News Feature

Originally published in The Weekly Packet, July 19, 2018
Town, landowner seek to resolve South Wharf Rd. parking issues

by Anne Berleant

A public boat launch site on South Wharf Road could be widened to provide adequate turnaround space in exchange for shifting a town boundary line if negotiations between the town and property owner Dick Gregor are successful.

Both are in discussions over an offer by Gregor to give the town a 150’x30’ area. In turn, the town would shift a boundary line to allow overnight parking space on Gregor’s property. Gregor rents a boathouse abutting the road to seasonal visitors.

The resolution, if approved by voters, could bring to an end the ongoing conflict on and over South Wharf Road.

The town established through a survey this month that the town owns the road based on a 1788 deed, but the road’s three-rod, or 49.5-foot boundary line, is “very close” to Gregor’s property, Selectman John Gray said.

The launch is mainly used by recreational boaters although some commercial lobstermen choose to use it over the town landing in Betsy Cove.

“You practically have to drown your vehicle in order to get your boat off the trailer,” Gregor said.

The conflicts have risen from Gregor’s renters parking in the two public spaces.

“Whoever gets there first, gets the parking,” Gregor said.

A recent confrontation led to law enforcement being called and Gregor filing for a restraining order against a Brooksville resident after he allegedly threatened two of Gregor’s boathouse renters.

“They were fearful enough of physical danger for them to leave,” said Gregor.

Conditions for the property transfer and boundary line shift include no structures being built (although a kayak stand and picnic table appears agreeable) and no overnight parking on town land.

Both sides see the negotiations as moving forward.

“I think there’s good will on both sides,” Gregor said, noting that his family has been “part of this town and property for generations.”

Gray said, “We’re trying to keep the unsettledness to a dull roar. I think we got a pretty good chance of getting settled and making it good for everyone.”