Let me offer some perspective after your March 23 article about “Secret Beach.” At the center of this long-running dispute is a legal agreement which was entered into between The Broad Cove Shore Association and Paul Woods for the use of a walkway over his land, which accesses the beach. The agreement allows residents of Broad Cove to use the walkway and beach for a fee and includes many restrictions relating to permitted activities and times of use. Owners of homes in the Jordan Farms section of Broad Cove (the J Lot owners, as distinguished from everyone else in Broad Cove) claimed that they have deeded rights of easement over Woods’ land to access the beach and that therefore, they are not subject to the conditions of use and the restrictions thereon set forth in the agreement with the BCSA. The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine affirmed that position. The J Lot owners and guests may use the easement and beach anytime, without fee, and without restrictions.
The court also ruled that Woods does not have legal title to the beach or shore in front of his home and therefore cannot restrict recreation to “fishing, fowling and navigating,” as he claimed. Issues which remain for the courts involve balancing the use of the walkway and beach by residents and the security of the Woods property.
Thomas R. McNaboe, J Lot owners lead counsel