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Maine Town Wants to Dismiss Court Fight Over Beach Access

By Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press

CUMBERLAND, Maine - Officials in a Maine town are asking a court to toss a lawsuit so it can create its first public beach.

Cumberland voters decided in November to borrow $3 million to pay for the beach project. A developer bought 104 acres of an estate and immediately sold 25 of the acres to the town as part of the deal.

But the estate's heirs sued the town and a local land trust, saying both are ignoring a conservation easement authored by their grandmother in the 1990s. They say the easement prevents road, parking and bathroom improvements necessitated by the beach project.

The town is filing its motion to dismiss the complaint in Cumberland County Superior Court. The suit says the heirs "cannot bring an action concerning proposed uses'' of the land.