A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the town of Cumberland that sought to halt its construction of a parking lot and road to support public beach access on coastal land the town had recently acquired.

The lawsuit, filed by the heirs of the Payson property, sought to enforce a conservation easement enacted in 1997 and held by the Cumberland and Chebeague Land Trust.

Cumberland Town Manager William Shane said the court’s opinion will likely deter future lawsuits over the property.

“While appeals are always possible, I’m not certain how productive they would be in light of this detailed opinion,” Shane said in a written statement.

The public portion of the property could be open as early as this summer, he said.

After the Payson heirs sold 104 acres of the undeveloped land to a developer, 179 Foreside LLC, the town quickly signed a deal with the new owners for 25 acres, including a right of way, 9 acres next to Foreside Road, and about 14 acres of prime beachfront property.

The developer has already begun constructing a subdivision on its 75-acre portion, a project that received all land trust and town approvals.

The town, meanwhile, made plans to clear an area for a 60-space parking lot off Foreside Road, which would allow people to park and walk a short distance to enjoy a half-mile of beachfront access and a 220-foot-long pier.

Voters approved $3 million for the project, the town’s first municipally owned beach access.

The Payson heirs argued in a complaint filed at the Cumberland County Courthouse that the town’s plans violated the conservation easement and said the land trust was unwilling to enforce the terms.

In their arguments before the court, the Payson heirs argued that they possess a special interest in the property, even though they no longer own it.

The town sought to have the case dismissed.

In a 10-page decision signed Tuesday, Justice Nancy Mills found that the Payson heirs had no standing to bring their claim, and that because there was not yet construction of the town facility and no injury had yet occurred, the case was not “ripe” for review.

Although the Payson heirs once owned the property, they are not named as interested third parties in the conservation easement, a requirement for a nonowner of a property to compel compliance with the agreement.

Comments are not available on this story.