CPA Restrictions

Restrictions are legal documents that place limitations on the use of a property. These restrictions apply to all future owners of the property, and can’t easily be changed or removed by subsequent owners.

Section 12a of the Community Preservation Act requires that a permanent restriction be placed on any "real property interest" acquired using CPA funds to ensure that the property continues to be used for the applicable CPA purpose. Given this statutory requirement, a CPA project involving acquisition of any real property interest is technically not complete until the restriction is approved by the appropriate state agency and filed at the Registry of Deeds.

These are the four types of restrictions that are commonly used in CPA projects:

For Open Space Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Projects:
    >> Conservation Restrictions
    >> Approved by the MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA)

For Community Housing Projects
    >> Affordable Housing Restrictions
    >> Approved by the MA Dept. of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)

For Open Space Agricultural Projects: 
    >> Agricultural Preservation Restrictions
    >> Approved by the MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources (DAR)

For Historic Projects:
    >> Historic Preservation Restrictions
    >> Approved by the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) 

Sample CPA Restrictions

Please note: These restrictions are provided as examples. They should not be used without consulting your Town Counsel or City Solicitor.

Affordable Housing Restrictions
Bedford - Bedford Housing Trust
Newton - 241 Watertown Street

Conservation Restrictions - Conservation Land
Model Conservation Restriction (use this template to submit a draft CR to EOEEA)
Model Conservation Restriction (with drafting notes)
Grafton - Pell Farm
Sharon - Billings Street Property
Georgetown - Hampshire Woods
Fall River - Yellow Hill Road (using Massachusetts Fish and Game CR Format)

Conservation Restrictions - Recreation Land (Parks, Playgrounds, Athletic Fields, Trails)
Marshfield - South River Park
(CR permitting trails and related infrastructure)
Carlisle - Benfield Recreational Land
(CR permitting trails and athletic fields)

Northampton- Northampton Community Farm
(CR permitting parks, playgrounds, and atheltic fields)

Agricultural Preservation Restrictions
Department of Agricultural Resources - Model Agricultural Preservation Restriction

Historic Preservation Restrictions
Massachusetts Historical Commission - Model Historic Preservation Restriction

Bourne - Swift Memorial United Church (this one takes a few moments to load)
Nantucket - Atheneum

Nantucket - Lancasterian School
Hingham - Leavitt Homestead
Acton - Exterior Only Preservation Restriction

Further Resources. . .

>> Read an article from our e-newsletter, CPA Update, Placing Historic Preservation Restrictions on Historic Properties

>> Read an article from our e-newsletter, CPA Update, Conservation Restrictions 101