, Salem, MA

August 26, 2013

Letter: No need for barrier at beach

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Regarding your front-page story (”Rope draws line at Beverly’s Brackenbury Beach,” Aug. 20) on landowners’ concerns about liability if they allow people onto the beaches and rocks in front of their coastal homes: Massachusetts laws specifically exempt from liability anyone who allows public access to private property without a charge. The commonwealth, as a matter of public policy, thus encourages landowners to permit public access for recreation by taking away the liability that might otherwise apply. There is no need to install a rope barrier or hire a security guard to shield oneself from liability when the commonwealth has already done so by statute.

John Godfrey