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Phelan v. Rosener

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Second Division

February 28, 2017

MICHAEL P. PHELAN; MICHAEL PHELAN, TRUSTEE OF THE MICHAEL P. PHELAN REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST DATED MAY 14, 2004; and SEAMLESS INVESTMENTS, LLC, Plaintiffs/Appellants,
v.
ERNEST W. ROSENER, JR.; SUMMIT SPRINGS AT WILD HORSE I, LLC; and SUMMIT SPRINGS AT WILD HORSE II, LLC, Defendants/Respondents.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County Honorable Dale W. Hood.

          SHERRI B. SULLIVAN, P. J.

         Introduction

         Michael P. Phelan; Michael Phelan, Trustee of the Michael P. Phelan Revocable Living Trust Dated May 14, 2004; and Seamless Investments, LLC (collectively Appellants) appeal from the trial court's summary judgment against them on their claims for declaratory judgment and to quiet title and in favor of Ernest W. Rosener, Jr.; Summit Springs at Wild Horse I, LLC; and Summit Springs at Wild Horse II, LLC (collectively Respondents) on Respondents' counterclaims for declaratory judgment and to quiet title. We affirm.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         Appellant Michael Phelan is trustee of the Michael P. Phelan Revocable Living Trust and is the sole member and owner of Seamless Investments, LLC. Appellants are the owners of real property located at 18823 Cliffview Lane, 18833 Cliffview Lane, 18841 Cliffview Lane, and 170 Centaur Road in Wildwood, Missouri. Respondent Ernest W. Rosener, Jr. is the owner of Respondents Summit Springs at Wild Horse I, LLC and Summit Springs at Wild Horse II, LLC. Respondents are the owners of real property located at 18913 and 18971 Wild Horse Creek Road in Wildwood, Missouri. Appellants' and Respondents' properties abut a private roadway known as Cliffview Lane.

         (Image Omitted)

         Prior to July 2, 1982, the properties in question were owned by John C. McPheeters and Constance B. McPheeters (McPheeters), with the exception of 18913 Wild Horse Creek Road.

         On July 2, 1982, the McPheeters, as Grantors, and the McPheeters and an individual named Hugh M. Cannon, as Trustees, created the Road Maintenance Agreement (RMA) wherein it declared:

Whereas, there is a private roadway easement over the land described in Exhibit B, which provides ingress and egress to the property described in Exhibit A, and
Whereas, Grantor contemplates the sale of tracts of land comprising the property described in Exhibit A, and by this Agreement intends to provide for the present and future maintenance of the roadway for the benefit of the present and future owners of the tracts to be sold and the future owners of any part or portion of such tracts;
Now Therefore, in consideration of the premises, the covenants, contained herein, and the mutual benefit to be derived by the parties, the Grantors, for themselves, their successors, heirs and assigns, and for and on behalf of all persons who may hereafter own all or any part of the land described in Exhibit A, agree with the Trustees as follows…

         The RMA provides for the appointment of trustees and the collection of assessments. The RMA further provides:

This Agreement shall be binding on the Grantors, the named Trustees, the present and future tract owners, their heirs, successors, assigns and personal representatives, and the covenants and agreements contained herein shall run with the land described herein. It is further intended this Agreement shall run with the land described and be binding however such land shall be divided and subdivided, whether into greater or fewer tracts than herein contemplated, provided however that no tract which does not now or in the future have access to the roadway shall be neither benefitted nor burdened by this Agreement.

         Exhibit A sets forth a metes and bounds legal description of two tracts of land: 37.32 acres which included what would eventually become 18833 Cliffview Lane and 18841 Cliffview Lane;[1] and 30.906 acres which would become 170 Centaur Road and 18971 Wild Horse Creek Road.[2] Exhibit B provides a metes and bounds legal description of the entirety of Cliffview Lane, beginning at Wild Horse Creek Road on the east and ending in a circle with a 50-foot radius on the west end.[3] The road easement extends over 18833 Cliffview, 18841 Cliffview, and onto 170 Centaur Road and 18971 Wild Horse Creek Road.[4] The RMA was recorded with the St. Louis County Recorder of Deeds on July 7, 1982.

         On July 2, 1982, the same day the RMA was created, the McPheeters conveyed a portion of their land, 18841 Cliffview, to Appellants' predecessor in title. The conveyance included an easement for ingress and egress over the entirety of the Cliffview Lane easement identical to that in the RMA.

         On May 2, 1983, the McPheeters conveyed 18823 and 18833 Cliffview to Appellants' predecessor in title, which included an easement over the entirety of Cliffview Lane and was taken "[s]ubject to building lines, easements, conditions and restrictions of record[.]"

         On January 4, 1984, the McPheeters conveyed 170 Centaur to Appellants' predecessor in title and 18971 Wild Horse Creek to Respondents' predecessor in title. An express easement over Cliffview Lane was not included in the deeds.

         Appellants acquired 18833 Cliffview in April 2007, and 18841 Cliffview and 170 Centaur in May 2014. The deeds for 18833 and 18841 Cliffview include an express easement over Cliffview Lane. ...


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