After a debate that began more than an hour ago, voters at the Harpswell Town Meeting have approved an amendment to the Cedar Beach easement warrant article.
The amendment removes three conditions that would have required the town to receive additional easements and releases of restrictions before accepting an easement deed on a parcel of land, owned by Jonathan and Rachel Aspatore, that connects the privately owned Cedar Beach Road to Cedar Beach, which had been enjoyed by generations of families before road access was closed by its owner in September 2011.
If the easement deed is accepted, the town would be obligated to enforce 16 terms and conditions, some of which will have financial implications, including paying for a beach monitor and extra parking on Robinhood Road, a public road perpendicular to Cedar Beach Road. Another implication includes a dispute resolution clause that could force the town to pay the Aspatores up to $10,000 if an arbitrator finds the town has repeatedly failed to uphold its obligations.
Town Meeting is now taking up debate on the actual warrant article.
Here is the amendment:
My name is Michael Bourret and I reside at Oceanside, Bailey Island. As a resident of Harpswell, I hereby make a motion to amend Town Warrant Article 72 to delete conditions (a) through (c) so that Article 72 would read as follows:“To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to accept delivery of a public access easement deed, in the same form as shown on Attachment A, and agreeing that the Town would be subject to the various affirmative obligations set forth therein.”
The full text of the Cedar Beach easement warrant article, which includes the three conditions that are now removed, and also includes the 16 terms and conditions: