[Sust-mar] Sperry's Beach Update- March '07

Tom Daly tom_d at chebucto.ns.ca
Mon Mar 19 20:36:35 EDT 2007

To refresh some recent history:
At Sperry's Beach, we are dealing with four separate pieces of property:

Parcel 1-
the 66-foot-wide strip of Crown land, formerly the Old Drew's Hill Road 
and 1812 coastal highway to Broad Cove; starting at the end of the 
pavement and extending to approximately the locked gate near the 
beginning of the seaward barbed-wire fence

Parcel 2-
the 66-foot-wide strip of Crown land, formerly the Old Drew's Hill Road 
and 1812 coastal highway to Broad Cove. adjacent to the Himmelman farm 
property from the end of Parcel 1 to the end of the road down past the 

Parcel 3-
the sand spit, swimming areas etc, currently fenced by the Himmelman family

Parcel 4-
Sperry's Beach itself, currently partially buried under armour rock 
infill deposited on it in December 1996 and May 2004, currently fenced 
by the Himmelman family

Since late 1997, NS Natural Resources has been attempting to trade 
Parcel 2 (the road) to the Himmelman family- in exchange for Parcel 3 
(the sandspit): based on the assumption by the Province that the 
Himmelman family holds title to Parcel 3 (the sandspit) and Parcel 4- 
Sperry's Beach itself.  The community has been fighting the idea of this 
trade ever since we were made aware of its existence early in 1998: 
based on the assumption (and, more recently, rigourous searching of the 
chain of title of the area) that the Himmelman family has never held 
title to either Parcel 3 (the sandspit), or Parcel 4- Sperry's Beach itself.

It is now March 2007

For the past several years, NS Natural Resources and the Municipality of 
the District of Lunenburg have been negotiating a series of land trades: 
Provincial Crown land in exchange for Municipal properties at various 
sites across the Municipality.  One such trade would transfer title to 
both Parcels 1 and 2 (the entirety of the Old Drew's Hill Road) to the 
Municipality from the Province.  This trade came up for a vote at the 
March 13 2007 Council session.  Several members of both the Sperry's 
Beach Committee and the Board of the Friends of Crescent Beach attended.

A motion to accept the transfer of the road was moved and seconded. Our 
Councillor, Karen Dempsey, then moved an Amendment to add “that the road 
be held in the public domain in perpetuity”.  This Amendment was 
discussed extensively, and the Amendment passed by a vote of 7 to 6, 
with individual votes recorded. The original motion, as amended, was 
then passed 8 to 6, again with votes being recorded.

This means, in effect, that that the old road (Parcels 1 and 2 above) 
can no longer be traded away- congratulations to Councillor Dempsey for 
her spirited, well-thought and well-presented defence of the public 

This decision by MODL Council is a substantial step forwards to 
achieving the Vision adopted back in July of 2004:

that the Sperry's Beach area:
- remains dedicated in perpetuity for the benefit, education adn 
enjoyment of present and future generations;
- is protected as a significant, public and sensitive environmental and 
recreational resource, and an affirmation of our cultural and natural 
so as to leave it unimpaired for the benefit and enjoyment of future 

The work of the Sperry's Beach Committee continues.  Ownership of real 
property in Nova Scotia is subject to the rule of law, and the orderly 
transfer of title from grantor to grantee.  Our research has identified 
and collected every Deed, Will and Plan related to the area from the 
original 1771 Grant to the present day.  Our legal team at Stewart, 
McKelvey, Stirling & Scales was expanded last fall to include a real 
property litigation specialist who is currently developing a Court 
challenge to resolve the title to both the sand spit and Sperry's Beach. 
  We hope to have the case before the Court and a decision rendered 
before the Summer 2007 beach season arrives.

This community has been protecting the public interest in the Sperry's 
Beach area for well over twelve years, and is certainly ready to welcome 
a resolution.

PS- as usual, pass on to those you know that do or don't have email

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