With wise forethought in 1911, developers in the Shore Acres neighborhood set aside a narrow strip of oceanfront, 50 to 200 feet wide, as a common area for residents to walk, drive and enjoy.

We have recreated peacefully for many years on Surfside Avenue, Atlantic Place and the wild shorefront paper street in between. Let us be careful to come down on the right side of saving our right of way for all to enjoy, while only the seven abutters (who have received a 5 percent discount yearly on their property taxes and have never owned this land) will benefit if they are able to privatize it.

Shore access in the Two Lights area involves another threatened paper street, Lighthouse Point Road. On July 10, the Cape Elizabeth Town Council voted 4-3, without a prior public workshop on the topic, to begin the process of vacating the three above-mentioned paper streets. Why would such a controversial topic be brought up without a public workshop at this time of year while so many residents are on vacation? It seems very questionable to us.

Legally, our deeded rights to use these paper streets exist no matter who owns the underlying land. If a paper street is vacated, the town and all those without deeded rights lose their rights to be there. They would have to go to court to try to regain their rights.

If you care about maintaining shore access for your property now and in the future, please attend the Aug. 14 Town Council meeting. Every person matters.

Betsy and Jerry French

Cape Elizabeth