It’s shaping up to be a busy winter here at the
Coalition. This month we’re launching our new membership
program for CPA communities, and you can read all about
it in this issue of CPA Update. We’ve also begun working
with the state legislature on a way to direct more
revenue to the Massachusetts Community Preservation
Trust Fund. The next issue of CPA Update will contain a
complete overview of our legislative plan, and we’ll be
looking for your feedback and participation. Lastly, our
technical assistance hotline has been buzzing with
activity, as many communities prepare their project
recommendations for Spring Town Meetings. We’re here if
you need assistance – 617-367-8998.
Securing our future
We're looking for feedback from each of the 119
CPCs on the Community Preservation Coalition's new
Early last year, we
convened an advisory group of about a dozen CPC
chairs and our steering committee to review future
sources of funding for the Coalition. The result
was a decision to move toward self-sufficiency by
becoming a membership-based organization in 2007.
Why the change? For the past five years
the Coalition has been funded primarily by a
single grant from a major foundation.
Unfortunately, five years is about the limit for
funding to a single non-profit such as the
Coalition, and that funding source is now ending.
We have developed a sliding scale of membership
dues based on the local CPA tax surcharge
collected in each community. We are hopeful that
each CPC will vote to join the Coalition and then
approve the payment of dues from the CPC
We'll be sending
more information on this program to each CPC Chair
in the next 10 days. If you are in the final
stages of budgeting for FY08, you can see an
advance copy of our membership brochure, including
the schedule of dues, by viewing the .pdf below.
CPA 101: Historic Preservation Restrictions
Have you or members of your Community
Preservation Committee often been confused about
the CPA’s requirements for historic preservation
restrictions and/or easements when granting CPA
funds for historic preservation projects? Well,
help is finally here, thanks to Sarah Korjeff of
the Cape Cod Commission!
put together a very clear, concise, and
informative fact sheet on CPA and historic
preservation restrictions for the benefit of the
Cape Cod Commission’s monthly CPA Round Table
series. We are grateful to Sarah for pulling this
article together, and have included it here for
A truly brilliant CPA idea!
Here’s a situation faced by many CPA
communities, and a unique solution developed by
the town of Rowley.
CPA cities and towns
are often presented with opportunities to purchase
critical pieces of land that come on the market,
and there is usually tremendous pressure to act
quickly before the opportunity is gone. That
leaves very little time to figure out which of the
potential CPA uses would be appropriate for the
land. Can the land be used for affordable housing?
How about soccer fields, or open space? Better
yet, how about a combination of all three? The
problem is that it can take a year or more of
engineering work, environmental and other studies,
land use planning, public hearings, and political
negotiations to answer these questions. By then,
the land will be gone.
exactly this situation when presented with an
application for $2.75 million of CPA funding to
purchase a critical parcel, the 102 acre
Bradstreet Farm.(shown in photo above) There was
even a historic farmhouse on the parcel that would
qualify for CPA historic funds. Their solution was
to craft a warrant article which would allow the
town to buy the parcel now for any of the
four allowable CPA purposes (open space,
recreation, community housing or historic). The
warrant article further required that once the
town closed on the property and a land use plan
had been completed, the project would have to come
before town meeting a second time to approve the
Is our project eligible for CPA funding?
This is probably the most frequent question
that is asked of local CPCs, and of us here at the
Coalition too: “Is our project eligible for CPA
funding?” As you undoubtedly know, this isn’t
always the easiest question to answer!
answer can be found buried in Section 5(b)(2) of
the CPA legislation, the paragraph that describes
the types of projects that qualify for CPA
funding. But if you’ve ever read that paragraph,
you know that it is difficult to follow. The
Department of Revenue (DOR) turned that paragraph
into a simple chart that we keep up on our
bulletin board, and it’s the first place we start
when examining a project’s eligibility.
CPA in the news
Jennifer Goldson is a professional planning
consultant who specializes in the Community
Preservation Act. Jennifer’s article “How to
Create Affordable Housing with CPA Funds” appeared
in the American Planning Association’s November
2006 edition of New England Planning.
to read Jennifer’s article
to learn about the services Jennifer provides to
Community Preservation Committees
CPA Community loses a good friend
The Community Preservation Coalition was deeply
saddened to hear of the recent death of Mary Ellen
Herd, Chair of the Needham Community Preservation
Mary Ellen was a committed,
community volunteer in Needham, and was
instrumental in helping Needham adopt the
Community Preservation Act. We will miss Mary
Ellen, and extend our deepest sympathies to her
family, friends, and Needham colleagues.
Details on this issue’s CPA project photo
The CPA project featured in this edition is an
affordable housing project in the town of Stow .
In May of 2004, Stow Town Meeting voters approved
the appropriation of $350,000 of CPA funds for the
purchase of thirty-seven permanent affordability
restrictions on dwelling units at the Pilot Grove
Apartments on Warren Road .
Another innovative housing
program from Stow
The Stow Community
Preservation Committee is establishing an
innovative program to convert existing residences
into permanently affordable housing for low- and
moderate-income families via acquisition of
permanent Affordability Restrictions. It is a
creative approach to advancing affordable housing,
and may be of interest in your community.