From the Boston Globe


Boston Globe, 8/1/2004


For sale last week in Mashpee: 78 Popponesset Island Road, which was listed for $5.4 million and 20 Forest Drive, with an asking price of $269,000. (Globe photos)

Miles from Boston: 66
Population: 12,946
Median house price: $339,000
Transportation: Routes 28, 130, 151; member of Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority.
Tax rate: $9.
Best things: South Cape Beach, Mashpee Commons
Worst things: Traffic, lack of rental housing.
MCAS: Ranked 116 of 210 school districts, sharing that spot with six other towns, including Stoughton and Waltham.
Census facts: Median family income is $56,702 (national median is $50,046); 19 percent of residents are 65 or older, bs. 12 percent nationally.
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If he wanted to and if he was any good at it, Jamie Regan could go saltwater fishing, change his mind and tackle a freshwater pond, and then change his mind again and start slicing golf balls on one of four courses here.

He could do all that, Regan said, and still be within the boundaries of Mashpee, where he moved in 1980 when there were just 3,000 residents.

Now, more than four times that number live in a town that has about five miles of coastline on Nantucket and Vineyard sounds and four large freshwater ponds that are stocked by the state, according to Regan and the 2000 US Census.

"I've watched it go through some of the fastest growth in the state, adn they did it first class in many aspects," Regan, a real estate broker, said of the town and its leaders.

Regan points to decades-long preservation efforts that have stitched together a greenbelt stretching the length of the town. He also extols capital investments in school building,s public safety buildings, and a senior citizen center, all of which have been built or are under construction without producing a devastating increase in property taxes. And, he says, a strong community spirit built the Boys and Girls Club in the 1990s on town-owned land, and an interest in culture led to the construction of the Bock Center for the Performing Arts. The center is at Mashpee Commons, a shopping area designed to mirror a New England town center, not a sprawling mall.

Regan, owner of Century 21 Regan Realtors, credits the town's first residents, the Mashpee Wampanoags, with instilling an instinct for preservation. "I think one of the reasons why we have a lot of conservation land and we've attempted not to overdevelop the town is because of their input," he said. The Wampanoags have a museum and a meeting hall in town and host an annual powwow.

Reacting to the town's growth, voters this year approved a new charter that created a strong-manager form of government, said Joyce M. Mason , who was promoted from town administrator to town manager July 1. The job gives her day-to-day responsibility for running Town Hall.

One issue being given close scrutiny by a special committee, Mason said, is how to expand affordable housing, including rental stock.

On recently, prices for single-family homes ranged from under $300,000 to $4 million or more for oceanfront property.

"We do have our beautiful beaches," Mason said, adding that the town is confronting "our community's growth and how we meet the demands on our infrastructure and our public safety departments."

JOHN ELLMENT [an error occurred while processing this directive]

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