Let’s talk about light. We often take for granted our historically unobstructed access to it. However, New York City is quickly becoming a proving ground for just how expansive (or as it may be limited) this right is in America. As buildings continue to increase in height, they inevitably cast longer and longer shadows. In some parts of the world, these shadows can leave thousands of people literally in the dark. In the United States, many are surprised to learn that there is no law protecting a land owner’s right to air or light. A 1959 legal battle between hotel owner’s in Florida led a Judge to conclude that there is no “legal right to air or sunlight.” New York City has adopted an approach to this issue called “Air rights”. In practice, what this means is that essentially property rights extend a plot of land both up and down infinitely. This legal concept dates back to Roman times where it meant For whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to Heaven and down to Hell. With technological breakthroughs allowing for taller and taller structures, this rather interesting area of the law is destined to lead to some very interesting and tense legal exchanges in the future.
Read the entire story from Gizmodo here.
Dennis E. Sawan is an Ohio Personal Injury and Consumer Protection Attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio. If you would like to speak further about your specific legal matter, call The Law Office of Dennis E. Sawan today at 567-343-5662 to schedule a free consultation.