SCARBOROUGH — The fate of a Pine Point Beach path still hangs in the balance after councilors did not advance a proposal that would guarantee public access in exchange for discontinuing the town’s interest in the land.

Councilors met in a workshop to discuss discontinuing Avenue 2, the beach path that runs from King Street between the properties of Charles P. Gendron and The Gables by the Sea Condominium Association. The path has historically been a public right of way, but it is uncertain who owns the land.

Although councilors decided to continue discussions, they will wait for more information about the value of the land, more time to inform residents and get input from them, and to try to determine whether most of the voting members in the condominium association are in favor of the change.

In exchange for an order of discontinuance of Avenue 2, it is proposed that both Gendron and the condo association grant the town two easements: one to protect public access to Pine Point Beach forever and a public conservation easement to restrict use by Gendron and the association, protect the landscape and provide a landscaping plan for Gendron.

The public path easement will run the entire distance from King Street to the beach and would be 10 feet wide. Gendron and the condo association would each contribute 5 feet.

Benjamin T. McCall, an attorney hired by the town, told the council the outcome hasn’t changed since the last workshop meeting May 2, although details of the easement have been amended several times.

Since the last meeting, residents from the Pine Point Neighborhood Association have hired an attorney to represent them in the matter. They are asking the town to provide signs that clearly state the path is for public beach access and that motorized vehicles are not allowed.

“These documents do not affect ownership rights in any way, shape or form,” McCall said.

At the heart of the issue is if the town doesn’t grant the discontinuance, Gendron could sue for property rights. If he wins, the town could lose public access and rack up legal bills fighting a potential lawsuit.

Gendron, who attended the workshop, has provided the town with a proposed landscaping plan that he would pay for and maintain. If he wanted to plant something other than what the plan specifies, he would have to notify the town in writing to get approval.


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