MALSCE Opposes H 804

I am writing to you as President of the Massachusetts Association of Land Surveyors and Civil Engineers (MALSCE).  We are a professional society representing professional land surveyors throughout Massachusetts.  As land surveyors, we are responsible for determining property boundaries of private and public owners state-wide.  We are the ones who will be directly affected by the proposed law.

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Max Lifton
Testimony of the Great Ponds Coalition on House Bill 804: Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture

The Great Ponds Coalition was formed in 2011 by more than 100 Massachusetts property owners to raise objections to H.804 (formerly H.254), an ill-considered measure that would transfer private land to the public, reversing centuries of settled property law and potentially costing the state and local communities hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Max Lifton
Opinion: Erosion Does Not Erode Ownership

House bill 254 is not constitutional and if up held would set a dangerous precedent, potentially affecting all waterfront landowners.

The bill, recently voted out of the committee on natural resources, seeks to create public ownership of accreted land following the landward or lateral movement of barrier beaches by natural processes. It is purported to be a simple codification of settled law and applicable only to a few properties with a barrier beach between the ocean and a Great Pond. In fact, it is not about settled law, but rather an attempt to reverse what has been the law since colonial times.

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Max Lifton
Private landowners object to proposed barrier beach legislation

In the midst of this hot summer weather, few Cape Codders can be expected to remember last December's 13-inch snowstorm and 10-foot high tides driven by gale force winds that battered coastal properties, and forced evacuations away from dangerous flooding.

But longer-term concerns remain. The Cape has 568 miles of tidal shoreline, all of it vulnerable to those storms, rises in sea level and flooding.

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Max Lifton