Community Preservation Committee
Community Preservation Act Description
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) was approved by the legislature and signed by Governor Paul Celucci in September 2000. This state law, MGL Chapter 44B , allows cities and towns to raise funds through a surcharge on local real estate taxes to:
- buy, create, preserve open space and rehabilitate and/or restore open space that is acquired or created using CPA funds;
- acquire, preserve, rehabilitate, or restore historic resources;
- acquire, create, preserve, and support community housing; and
- acquire, create, preserve, and rehabilitate and/or restore passive and active outdoor recreation facilities.
In addition to the community’s tax surcharge, the state distributes annual matching funds that are not less than 5% and not more than 100%, funded by a surcharge on real estate transactions at the Registry of Deeds.
Adoption and Funding of the CPA
The residents of Watertown voted to adopt the Community Preservation Act (CPA) on November 8, 2016. CPA funds are raised through a 2% tax surcharge on all real estate property tax bills with two exemptions:
- the residential exemption on owner occupied residential property, and
- residential property owned and occupied by any person who qualifies for low-income housing or low- or moderate-income senior housing. Please contact the Assessor’s Office for further details or look at the Watertown CPA Exemption Application Form.
These monies are an investment in Watertown’s future. All funding is controlled at the local level, committed to local projects, which preserve and improve the community’s character and quality of life.
The Committee meets on the third Thursday of the month. Meeting dates and times should be verified by reviewing the posted agenda or calling, prior to the scheduled meeting.
- When: Third Thursday of the month, unless otherwise noted and start at 7 p.m.
- Where: Town Administration Building, 149 Main Street, 3rd Floor Conference Room. (REMOTE ONLY at this time)
Minutes are available following approval by the Committee:
The Community Preservation Committee (CPC)
On June 26, 2018 the Town Council adopted Town Ordinance #59 O-2018-59, Chapter 36: Community Preservation Committee establishing the nine-member volunteer Watertown Community Preservation Committee . Members serve 3-year terms which are initially staggered 1 to 3 years.
The Committee has three key responsibilities:
- to study Watertown’s needs, possibilities, and resources and then develop a Community Preservation Plan to guide its priorities and decision-making on project proposals. The CPC consults with other municipal boards and committees to get their input and holds one or more public informational meetings annually to solicit public input. This plan is updated annually.
- to establish an application process for project proposals from the community, to conduct a thorough vetting of the proposals, and to vote on a slate of project recommendations including specific dollar amounts of CPA funding sources to complete them. The CPC forwards these annual budget recommendations to the Town Council for action. Presentations are held describing how the projects serve the needs, interests, and goals of the CPA and of Watertown;
- record keeping regarding all CPC meetings, proposals, and recommendations and annual budgetary reporting to the Town Council. The Town Council can approve, reject, or reduce the Committee’s funding proposals.
Nine members serve a 3-year term (initial terms are 1 to 3 years).
|Resident Appointee||77 Riverside St||02/01/2023|
|Jason D. Cohen,
|Planning Board||153 Common St||02/01/2023|
|Elodia Thomas||Resident Appointee||67 Marion Rd||02/01/2024|
|Dennis J. Duff||Resident Appointee||33 Spruce St||02/01/2023|
|Jamie O'Connell||Conservation Commission||251 Common St||02/01/2024|
|Susan T. Steele||Historical Commission||77 Russell Av||02/01/2024|
|Allen Gallagher||Housing Authority||55 Waverley Av||02/01/2022|
|Bob DiRico||Park Commissioners (acting)||124 Orchard St||02/01/2022|
|Jonathan M. Bockian||Resident Appointee||165 Irving St||02/01/2022|
- G.L. c.44B - Massachusetts General Law for Community Preservation
- Watertown Community Preservation Documents
- Community Preservation Coalition Webpage
- Comprehensive Plan - Adopted June 23, 2015 (Update to Council February 2019)
- Open Space and Recreation Plan (PDF) - Adopted April 20, 2015
- Watertown Housing Plan (PDF) - Approved March 2021