B.B.P. Corp. v. Carroll

In B.B.P. Corp. v. Carroll, 760 P.2d 519, 524 (Ala. 1988), a covenant required all lot owners to cut and destroy all poplar, cottonwood, and aspen trees on their lots to make room for the more desirable spruce and birch. See id. at 520. However, lot owners learned through experience that strict compliance was impossible because poplar, cottonwood, and aspen trees are extremely hardy, and they sprout from roots and reseed themselves. Even bulldozing all of those trees would not bring a lot into compliance because they would soon spring back, and bulldozing would cause excessive erosion. See id. at 521. As a result, none of the lots were in full compliance with the covenant, and only eighteen of the approximately eighty-eight residents had taken substantial steps toward compliance. See id. The court held that the covenant had been abandoned because the evidence revealed substantial and general noncompliance. The court noted that in order to fully comply, each resident would be required to cut and thin trees each year, far exceeding the cutting that was apparently contemplated by the covenant originally. Thus, the residents would be subject to a far heavier burden than they originally bargained for. Full compliance was found to be impossible to achieve and even substantial compliance would be extremely burdensome. See id. at 524.