Six years ago, a lawsuit was filed by one-third of the shorefront property owners at Goose Rocks Beach with the intent of affirming ownership of the beach. Over $2 million in collective legal fees later, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court has now sent the issue of ownership – and the issue of beach use – back to the Superior Court for further findings and determinations.

More than two years ago, nearly 60 percent of the Goose Rocks shorefront owners, over half of the off-beach property owners and the town of Kennebunkport entered into a use agreement.

The issues regarding beach ownership and beach use were agreed to, along with a process to oversee beach use. Minimal legal fees were incurred. Goose Rocks Beach continues to be well managed and used responsibly by nearly all beach visitors.

In this season of “happy holidays,” perhaps the decision of the state supreme court should be viewed as a gift to all those involved in this contentious matter. In essence, there is a “time-out” for all parties to rethink their strategies before resuming battles in the courtroom. A peaceful settlement between the plaintiffs and the town would be a timely gift to us all.

Bob Sherman