Spur Industries, Inc. v. Del E. Webb Development Co.
494 P.2d 700 (1972)

  • Spur Industries ran a cattle feedlot that was originally way out in a rural area.
    • Spur started operations in 1956, but people had been raising cattle in the area since at least 1911.
  • Over time, nearby cities grew and people started moving closed and closer to the feedlot. In 1959, the Sun City housing development was built by Webb.
  • Webb sued Spur because the smell from the feedlots was a nuisance to the residents of the houses he built.
  • The Trial Court found for Webb.
    • The Trial Court found that Spur’s operation was an enjoinable public nuisance.
      • Btw, “enjoin” is the verb form of an injunction. The Court was saying that an injunction could be granted to stop Spur from using the feedlot.
  • The Appellate Court affirmed in part and reversed in part.
    • In general, the courts have held that if you enter an area reserved for industrial or agricultural use and are damaged by a nuisance, you can’t get relief due to the doctrine of coming to the nuisance.
      • Webb could not get relief based on Spur being a private nuisance.
    • However, the courts have also held that Spur is required to move not because of any wrongdoing on the part of Spur, but because of a proper and legitimate regard for the courts for the rights and the interest of the public.
      • Basically, Sun City could get relief on the basis of Spur being a public nuisance.
    • However, since Webb brought the city to Spur, Webb is responsible for the nuisance. Therefore, since Webb caused the foreseeable detriment of Spur, Webb must pay a reasonable amount of the costs of relocating Spur’s business.
  • Basically, in this case, the Court is saying that if you put yourself in the way of a legal business and are nuisanced by it, then you can get an injunction to make the business move, but you will have to pay the costs incurred by the business!
  • This case also explains the difference between a private nuisance that annoys a particular landowner, and a public nuisance that annoys the general public at large. There are different standards for relief depending on which nuisance you are causing.
    • Spur was both a private and a public nuisance.