March Elections Show Support for CPA (MA)

BOSTON, Masachusetts, 3/19/02: On March 11 and March 16, the Community Preservation Act was adopted by Westport and Norwell, the first two Massachusetts towns to hold ballot votes on the law in 2002. Norwell and Westport join 36 other towns and cities that have committed to increased local funding for open space conservation, historic preservation, and affordable housing.

In the first year since the Community Preservation Act (CPA) became law, 70 Massachusetts communities (20% of all Massachusetts localities) have conducted local ballot votes on CPA. With the approval of both Westport and Norwell, the total number of communities that have passed local CPA measures now totals 38. In Westport, on March 11, 65% of voters approved a 2% CPA surcharge. In Norwell, on March 16, 63% of voters approved a 3% CPA surcharge. The next towns to vote will be Ludlow and Sudbury on March 25.

“Voters in diverse Massachusetts communities, from the North Shore city of Peabody to tiny Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard, are stepping up to fund important local priorities,” said Dorrie Pizzella, executive director of the Community Preservation Coalition. “Despite concerns about the economy and impending state budget cuts, taxpayers in many communities are making a statement about their commitment to funding preservation, affordable housing, and open space protection.”

The first round of CPA state matching funds are to be distributed on October 15, 2002, and the Community Preservation Act Trust Fund is expected to grow to $39 million by October.

In the next three months, 27 more communities are scheduled to vote on the Act: Scituate, Ludlow, Sudbury, Dartmouth, North Attleborough, Rehoboth, Braintree, Reading, Wareham, Swansea, Rockport, Ashby, Wakefield, Bridgewater, Norton, Buckland, Grafton, Ashland, Sharon, Plymouth, Wilbraham, Hudson, Williamstown, Chatham, Whitman, Stockbridge, and Great Barrington. The next town to vote will be Scituate on March 20.

The Community Preservation Coalition is an alliance of affordable housing, preservation, and open space organizations that works with towns across the state to help pass the CPA by helping citizens understand the opportunities provided through CPA. The Coalition supports community-led initiatives to preserve natural resources, preserve and restore historic properties, and expand affordable housing. The Coalition’s Steering Committee members are the Citizens Housing and Planning Association, Historic Massachusetts, Massachusetts Audubon Society, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, and the Trust for Public Land. For more information and complete town-by-town CPA results, visit