Lawsuit seeks to block Cumberland beach project


CUMBERLAND (AP) — The heirs of a Cumberland estate are waiting for the town and a land trust to respond to their lawsuit that seeks to block the creation of a public beach on the land.

Marion Payson’s heirs filed a lawsuit claiming Cumberland and Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust officials are ignoring a conservation easement that doesn’t allow public access beyond walking trails in the woods.

The Portland Press Herald has reported that a development company bought more than 100 acres of the Payson estate and then sold 25 of its waterfront acres to Cumberland. Voters opted to borrow $3 million to finance the deal in November.

Cumberland Town Manager Bill Shane says he is confident the town will win the lawsuit. The public beach would be Cumberland’s first.