Friday, September 23, 2005

A Victory for Public Access in Old Saybrook

Connecticut courts have again ruled that public land is in fact public and that people ought to be able to use it to reach the publicly-owned waters of Long Island Sound. This case pertains to nine small pieces of land, adding up to less than an acre, at the ends of roads at Cornfield Point, a 1930s-era subdivision in Old Saybrook. At the time they were deeded to the town. Over the years some homeowners apparently decided that they would prefer it if the land was theirs. The Hartford Courant called it a "land grab":

In recent years, First Selectman Michael Pace has led officials in a bid to reclaim these endings for use as small public parks. Neighbors and their neighborhood association opposed the plan, and sought to justify their land grab in court.

But a Superior Court judge said the town's land is in fact the town's, and Old Saybrook can open the parcels up to the public.

It's a good victory. Everyone knows that when it comes to the Sound, in many places you can't get there from here. The road-endings are not going to attract thousands. But even if they attract only a couple of dozen people from surrounding neighborhoods, it will be a good thing for the Sound.


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