While we're still very early into the new year, based on what we've heard from many communities across the state, we may see a record number of municipalities attempting CPA adoption in 2020. The Coalition has received calls from dozens of local advocates over the last few months, all interested in learning more about the program and how they can build their own adoption campaigns. Framingham, Brookline, Worcester, Greenfield, and Lancaster are just a few examples of communities that are exploring their options for getting CPA on their November ballot, but two communities in particular are already making big moves to get CPA passed at their upcoming town meetings: Shrewsbury and Norton.
Local advocates in Shrewsbury have already formed the "Community Preservation Shrewsbury Committee" - an official ballot campaign committee to advocate for CPA adoption. The committee has even developed a website to educate Shrewsbury residents on the act, and will be hosting public forums to build support for their campaign. With their annual town meeting coming up in May, advocates are highlighting how the Community Preservation Act could open new opportunities for the town to fund projects that are outside of their normal budget, such as preserving open space and improving accessibility to existing parks and trails.
Meanwhile, the Board of Selectmen in Norton appointed a study committee last year to gather more information on how to approach CPA adoption for the town. The committee ultimately recommended pursuing CPA adoption, and the Board of Selectmen then approved of the proposal at their January meeting. Among the benefits of CPA that the committee cited from their resident surveys were underfunded areas for biking and walking, the protection of farmland, and the development of affordable housing for the elderly. Voters in Norton will likely be considering CPA adoption now at their May town meeting.
Many other communities are still in the early process of local campaigns, but seeing towns like Shrewsbury and Norton already taking the initiative shows just how excited communities are in joining this incredibly successful program. As town meeting season begins this spring, keep an eye on our elections page. Whenever CPA is approved by a town meeting or city council, we will be updating this page with each community's November ballot details.
- "Committee advocates for Community Preservation Act in Shrewsbury" - Community Advocate
- "Norton looks to adopt Community Preservation Act" - The Sun Chronicle