My question involves real estate located in the State of: Maine
I am a Land Surveyor working in Maine, and was unsure which forum to post this question in. Anyway, here goes:
Our client wishes to build a pier on his waterfront property. In order to obtain a permit, the Town requires the riparian lines be shown on the plan. The problem is, the clients deed calls "to the shore of the river, thence along the shore, etc."
Here in Maine, we interpret "to the shore" to mean to the high water mark. There is no mention in the face deed, or in the chain back to 1840, of shore and flats rights. In the description of the property from 1816, the description reads: "thence south nine degrees west four rods to the shore of said Cove, thence easterly, southerly, & westerly as the shore of said Cove lieth to the bounds first mentioned, to contain forty acres more or less, within the bounds aforesaid, with the appurtenances thereof."
Perhaps I'm trouncing over lawyers terrain here, but does the underlined language infer the intent to grant shores and flats? I've seen that language plenty of times tied to shore and flats rights, as well as a myriad of other access and usage rights. It feels like a stretch, which is why I'm asking people here what they think of it.
We have not yet gone to the Mass State Archives, but this would be the next step to try to find who actually owns the shores and flats. If no mention in the chain is ever made of the shores and flats, who then owns them?
This is mostly an academic question, as the Town doesn't actually care who owns the flats. They will still grant a permit to build a pier, as long as they can see the lines on the plan. So we've come up with a workaround. The parcel to the north specifies it's riparian line as the same direction as it's upland bound. We are showing that riparian line based on that description. The parcel to the south does not specify a direction, but does include shores and flats in the description. So for the south parcel, we will have to employ the colonial method to ascertain that riparian line.
Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for your response.