Community Preservation Plans and Applications

A bright blue "CPA funds at work" sign on a grassy green lawn in Southborough

Sept. 2015: After adopting the Community Preservation Act, a new community must develop a Community Preservation Plan to facilitate implementation of the Act, according to Section 5 (b)1 of CPA. After the initial plan is created, the Community Preservation Committee must hold a public hearing and update the plan every year. Most communities also develop application forms and procedures for applicants to use in applying for CPA funds. Below you will find examples of these documents from CPA communities, updated and adapted by the Coalition for use as samples.

Community Preservation Plans

Applications for CPA Funding

The CPA legislation is silent on any procedures for applying for CPA funding. Therefore, each CPA community creates application forms, procedures and deadlines to fulfill their needs. Some communities accept applications only once per year, while others have multiple funding rounds. The deadline for applications also varies widely by community; most have set deadlines, but others allow for flexibility to react to special circumstances, such as an opportunity to acquire land on short notice or for emergency work on historic projects.  Finally, many towns have implemented a two-step application process, wherein applicants must first submit a simple eligibility form. Once this has been reviewed and approved by the Community Preservation Committee (CPC), a formal application is then submitted. 

The best way to make the process easier for both the CPC and applicants is through a clear review process, submission requirements, and application, as well as stated procedures for exceptions to the process.

A few examples of CPA funding applications are available for download below:

Further Resources

"Building a Better CPA Application Process" - learn more about the proposal review process, components of the application, and more.