On May 12, 2015, the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture held a hearing on H.753, a bill that would transfer private land to the Commonwealth, reversing centuries of settled property right law and costing the state and local communities untold millions of dollars.
This bill has been filed several times before in the Massachusetts Legislature (previously as Bill H.254 and Bill H.804). After reviewing the enormous consequences for the Commonwealth, lawmakers have failed to pass the measure.
The bill would transfer private barrier beach property that due to storms or erosion has shifted onto the bottom of the Great Ponds (any pond or lake of more than 10 acres) to public ownership.
While at first glance the bill may appear to have a public benefit – create new public beaches – in fact nearly all these barrier beaches are not accessible, and therefore there would be no real benefit to the public.
The public’s only role in this would be to reimburse private landowners for the land takings – an unimaginable expense for a state grappling with budget constraints.
We invite you to learn more about the Great Ponds land taking bill and join our campaign to halt this disastrous legislation.
For more information, call 617-523-0038. Click here to join our email list.