Courts may consider extrinsic evidence to interpret ambiguous easements

A Massachusetts appellate court had the difficult tasking of deciding whether a view easement prohibited all structures or only structures over eight feel high. MacLean v. Conservation Comm'n of Nantucket,(Mass. App. Ct. 2018). The easement language created a "view easement which prohibits any and all structures and/or vegetation with a height greater than eight (8’) feet from existing grade upon and over said lot." The court held that " the absence of a comma after the word 'structures' combined with the use of the term 'and/or' makes it unclear whether the eight-foot height restriction applies only to vegetation or to structures as well." Id.at 3. That ambiguity made the meaning of the language a question of fact to be determined by the trial court on remand.