A movement to revive full entry for the general public to Moody Seaside in Wells is dealing with pushback from an legal professional representing a home-owner.
The argument in that movement facilities across the intent of a 1640s legislation to guard public entry to all Maine seashores.
In 1989, a Maine Supreme Judicial Court docket ruling privatized a part of Moody Seaside based mostly on that 1647 Colonial legislation. Now, a bunch hoping to make the whole seashore public once more is utilizing that archaic legislation to attempt to overturn a part of that 1989 ruling.
Proper now, a line of seaweed separates the crowded public a part of Moody Seaside from the sparsely populated non-public a part of the seashore.
“That’s what they do to simply show that that’s their property,” beachgoer Diane Fenton-Papia stated.
Her sister, who lives in Wells, additionally weighed in.
“All people ought to have the ability to sit wherever they need. There aren’t many individuals using that stunning seashore. And that’s unlucky,” Betty Fenton-Diggins stated.
An legal professional for one of many beachfront householders on Moody Seaside, who didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark, is pushing again on arguments to revive the non-public seashore to the general public.
Legal professional Benjamin Ford took concern with the legal professional representing the Moody Seaside home-owner, who stated that is no large deal and there’s nothing to this.
“To them, it might not look like that a lot of an argument. However for the folks that reside this case and reside with the implications of these indicators, yeah, this case issues loads,” Ford stated.
He argued the identical public entry protections within the 1640s for fishing, fowling and navigation nonetheless apply at this time.
“In 1640, what they have been saying is that the water within the ocean is a important financial instrument to our society, simply as it’s at this time,” Ford stated.
Beachgoers can stroll alongside the non-public a part of Moody Seaside. They’re simply not allowed to remain there.
“I feel it’s a powerful authorized argument to say that public use at this time must be protected simply because it was within the 1640s,” Our Maine Seashores spokesperson Mark Robinson stated.
“No one performed Bocce Ball [in the 1600s]. No one had umbrellas. They used the seashore for what they used it for,” Robinson stated.
Ford additionally stated beachfront homeowners on Moody Seaside aren’t paying taxes on the seashore they declare to personal. He stated they pay the identical property taxes as beachfront homeowners on the general public Wells seashore.
“In the event that they’re claiming to personal the seashore in entrance of their homes, then they need to be paying taxes on the seashores in entrance of their homes,” Ford stated.
Deb DeMichele stated her in-laws reside throughout the road from the non-public Moody Seaside, however they aren’t allowed to entry it.
“In the event that they’re going to carry it hostage from the general public, then they need to pay for it. I feel they need to be taxed on it,” DeMichele stated.
4 months in the past, Ford filed a movement to once more enable full public entry to Moody Seaside. There was no phrase but from the courts.