Friday, March 9, 2001
Preservation Act can fund town land and housing needs
term bonds in anticipation of community preservation revenue, but cannot use community preservation money for debt payments incurred before adopting the act, even if that debt meets CPA requirements.
The money must be spent for low or moderate income housing, open space and historic preservation. In addition to the requirement that a minimum of ten percent may be spent for each of the three purposes, community preservation funds may not be used for maintenance, or to replace existing operating funds. No more than five percent annually may be spent on expenses for the committee.
For housing projects, the committee "must recommend wherever possible the reuse of existing building or construction of new building on previously developed sites."
Historic preservation projects may be used to acquire, preserve, rehabilitate or restore buildings that have been "determined by the local historic preservation commission to be significant in the history, archeology, architecture or culture of a city or town," or is listed or eligible for the state register of historic places.
Land easements or restrictions can be purchased to protect: existing or future water supply areas; agricultural, forest or coastal lands; frontage to inland water bodies; wildlife habitat; nature preserves; scenic vistas. Land bought with community preservation money can be used for active and passive recreation, community gardens, trails, "non-commercial" youth and adult sports, and park, playground or athletic fields, but not horse or dog racing, a stadium, gymnasium "or similar structure." Finally, if the town spends only the minimum ten percent for open space purposes, that land cannot be used for recreation.
Selectman John Ballantine believes that the town would spend the majority of its CPA funds on providing affordable housing and acquiring open land for conservation and recreation, as recommended by participants in the February 10 Municipal Planning Day.
More information on the Community Preservation Act may be found on the following websites, www.communitypreservation.org or www.tpl.org/CPA.
© 2001 The Carlisle Mosquito