Masons block access to neighbor's parking lot

By Stephen Betts | Oct 09, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts The Rockland Masons placed concrete barriers behind its Main Street building, blocking vehicle access to a parking lot owned by a neighboring property owner.

Rockland — The Rockland Masons have blocked off access to a parking lot that has been used for generations by neighboring businesses.

The Masons, who own the Rockland Masonic Temple at 456 Main St., had concrete barriers placed in July along the property line in back of its building. The barriers block vehicle access to a one fifth-acre parking lot owned since 2004 by Ellen Barnes.

The lot had been used by neighboring businesses and guests of the Captain Lindsey House Inn on Lindsey Street.

Innkeeper Gary Scholefield of the Captain Lindsey House said the action by the Masons has had a significant impact on his business, as well as neighboring businesses that had long used the lot.

City Manager Tom Luttrell said he tried to mediate an agreement between the Masons and the neighboring businesses, but was unsuccessful.

The lot could hold at least a dozen vehicles.

Mason Colin Grierson of South Thomaston said the barriers were placed there on the advice of the Masons’ attorney. He said the action was not taken out of spite toward neighbors.

There is a passageway that has been used for generations leading from Lindsey Street and going in back of the Masonic Temple. That land, however, is not a public right-of-way, but is owned by the Masonic Temple, Grierson said.

The Masons had the property surveyed this year and he said the group's attorney recommended that the organization "secure" its property lines. The Masons followed that advice, he said.

Scholefield said he spoke with another Mason who refused to discuss the issue and would not consider offers for the inn to make payments to allow access to the lot.

Grierson said the Masons want to limit public access to the back, where graffiti has been sprayed on the back of the building. In addition, he said, people hang out in back and use a tunnel that runs underneath the road and is used by people who "smoke weed."

He said allowing others to use the Masons property would be akin to someone parking in Barnes' driveway and then walking down to Main Street.

Scholefield said that the Masons are supposed to be a community group and that its actions were adversely affecting its neighbors. He said the Jersey barriers will also make it difficult to snowplow on adjacent properties in back of the block.

Access to the lot was also blocked on the Union Street side. Land to the Union Street side is owned by the owner of the Lindsey Street apartments. Scholefield said the former property manager had allowed the inn access to the Barnes' lot through the apartment complex's parking lot, but the owner ended that agreement when he found out about it.

The Lindsey Street apartments are owned by David McKeith of Wilson, Wyo., through 18 Lindsey Street, LLC.

Comments (7)
Posted by: Dale Hayward | Oct 10, 2019 13:36

The masons do nothing to promote the area just want control. Too many old goats running the show.


Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Oct 10, 2019 08:01

If we were living in a progressive, forward thinking community (which we are not)  someone would have developed the idea of a three story parking garage in that long empty vacant  lot behind the main street buildings owned by the Spear family and bordering Jimmy Brannans lot on Limerock next to the P.O.  You could have an entrance off Lindsey st and Limerock st and rear access to the Main street business.  However the flaw in this plan is Family's and organizations with lots of money and beliefs that want things to stay just the way they are Thank you very much.  Another idea would be to clear that tree growth boardering lindsey brook behind the Post Office and the Masons building and create a beautiful park along the brook behind Main street.  There are several apartment complexes along Union and Lindsey that would benefit from such open green space, but of course these are just the ramblings of a foolish old man.

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Oct 09, 2019 15:57

Curious, why now after all these years? Not neighborly for sure!

Posted by: Gerald A Weinand | Oct 09, 2019 15:40

Perhaps Mr. Steinberger can way in on this, but I believe that the public has established a right of way by adverse possession as provide for by Maine law (14 MSRA §812.):

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Oct 09, 2019 15:14



Posted by: Joseph Steinberger | Oct 09, 2019 14:39

Who is the attorney who gave this advice to the Masons?

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Oct 09, 2019 12:13

Not very good neighbors, after centuries of use.

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