Letter: Scarborough faces legal, moral, ethical decision

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I urge the citizens of Scarborough to contact their town councilors and tell them to hold firm on retaining the public’s rights to fully use Avenue 2 Extension, as it extends from King Street to Pine Point Beach. Avenue 2 Extension is a 50-foot wide strip of land that is depicted on a recorded subdivision plan dated 1888.

An adjoining property owner has made it known that he is claiming ownership of the westerly half of the extension as it abuts his property, and all of the beach land to the south.

There are some councilors who have publicly stated the desire to discontinue Avenue 2 Extension to placate the abutting property owner in exchange for a much more limited easement over the extension.

The people of Scarborough have claimed Avenue 2 Extension to the beach by right of title, use, and acceptance by the abutters. Public use by people going to the beach, unobstructed by abutting property owners, has a documented 129-year history. The abutting property owners have acquiesced to the public ownership of Avenue 2 Extension by building fences along the property lines and setting monumentation. This is not a prescriptive easement. Everyone has historically accepted public ownership of Avenue 2 Extension, until now.

This is not just a legal situation, it is a moral and ethical situation. Is the town going to yield to wealthy private interests, or is it going to protect the public’s interests?

Philip Reed