Citing Access For Fishermen, Chatham Selectmen Vote to Take Easement

The Cape's harbors are busy this time of year. Pictured is Chatham Harbor.

Chatham Harbor.

CHATHAM – In a move selectmen say is designed to protect fishermen’s access to the fishing pier, the town of Chatham has acted to take an easement on a piece of land owned by the Chatham Bars Inn.

Fishermen have parked on the easement for decades, which the resort has allowed, but that use is not guaranteed into the future.

“[The Chatham Bars Inn] have been using [the easement] as sort of a carrot on a stick for things that they need to get done permit-wise. So we felt that we were really forced to take the easement,” said Selectman Sean Summers. “We can’t have a private company threatening us with blocking that access if we don’t give them a permit for Y or a permit for X. That just simply is unpalatable, so we felt we were forced into a corner to act.”

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Town meeting voters authorized selectmen to take the easement earlier this year.

The taking becomes official after a 21 day period; the resort could still choose to pursue legal action to try and block the taking.