Old deeds w/ restrictive covenants - Now woke
What's better, learn from history or erase it?
"....Most folks really just aren't aware this kind of language exists in their documents," said Rep. Javier Valdez, a Democrat who represents northeast Seattle and sponsored the bill, which was backed by Realtor lobbyists. "Once they become aware, they want to do something about it."
The language is painful, even if it's no longer enforceable, Smick said.
"That was a real hurtful time in our history and so I just think it should be taken off so we don't have to be reminded of it," she said....."
Well, guessing your use of a current buzzword will get this thread 86’ed, but this is clearly a discussion that’s gonna be had. As I’ve heard more about it from friends and acquaintances in the past week than all times prior out together.
And my response, when I’ve been prodded into weighing in- has been that people have no idea what the scope and implication of “erasing” all those documents mean, and that walking around and burning down every county courthouse in America would likely be a more efficient way of effectively collapsing the land title institution as we know it.
One day while researching in the Register of Deeds Office a local attorney came in to do some research of his own. I took that opportunity to mention a specific addition to the town where he lived. He smiled and said he happened to own some land there. So, I asked if he had ever read the list of covenants detailed on the official plat. As he said he had not I was already pulling out the plat. I pointed to the list of covenants, which he found fascinating. Then he laughed out loud and said, "Well, that one is totally unenforceable." Then I suggested to look near the bottom of the plat for the owners' signatures. He laughed again and said, "That's my grandfather and his brother." The list of covenants allowed more hogs and/or mules than anyone who might have had an ancestor native to a specific continent.
On the flip side of the coin, someone posted on one of the predecessor's to this current forum about certain covenants and deed restrictions in the Old South. For example, a buyer could not have the surname of Lincoln, Grant and other Yankee names. Or simply, no Yankees, period.
I know of a lot in a nearby town that sold in the 1890's with the deed restriction that no intoxicating liquors or medicinal drugs would ever be sold on that lot. I told this to a fellow who I knew had lived there at one time. He assured me he had never sold any on that property, but much had been consumed.
I've read the restrictive covenants of one plat that excluded everyone except "..Baptists in good standing with the church". Specific racial color was also a requirement.
From a 1920's plat: "..no structure costing less than $4000 shall be erected.." Nowadays that wouldn't cover the permits and connection fees.
"One cannot judge how far they've traveled without knowing from where they started." - Lao Tzu
Why fix something once when you can fix it again for even more money. 🙄