Harpswell hopes to clarify property line at Hildreth Road landing

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HARPSWELL — In light of continuing access disputes at Hildreth Road Landing, the town is proposing to clarify the boundary between the public and private sections of a beach on Harpswell Sound.

Margaret McMahon Hickey owns part of a gravelly beach shared by the town, and has objected to shellfish harvesters and boaters who park their trucks on her property.

Many of those who use the landing had also complained to town staff that McMahon is preventing public access to the water.

Town Administrator Kristi Eiane and Deputy Town Administrator Terri Sawyer met with McMahon at her property on July 1 to discuss possible solutions.

In a letter to McMahon following the meeting, they proposed that the town have a series of boulders placed at six-foot intervals along the property line all the way to the water to prevent vehicles from crossing onto McMahon’s property.

They also proposed filling in a pothole at the bottom of Gravel Pit Road, improving the small parking area higher up on the road, and installing better signs indicating where parking is allowed and prohibited.

Eiane said she believes the town’s portion of the gravel beach is still big enough for vehicles to access the water, even with the line of boulders in place.

“It probably won’t be as useful without (McMahon’s property) included, but I do believe it will still be useful,” she said.

The town owns a wide right-of-way along Hildreth Road, and Eiane said she encouraged people to park their vehicles there.

In an email, McMahon said on Wednesday that she would only comment after speaking with her attorney.

Town staff are still waiting to hear back from McMahon with regards to the proposal.

Emily Guerin can be reached at 781-3661 ext.123 or eguerin@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @guerinemily.

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