Letter from Drew Mulhare of 9/5/2011 describing status of efforts of +4 houses to be included in breakwater project
Dear Neighbors: 9.5.2011
The agenda for the first annual meeting of our neighborhood homeowners association, held last Saturday, included an update on the proposed off-shore breakwater project. I gave a brief history of the discussions and plans of our neighbors to the south, the Bavon Beach Homeowners Association, to protect their beach front with breakwaters and sand in a cooperative effort with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and The Nature Conservancy. The plans should be presented to the Mathews County Wetland Board in October. This hearing will be open to the public. I also updated the effort by the four Chesapeake Shores property owners (Brickers, Millners, Martins, Mulhares) (Plus Four) to be included in the Bavon breakwater project and displayed the conceptual plans.
USFWS told the Plus Four that we should acquire title to Mean Low Water (MLW) for the regulatory permits necessary for the breakwaters and sand. Accordingly, the four owners recorded a plat approved by Mathews County to extend our rear property lines to MLW by means of four new parcels. The plat of the four new parcels includes an easement to protect the rights of all property owners in Chesapeake Shores. The wording on the new plat states, “Reserved Pedestrian Easement for Property Owners of Chesapeake Shores Subdivision”. This language replaces the note on the 1955 Plat for the same area, which stated “Reserved for Property Owners in Subdivision”. Our intent was three fold: a. An easement is a recognized legal right benefitting the owners in Chesapeake Shores. b. The previous language is vague and raises the question, ‘reserved for what?’ It has been suggested by one neighbor that the meaning should be unlimited and unrestricted. However, the neighborhood practice, in this area between the private property and the water, has simply been reasonable enjoyment to walk the beach, launch small boats, and relax with appropriate accessories, such as chairs and shades. c. We have been told by USFWS that the breakwater permit will be conditional on a restriction against motorized vehicles. This restriction can only apply to the breakwater project area of Bavon and the Plus Four. USFWS considers motorized vehicles a hazard to the beetle habitant along the beach and dunes. I believe most of us would consider a motorized vehicle traversing the beach a nuisance anyway.
During the discussion at the annual meeting, it was suggested that the easement language refer to ‘pedestrian access and use’. This suggestion seemed to be generally accepted by those in attendance. The Plus Four have no objection to this suggestion. The Plus Four will incorporate this suggestion in the deed process, as a condition of such a deed to the four parcels being approved by the court. Additionally, we considered it appropriate to add “their guests and invitees” to the easement for the property owners to further assure our neighbors that our intent is inclusive. As I said at the meeting, our only goal is to qualify for the breakwaters.
I thank the newly elected Board of Directors for their time, interests, and talents in serving our neighborhood. I also thank those in attendance at the meeting and many of those that could not attend for their support of our efforts to protect our homes and beach front. I appreciated the opportunity to dispel rumors and assertions that the Plus Four was attempting anything deceitful or subversive such as the purported land grab or burdening of our neighbors. I will be pleased to answer any questions. My telephone number is 757-503-5995 and email is email@example.com. Of course, I welcome you to our home at 42 Chesapeake Shore Road.
Drew R. Mulhare