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Posted on: September 6, 2023

Community Preservation Committee Now Accepting Applications for FY 2025

Wright Farm Land Acquisition

The Community Preservation Committee is currently accepting applications for Community Preservation Act funding for the 2025 fiscal year. 

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) is a state statute that individual communities in the Commonwealth may choose to adopt. Funding is imposed through a surcharge of up to 3% on property tax bills and supplemented by state matching funds from the Massachusetts Community Preservation Trust Fund. Lexington adopted the statue and the 3% surcharge by a vote of Town Meeting in 2005. The statute was accepted by voters in 2006. 

The Community Preservation Act allows communities to utilize funds for the acquisition, creation, and preservation of open space; the acquisition, preservation, and rehabilitation of historic resources; the acquisition, creation, preservation, and rehabilitation of recreational resources; and the acquisition, creation, preservation, and support of community housing. The statute also allows for rehabilitation of both open space and community housing if acquired with CPA funds. 

In order to be eligible for CPA funding, projects must meet certain criteria as established by the statute. In addition to falling into at least one of four categories — historic preservation, open space, community housing, and/or recreation — applicants must also demonstrate the projects have significant public benefit and can be implemented practically, expeditiously, and within budget.  

The nine-member Community Preservation Committee (CPC) reviews applications and recommends projects to Town Meeting for final approval and appropriation. Applicants are required to attend a CPC meeting and present a detailed proposal in order for the CPC to make its recommendation. Applicants should also be prepared to attend and present at Town Meeting information sessions and Town Meeting. Proposals should be consistent with current Town planning documents. 

Applications are also evaluated for their benefits to improve under-served populations, leverage additional public or private funding, serve more than one CPA purpose, or save resources that may otherwise be threatened. 

Since the 2006 passage of the Community Preservation Act in Lexington, Town Meeting has appropriated over $103 million in funding for CPA-approved projects, with over $22 million of that total provided by state supplemental matching funds. In total, almost $65 million was paid to the 187 CPA communities eligible for a distribution across Massachusetts in November 2022.

Past projects have included renovations to the Cary Memorial Building and other historical Town assets, the acquisition and rehabilitation of Lexington’s Community Center, the preservation and creation of affordable housing, rehabilitation of numerous Town parks and playgrounds, and the acquisition of the Wright, Busa, Cotton, and Leary Farms.  

For more information, please visit the Community Preservation Committee’s web page or call the CPC at 781-698-4629.

Applications for FY25 are due by November 1, and CPC forms and instructions are available online

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