Letter: Rights of residents to rights-of-way
To the editor of THE EAGLE:
In regards to the June 20 letter "Abide by law on rights-of-way," the writer does not seem to understand the issues regarding the use of the rights-of-way on Pontoosuc Lake, specifically the ones on the west side of the lake (Narragansett Avenue).
The people of the Wilbur’s subdivision do indeed have deeded rights, and the deeds of the lakefront people do not include the 10 foot strips of land that run to the lake. No one denies that the residents of the subdivision have the right to use those ROWs for swimming, fishing and accessing the lake, since the ROWs are property of the subdivision, and not public, Ms. Carron is wrong in thinking that they can be "closed off" from use. If Ms Carron is distressed that people use these right-of-ways and infringe on her privacy, perhaps she shouldn’t have purchased a home on a right-of-way.
The primary disagreement is over whether the residents who have access to the ROWs on Narragansett Avenue must obtain permission from the abutters in order to put in a dock. Apparently, a law in Massachusetts that was enacted in 1979 (not centuries ago, as Ms Carron states) deemed the abutters guardianship of these ROWs, primarily because no land cannot be unassigned an owner. One question that has been asked is, if a piece of property is not deeded to the lakefront abutters, then how can the town or state assign ownership to them?
A group of concerned residents has enlisted the help of a lawyer to answer this question, among others.