CAPE ELIZABETH — The Town Council continued to grapple Monday evening with the potential development of waterfront recreational trails in the Shore Acres subdivision and near the Lobster Shack at Two Lights.

Councilors revisited the possibility of formally vacating or accepting paper streets that appeared on approved or registered plans but haven’t been built or completed, namely Surf Side Avenue and Atlantic Place in Shore Acres and Lighthouse Point Road near the popular seafood restaurant.

Both locations are controversial because they’re in residential neighborhoods where townspeople are at odds over increasing or preserving public access to the shore and related issues such as traffic and parking.

Councilors aired varied and differing opinions during the workshop Monday night before deciding to schedule an executive session Oct. 11 with the town’s attorney to clarify their legal options. Several councilors noted that the town probably will be sued no matter what they do.

The council decided last October to extend the town’s right to accept the paper streets for an additional 20 years, but some councilors said Monday that they want to accept or vacate rather than “kick the can down the road.”

The Conservation Committee has identified Surf Side Avenue and Atlantic Place as potential trails in the town’s 2013 Greenbelt Plan, but it has no plans to install a trail there at this time. The committee hasn’t recommended that a trail be constructed at Lighthouse Point Road, but it does support the preservation of the town’s rights to the paper streets.

While councilors seemed focused on Surf Side Avenue and Atlantic Place, an ongoing petition signed by more than 600 residents so far is calling for them to “accept these paper streets,” including Lighthouse Point Road, “so they will be protected forever and for all Cape citizens to enjoy.”

Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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