Great Harbors Resident Association

333 Shorewood Drive
PO box 988
East Falmouth, MA  02536

 

About Us

GREAT HARBORS HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

 

By Emily Heald                                                                                                              Boston Globe Ad 1965

 

Great Harbors Resident Association was incorporated in December 1966 with Alan Green as president. At that time his company, known as S.D.C. was developing the area. For the next several years, the recreation facilities, pools, tennis arts, club house, cottage and ball field, owned by S.D.C., were rented to the Association. The fee was $5,0JO per year and the Association also carried the responsibility for the necessary insurance and for the maintenance of all facilities. For many years, the board of directors was chaired by Alan Green.
In 1978, the chairmanship of the board was transferred to a property owner elected by the Association, and S.D.C. began to indicate an interest in selling; recreation facilities to the Association. At this point in time, a major portion of the development had been completed. Negotiations were undertaken and in 1982, the Association signed a 2-year lease from S.D.C. which included an option to purchase the property. A 25-year mortgage was offered at 6% interest and the price was set at $140,000. A further consideration was there would be no down payment and, and there would be no penalty for prepayment.
May 3, 1985 the property was purchased from S.D.C. and Allan and (both Green Companies.) Money for the purchase was raised in the following manner: Home owners paid $1,400 each (
prepaying the $100 membership fee for 14 years when the covenant on the deeds expires in January 1999). Other property owners agreed to pay $50 per year for the acquisition in addition to the $100 membership fee.
As a result of the above plan, $135,000 was invested in 25-year government bonds 11-3/4%, bringing in $15,862 annually in interest (paid semi-annually in February and August.) $10,825 is used to pay the mortgage and interest fees; and the balance of $5,037 goes into the operating budget each year. The mortgage will be paid up in the year 2010 and the Association will receive the $135,000 principle on the bond.
In the process of negotiating the mortgage, Lots 399 and 401 (two of the ball field lots) were placed in a trust with G.H.R.A. as the sole beneficiary.
As many of you know, the covenant on the deeds which require membership in the Association expires in 1999. (Approximately 80 houses were built before S.D.C. began development, and these do not have the covenant on their deeds although the Association has always offered them the option of membership.)

Forty years ago, there was an especially beautiful area off Acapesket Road in East Falmouth, where small wild life and birds were the only inhabitants of approximately 100 acres of pine and oak trees where lady slippers blossomed in the early spring along with the star flowers and sand violets.
This was the time when new housing developments were springing up all over Cape Cod and Falmouth was no exception.
The late Harry J. Stabile of Winchester opened the area in 1961 with his Great Harbors Development Corporation. He had cleared some of the area and built a few houses, but, unfortunately, Mr. Stabile died in 1962 at the age of 46. His partners sold out and the

However, all property owners were eligible
enterprising Allen Green purchased the property for further development. Mr. Green was the principal holder in Alland Development Corporation.
On May 20, 1964, Great Harbors Corporation conveyed all of its rights, title and interest in the subdivision to Alland Development which on the same date conveyed said rights, title and interest to S.D.C. Development Corporation.
The development thrived and by April 1965, a special supplement to The Boston Sunday Globe extolled the virtues of Great Harbors, the Town of Falmouth, and Cape Cod in general. "Great Harbors a community of quality built home architecturally designed for individual tastes!" described the variety of plans available, the "exclusive benefits" of Great Harbors many extraordinary facilities — the club house, pools and tennis courts.
The officers of the corporation, identified as "Trustees" at the time of filing were Allan Green, President, Milton G. Green, Treasurer, and Edward Sheehan, Clerk. S.D.C. began developing the sub-division and selling homes and home sites sometime in 1968.
On December 5, 1969, Alland filed a composite Plan of Revisions of Land of the Subdivision filed in the Barnstable Registry of Deeds (Plan Book 233 Page 75). This plan included the lots designated as recreation areas or other use other than building lots as well as land reserved for ingress and egress.
At the time S.D.C. commenced developing the subdivision it had drawn "special provisions" known commonly as Covenants which would run with the land conveyed to various grantees (home buyers) which would be effective until January 1999. Those homes purchased from the predecessor developer were not affected by the special provisions or covenant
.
to join the Great Harbors Association by paying the annual dues. As time went on, we referred to these people as "optional members" and although the covenanted members had to join each year, the "optionals" could join only in the years they wished.

Buyers paid $100 per year to support the association which maintained the pools, tennis courts and two 75' wharves. A "Steward" ran the clubhouse where there were parties for adults every other Saturday night and a family party every Wednesday night (a family cookout and movies for the children.) Lifeguards protected the pool area and arts and crafts programs were conducted. The club owned four sailboats.

In the early days of the development, houses sold for $20,000 to $30,000 but by 1972, prices had risen to $30,000 to $40,000 with waterfront homes selling in the $60,000 range. By 1972, we had 270 homes in Great Harbors.
Great Harbors Resident Association was incorporated in December 1966 with Alan Green as president. At that time, S.D.C. rented to the Association all recreation facilities. The Association paid S.D.C. $5,000 per year and the Association also carried the responsibility for the necessary insurance and for the maintenance of all facilities. For many years, Alan Green continued to chair the board of directors. In 1981, the fee was $5,500.
In 1978, the chairmanship of the board was transferred to a property owner elected by the Association and S.D.C. began to indicate an interest in selling the recreation facilities to the Association. At this point in time, a major portion of the development had been completed.
Negotiations were undertaken and in 1982 the Association signed a 2-year lease from S.D.C., which included an option to purchase the property.
See Executive Committee organization.
Within the subdivision are 14 streets or ways to which the public has access which are private streets or ways. These were paved with what is commonly known as a base coat with the exception of Alcott Road and Shorewood Drive. No finished coat was applied.
For many years, under the Articles of Organization, and as a practical matter, the control of the recreational facilities was under the direct control of the developer. Eventually, control as set forth in the Articles of Organization devolved to the present Board of Directors.
The developer, through President Alan Green responded to the concerns of residents at a meeting of the Board of Directors held on April 4, 1981. S.D.C. proposed that S.D.C. and the Association enter into a written two (2) year lease commencing January 1, 1982 and ending December 31, 1983. Concomitant with the lease was an option to purchase the land, and under the terms of the option W.D.C. would convey the property to Great Harbors Association, Inc. for ca
price of $140,OOO.

A 25-year mortgage was offered at 6% interest, there would be no down payment and there would be no penalty for prepayment of the entire mortgage.
Money for the purchase was raised in the following manner: 94 home owners paid $1,400 each (prepaying the membership fee for 14 years (until the original covenant for a fee of $100 per year would run out), and other property owners agreed to pay $50 per year for the acquisition in addition to he $100 membership fee.
As a result of the above plan, $135,000 was invested in 30-year government bonds paying 11-3/4% bringing in $15,862 annually in interest (paid semi-annually in February and August). $10,825 pays the mortgage and interest fees and the balance of $5,037 goes into operating budget each year. The mortgage will be paid up in the year 2010 and the bond goes until 2015.
In the process of negotiating the mortgage, Lots 399 and 401 (two of the ball field lots) were
placed in a trust to protect them for recreational use only.
On May 3, 1985 the property was transferred to Great Harbors Resident Assoc. John Bowen, President, Emily Heald, Vice President, and Sidney Karsh, Treasurer negotiated the deeds.
Although the property had been purchased by the Association, the covenant on the deeds carried on with a limit of the annual dues set at $100 per year. With the added expense of ownership of the property including taxes, user fees were approved to help cover the summer operation, these applying only to those residents who actually use the facilities.
In July 1985 the officers approached the Board of Selectmen for a reduction in property taxes. Based on the fact that the common areas are for the use of all residents and will never be used as buildable lots, the Board of Assessors approved reduction of the property values by one half

 

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