In this case, the plaintiff, who was a owner of several outside music venues in the Dallas,Texas area, signed a eight year lease with the defendant for a 5 acre premise which included a restaurant.  Upon signing the lease the plaintiff, built a large performance stage for outside music performances. The venue opening received a significant amount of press and the revenues exceeded its’ initial earnings projections.
After four months of operation, the City informed the owners that the premise was not zoned for the music venue and would need to be rezoned.  The landowner initially agreed to assist the plaintiff in the obtaining the necessary permits and the rezoning application. The plaintiff undertook the necessary steps, such as building more parking, improving traffic flow, and improving water drainage around the premise to obtain the necessary permits and to have the property rezoned.
The final stage of the re-zoning required a property easement, or a right-a-way agreement, by the landowner to the City.  At the final stage, the landlord reversed course and stated that they would not grant the easement to the City and ultimately could not support the rezoning efforts.  The plaintiff ultimately were not able to offer live music at the facility.  After several months of non-payment of rent in protest of the alleged contract breach by the landowner, a local court allowed the plaintiff to be evicted from the premise and the music venue closed.
Legal Issues
In this case the plaintiff is suing their landlord for breach of contract.  The plaintiff alleges that the defendant landlord misrepresented the terms of the contract, specifically regarding how the property that they were leasing could be used.  At the heart of the issue, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant represented that they would be able to operate a live music venue restaurant from the location.  The plaintiff alleges that the defendant’s failure to support the permitting and rezoning efforts constituted a breach of contract.
See the next post for an analysis of the business damages…