KENNEBUNKPORT – I am one of more than 160 property owners on Goose Rocks Beach who will be intervening in the lawsuit filed by beachfront owners against this community.

Because there is so much misinformation regarding this litigation, I thought it would be important to explain my reasons for intervening.

Goose Rocks Beach has been a haven to my family for many years.

It is a wonderful setting, where folks are likely to have known each other for decades, where courtesy and camaraderie are a way of life, and where all are invited to share in the beauty of the Maine coast appropriately.

My use of Goose Rocks Beach has spanned decades, which is not as long as some of my more seasoned fellow intervenors.

I have walked the beach from the Batson River to the Little River, collected seashells, fished, clammed, sunbathed, swam, worked as a lifeguard, picnicked, read books and enjoyed the company of family, friends and neighbors.

There has been little, if any, inappropriate activity on the beach, and there is no doubt that our local police force would support us if there was activity outside the bounds of the law or decency.

I was saddened to see a small percentage of the beachfront owners sue the town to claim sole ownership of this beach. It was my hope that the plaintiffs and the town could reach a resolution, and while that has not been the case to date, I still hope that cooler heads can prevail and a resolution can be achieved.

However, as I learned more about what the beachfront owners were suing the town for, I realized that the very activities that attracted my family, and numerous others, to Goose Rocks Beach were threatened by the litigation.

Make no mistake about it, the very nature of the beachfront owners’ complaint is that they are seeking to establish that the land in front of their homes, down to the low tide line, is their property, and anyone who is on that property without their permission is trespassing. This is the essence of the claim.

I have heard some of the less strident plaintiffs say that this was not their intent at all.

Regardless, it would be the result of their filing if it is successful. I have also heard some of the more strident plaintiffs opine that they would freely grant permission to my fellow longtime residents of Goose Rocks Beach to engage in recreational activities in front of their properties.

The very essence of this permission, however, is that it can be granted, and thus revoked, at any time.

Families who have raised children on these shores, who’ve been married on these shores, who have in some cases been walking these shores for 80 years, would need to seek permission from all owners to engage in these innocuous activities, and would be at the whim of the beachfront owner.

This is not right. This is why I had no choice but to intervene in a distasteful process.

I would like to think that my neighbors who brought this lawsuit against the town did not think of the collateral damage that their lawsuit would bring.

I would also like to think that when they are made aware that more than 160 of their neighboring property owners have intervened in this lawsuit to oppose their actions, they would reconsider this.

Maine has thousands of miles of coastline. It is meant to be shared by all, in appropriate ways.

Were this an area overrun with trash, traffic and tomfoolery, perhaps some argument could be made that more stringent action is needed on the part of the town or the residents to control behavior on Goose Rocks Beach.

That is not the case, but even if it were, cutting off access to everyone is not the answer. It is a decidedly divisive action that has changed this close-knit community.

I hope we can resolve this matter and become a community again.

I hope the actions of a distinct minority don’t define our community. I hope to never be involved in a litigation like this again.


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