A few blocks from my mother's summer home in Dennisport, MA is an appalling number of private areas. Not only are there private roads, private neighborhoods, but there are private beaches. Come on, this isn't a beautiful stretch of undisturbed South Pacific paradise. This is the south side of Cape Cod where the beaches are only a dozen yards wide and there's a breakwater every hundred feet. Not exactly Tahiti.
We came home early from vacation last night due to the rain and a now reported TWELVE great white sharks hunting off our favorite surfing spots (a fun update on that hopefully tomorrow!). In the rush to come home I have unfortunately left the cord to my camera at the beach house so I can't download pictures for now. But trust me when I say there's one road with three signs all telling you it's private and so is their beach.
There's also one stretch of town beach that's only about 15 feet wide with chain link fence right down to the high tide line on either side. Signs of course are affixed to the fence declaring "PRIVATE - NO TRESPASSING."
I've never understood the private beach. I'd almost rather sit next to a different person every day then suffer the same potentially annoying neighbor every day. I mean, what if the person owning million dollar summer home next to yours is just plain obnoxious. If all the beaches were public then you have at least a few other people between you and your neighbor.
OK, so I don't have a million dollar summer home. I borrow my mother's far from million dollar summer cottage. And I usually don't even go to the beach at the end of her road because I'm offended by the chain link fence that runs from the sea wall right down to the high tide line keeping us riff-raff off the beach of the time-share next door.
In Massachusetts you are allowed to own a beach right down to the high tide line. Meaning that your everyday commoner can walk below the high tide line in front of your property. But don't expect to be treated kindly by the homeowner owning property you're walking in front of. My husband was doing just that once while on Nantucket and was chased away by the famous person (who shall remain unnamed) who owned the property. Technically my husband was obeying the law.
If you own property like this and allow us commoners to use it then thank you. If not then shame on you for hoarding all the beautiful views. I hope someday I can afford a stretch of private beach so I can deed it to the public. Like Mr. Crane did up in our hometown of Ipswich, MA when he left one of the east coast's most beautiful stretches of sand (to the right) to the town and the Trustees of Reservations. Thank you Mr. Crane! Now everyone can enjoy your beautiful view.
15 hours ago