OLD LYME, Conn. (WTNH) – There’s a question over a fence that goes between a public beach and a private beach in Old Lyme.
Sound View Beach is a public beach and on the other side of a fence is a private beach, the Miami Beach Association. Some say the fence that is up should have never been put there.
The developer who deeded the beach property to the “unorganized general public” in the 1880s did so with the promise of “free and unimpeded use and enjoyment” of the beach.
A section of Miami Beach sits in front of private homes, which are part of the Miami Beach Association, and the owners say some people are not respectful when they use the beach. That’s why there was a fence put up and a clean beach fee was charged.
A lawsuit filed by a Sound View resident, Kathleen Tracy, was successful and the association was ordered to take down the fence and stop charging fees. The association appealed the lawsuit and a three-judge panel ruled against the appeal.
“They leave their dirty diapers,” said Paul Glantz, South View Beach resident. “They sneak beer on, they sneak alcohol.”
“We as Miami Beach owners pay for the upkeep of the beach,” said Lou Vassallo.
There are other private beaches in Old Lyme that don’t have the same type of deed. So, public access is limited to the high-water mark, but for the Miami Beach Association, that public access may extend up to their private property.