About the Community Preservation Act

Lake

Watershed protection of Lake Cochickewick, North Andover's sole drinking water source, is a major priority of CPA.

WHAT IS THE CPA?

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) was signed into law by former Governor Paul Cellucci and Lt. Governor Jane Swift on September 14, 2000. The CPA allows communities to create a local Community Preservation Fund in the municipality to be used for funds through a surcharge of up to 3% of the real estate tax levy on real property for open space, historic preservation and low and moderate housing. The act also creates a significant state matching fund of more than $25 million annually, which will serve as an incentive to communities to take advantage of the provisions of this legislation. Now local municipalities must adopt the Act by ballot referendum.

North Andover is one of the first communities in the state to take advantage of the Community Preservation Act. CPA provides a funding source which can be used to address the following community concerns: acquisition and preservation of open space, creation and support of affordable housing, acquisition and preservation of historic buildings and landscapes, and creation and support of recreational opportunities.

Over 70% majority approved the Act at Town Meeting in January 2001. The CPA was then approved on March 2001 Town Election ballot.

The Town voted in favor of a 3% property surcharge with two exemptions ($100,000) off of the value of each residential property and persons who qualify as low income or low or moderate income senior households). To inquire about qualifying for the low income or moderate income senior household exemption, please contact the Board of Assessors or at (978) 688-9566.

WHAT DOES THE COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE DO?

The Community Preservation meets monthly to discuss potential CPA projects and ideas. Progress of previously funded projects are discussed as well. The Committee oversees the financial details of the Fund and completes state mandated reports to various state agencies. All monthly meetings are open to the public and posted at the Town's Municipal Calendar.

The Committee must hold one annual public information meeting. In previous years, the annual meeting has included guest speakers and discussions of potential projects, as well as a question and answer session. This annual meeting is held prior to the project submission deadline in order to answer any project submission inquiries.

The Committee has a project submission round where anyone may submit a project relating to open space protection, affordable housing, historic preservation and land for recreation use. Applicants are strongly encouraged to bring in their project idea anytime throughout the year in order for the Committee to give guidance.

After project submission sheets are submitted, the Committee evaluates all submissions. The applicants of each project are invited to present their project to the Committee and answer any questions. After deliberation of the submissions, the Committee selects projects to be submitted and presented to Town Meeting. Town Meeting makes the final decision as to how to distribute monies from the CP Fund.