, but the Court of Appeals reversed. It found the trial court erred when it concluded that “restrictive covenants of a planned unit development have the status of a zoning ordinance” and that, because a zoning ordinance may not prohibit the operation of a child care home in the operator’s residence, neither may such a restrictive covenant be enforced where the restrictive covenant has been adopted in a planned unit development ordinance.

The planned unit development ordinance has no effect on the homeowners’ association’s authority to enforce the private restrictive covenants at issue, wrote Judge Edward Najam.

“The prohibition against a zoning ordinance barring the operation of a child care home in a residence is directed to the municipality and renders any such ordinance unenforceable by the municipality. On the other hand, the restrictive covenants in the Declaration set out the mutual obligations and rights of property owners to each other,” he wrote. “Those restrictive covenants are enforceable by the private parties to the Declaration and were not vitiated by the adoption of the planned unit development ordinance that included them.”

 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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