Maine court: Landowners can deny access to Kennebunkport beach

AUGUSTA (AP) — Maine's highest court has ruled that the public does not have the right to access some parts of a Kennebunkport beach, a decision the town's lawyer says could affect public access disputes across the state.

The Supreme Judicial Court's ruling Tuesday said property owners along Goose Rocks Beach have a say over who gets to use the beach to the low-water mark.

The decision overturned a lower court ruling.

A town attorney told the Portland Press Herald ( ) the decision means "it is impossible to establish a public prescriptive easement" on any Maine beach.

A lawyer for the 29 plaintiffs said beach access won't be cut off entirely. He says the beach in front of his clients' homes will probably remain open to the public provided it's used in a reasonable way.

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This is a very dangerous

This is a very dangerous precedent and will prevent Maine citizens from enjoying their coastline and beaches restricting the use of these natural assets to wealthy individuals who own the property adjacent to the beach area. Common law has held for ages that beaches are the property of the State and its citizens; moneyed individuals should not be able to take this away from the public through legal shenanigans.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Absolutely correct. Laws like

Absolutely correct. Laws like this should turn public beaches like Old Orchard into real circuses.


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