News Feature

Brooklin
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, August 21, 2014
Brooklin property bequeathed to MCHT
Harriman Point property includes two miles of shoreline

by Anne Berleant

On August 17, Maine Coast Heritage Trust announced a bequest of just under two miles of shoreline and 138 acres on Harriman Point by Susan Drew, who died in February of this year.

The transfer of title is expected to take place in December 2014 or early 2015. Until then, the land will remain private and closed to public use.

“This is an amazing place for the community,” said Ciona Ulbrich, Senior Project Manager for MCHT, in a recent telephone call. “We just don’t own it yet.”

“For a number of reasons, it is very important that people other than the caretaker and permitted MCHT staff not use or visit the land while it is in the estate process, even if people did have permission from Sue Drew during her lifetime,” noted T. Heyward Carter, co-trustee of the estate, in a press release issued by MCHT. “We ask people in the community and visitors to please respect this process.” Signs making clear that the property is private have been posted at the property entrance.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust will work to raise $225,000 in stewardship funds to manage the property over the next year, said Ulbrich. “Up front costs” include trail clearing, parking and a management plan; ongoing stewardship includes staff time, insurance, road maintenance fees and annual payment to the town in lieu of taxes.

The property is valued at $1,114,600, with taxes assessed at $7,356 in 2013. MCHT will apply for a lower assessment based on current use, said Ulbrich. “Town selectmen are aware of this.”

Once the title is transferred to MCHT, public meetings will be held with neighbors and other stakeholders for input on a long-term management plan.

“We are currently talking with neighbors and with the town government to figure out future safe parking options,” Ulbrich stated in the press release. “We want to minimize impact on the roadway in and on neighbors.”

Ulbrich stressed that until MCHT owns the land, it is not open to the public.

“[The transfer] could still not happen,” she said.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust is a statewide land conservation organization committed to protecting the character of Maine. Since 1970, Maine Coast Heritage Trust has permanently protected more than 142,000 acres in Maine, from the Isles of Shoals to Cobscook Bay, including more than 300 entire coastal islands. A membership and nonprofit organization, the trust counts on the ongoing support from members and people who love the coast of Maine. For more information, visit mcht.org.