About Our Location:
Hatchville, one of the villages of Falmouth, is where our neighborhood is located. It has a rich history of agriculture and dairy operations, sadly most of which are now gone. This area once included a large acreage of land called the Coonamessett Ranch, owned by the Crane family of Falmouth, which covered parts of Falmouth, Bourne, Mashpee and Sandwich.
Much of the farm is now the Joint Base in Bourne and Sandwich. Some of the lands owned by the Crane family, flanking west and south of our neighborhood, were purchased by the state and are now the Francis A. Crane Wildlife Management Area.
As the land in Ashumet Valley was developed an association was formed in 1972 to promote and enforce the rights of all property owners, and manage covenants, and improvements to any areas dedicated to community use in Ashumet Valley. In 1985 the association incorporated to become Ashumet Valley Property Owners, Inc and adopted by-laws which are in use today, and which along with the articles of incorporation, provide the formal governing structure for the benefit of all owners and tenants of properties in the community. In 1999 the existing covenants expired and were not renewed.
Our Neighborhood and Board:
The Ashumet Valley neighborhood has a mixture of year-round and seasonal residents. Like many communities on the Cape, the number of families with children ebbs and flows. Currently, we’ve seen an increase in families with kids and this is great for our community. Need evidence? Just visit our private beach in the summer or attend our annual meeting with family, food, fun and games! We are a thriving and diverse community and this keeps the AVPOI Board busy.
The Board is comprised of volunteers, elected by the Association membership, who meet regularly to discuss community issues and projects. Homeowners pay annual dues to AVPOI to fund fixed costs (such as lighting), maintenance of our common lands and private beach on Ashumet Pond, and discretionary-funded projects and activities. The residential landowners came together – around 1972 as Ashumet Valley Property Owners and then as Ashumet Valley Property Owners Inc. (AVPOI) in 1985 – in order to protect and enhance the Association’s common lands, environment, safety, and roads for the benefit of all homeowners.
Deeded vs Non-Deeded Properties:
The earliest subdivisions of AVPOI land in the mid 1960’s did not include a requirement to join and pay dues to the Ashumet Valley Property Owners’ Association (later incorporated as AVPOI). Essentially, the first 40 lots that were conveyed by the early developers made no mention of AVPOA, since it was not in existence at the time. These 40 lots are thus, not mandatory or “deeded lots“. All other lots in the neighborhood are “deeded lots“, requiring mandatory membership in AVPOI and payment of annual dues to the Association.
AVPOI, however, welcomes and encourages owners of non-deeded lots to pay dues and thus, join AVPOI, and more fully participate in Association activities, and get access to our private beach on Ashumet Pond. There are a number of such voluntary members in AVPOI.
Over the years, the Association has built a solid and positive relationship with the Town of Falmouth and this has helped us accomplish a lot. The Association has tackled a number of important issues for the betterment of our neighborhood. Here are just a few:
AVPOI History Booklet:
In 2019, and after two years of hard work by volunteers, AVPOI published and printed a History of Ashumet Valley booklet and provided a copy to all current members. This booklet captures not only the rich history and memories of our community over the years but recognizes the accomplishments and benefits AVPOI has made for all property owners over nearly 50 years.
New Members of AVPOI receive a free copy of this booklet as part of their welcome package.
We have a lot of roads in our neighborhood and it was a long and arduous process by the AVPOI Board over many years to get the Town of Falmouth to accept them as town roads for the purpose of maintenance.
From the beginning, Club Valley Drive, Fordham Road, and Fordham Circle were town roads. It took until 2014 for all the remaining roads in the neighborhood to be accepted by the Town. The Association worked diligently over decades to bring all the roads up to required specifications for acceptance by the Town, while continuing to maintain them with Association funds during the process.
There were many difficulties and setbacks encountered, including the period in the 1980’s when the state halted the Town from accepting any roads. Today, all residents enjoy the benefits of the Town maintaining the roads, including repairs, storm drains, and snow removal. Occasionally, you’ll see AVPOI Board members out there helping to keep drains clear of debris and leaves when the town workers are at capacity addressing more urgent priorities.
More recently we have played an active role in proposed improvements to the intersection at Sandwich Road and Route 151 project to ensure the safety of this junction used by members on a daily basis is considered and implemented.
Town Water and Well Contamination:
Drinking water and the Cape communities live a precarious existence with each other. The Cape gets its water from one aquifer. In our area, the early residents all extracted their water from private wells drilled into this single source. In the 1980’s it was discovered the military base had been contaminating this aquifer for decades. The Association was active in supporting pollution studies and in ongoing monitoring of the cleanup, along with advocating for bringing Town water from another source to the neighborhood.
You can find current information about the cleanup at the Joint Base Groundwater Study Program website here >>> and at the Mass National Guard special page here >>>
Ashumet Pond and Our Private Beach:
Often cited as a major benefit of Association membership is our private beach on Ashumet Pond. Volunteers do a “spring cleanup” after each winter and we’ve also added large deposits of carefully placed sand for replenishment over the years, which enhances the enjoyment of members. We’ve also installed lights to discourage unauthorized use of the facilities. The pond is tested regularly throughout the summer and the condition is posted at our beach entrance.
The ponds in our area were also victims of the base contamination; however, Ashumet Pond is safe for swimming, boating, and catch and release fishing, although there is no fishing allowed from our private beach.
The Association has installed an extra 19 street lights in the neighborhood and lights at our beach property, and pays for the electricity. The lights bring safety, help prevent accidents, and discourage unsafe situations from developing.
In addition, we recognize that vandalism and illegal activities come and go in all communities. The Association aggressively tackles safety issues affecting our residents, and works with local law enforcement to protect homeowners, tenants, and their property.
Social Events and Activities:
Our Annual Association Meeting is a chance to celebrate summer but takes a lot of planning and commitment – from organizing the location to food preparation and booking the entertainment. It’s a chance for us to meet neighbors from across the street or from a road on the other side of the neighborhood, get to know old friends again and catch-up on what’s going on in the Association.
In the past we’ve had Halloween and Christmas events, and walking groups. We’ve also organized community yard sales and funded dumpsters in the neighborhood as a way of helping our residents keep their houses and yards free of clutter.