Save Our Shores Gloucester aims to purchase Atlantic Road property


Caroline Enos

Save Our Shores Gloucester hopes to purchase this property on Atlantic Road


Save Our Shores Gloucester is making strides in its attempt to protect the Back Shore, and hopes to buy the highly disputed Atlantic Road property owned by Cheryl Soones.

If the Purchase and Sales agreement made by architect James Harwood is not renewed by Soones, Save Our Shores Gloucester’s offer would be the first one considered for the property.

“[Our] plans for the property are to place a conservation restriction or easement on the property that will ensure that it will be open to the public and cannot be built on in perpetuity,” said Save Our Shores Gloucester head Barbara Silberman.

Soones decided to sell the property after Gloucester’s Planning Board unanimously shot down the proposal to build four homes on the site at a March 3rd meeting. Members of the Planning Board argued that building on the ocean side of Atlantic Road presented safety and health risks, especially since multi-ton boulders are occasionally thrown onto shore during storms.

“The sale price of the lot is $75,000. In order to cover closing costs, taxes, insurance, and legal fees, we need to raise $100,000.” said Silberman.

Over $31,000 of a $100,000 goal has been donated to Save Our Shores Gloucester through a GoFundMe account, and the organization is also raising money through The Gloucester Fund.

“I personally would like to donate 10 or 20 dollars myself to help save the Back Shore as it is one of the many integral places of Gloucester that makes me call this island home, and I would hate to see it be spoiled in my lifetime,” said junior Ben St. Cyr.

So far, Save Our Shores Gloucester has applied for grants to cover some of the costs, hired realtor Marilyn Hyde to review and help put in a back-up offer to purchase the property, and has investigated various land trust organizations that might accept the land as a donation and would hold a conservation restriction or easement on the property.

“No one else can buy the property as long as we meet the terms of Purchase and Sales agreement and are prepared to close on the property by the date all parties agreed to,” said Silberman. “At this time, there are no impediments to the sale.”

“In the future, Save Our Shores Gloucester would like to use the knowledge we’ve learned, and the contracts we’ve made, to work with other Gloucester residents, who may encounter similar issues in their own neighborhoods. Our mission is to fight to preserve Gloucester’s undeveloped coastline for the benefit of all forever.”