Maine's High Court To Hear Appeal In 10-Year-Long Fight Over Access To Southern Maine Beach

May 14, 2019

A ten-year-long fight over access to Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport returns to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court Wednesday.

Kennebunkport won a lower court ruling that found the town does hold title to the beach.  Attorney Dave Kallin says it's the result of deed language that pre-dates the development of homes along the beachfront. 

"The trial court below found that, in this case, for the majority of this two-mile stretch of beach, for all the properties except for one parcel down on the far eastern end, that the town of Kennebunnkport has retained ownership to the sand ownership of the beach."

That claim is based on the wording of deeds that pre-dated the sub-division of the beach.  But attorney Sidney Thaxter, who represents the beachfront homeowners, says the lower court erred in not recognizing the language in newer deeds as being valid.

In an earlier stage of the case, the town tried to argue that longtime public use of the beach earned it ownership rights.   The Supreme Court rejected that argument.