light and air

light and air

At English common law, property owners were entitled to light and air if they had “ancient windows” through which they had historically enjoyed such things.If an adjoining property owner erected a tall fence,or built a pigsty and fouled the air,this was a violation of what came to be called the ancient lights doctrine. American courts initially followed the doctrine and then rejected it when it seemed to stand in the way of development and “progress.”

The landmark case in this country involved two resort hotels in Florida, one of which planned an expansion that would cast the other's pool, cabana, and sunbathing area into the shadows.The court refused to find any rights in light and air and allowed the expansion to continue.Today, especially as regards rights to sunlight for solar energy collection, American courts are reexamining the principles of rights to air and light, and finding ways to enforce them
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