Draft CPA Bylaw for Norwood

Feb. 24 Draft of Bylaw

Paul Halkiotis, Director
Planning & Economic Development
for Norwood has presented the following bylaw proposal to the Selectmen. Further revisions are possible. We will present the final version when approved.

Norwood General Bylaw Article XXXXV

Community Preservation Committee Bylaw – M.G.L. Chapter 44B

1. Establishment

There is hereby established a Community Preservation Committee, consisting of seven (7) voting members pursuant to MGL Chapter 44 B, Section 5. The composition of the Committee, the appointment authority and the term of office for the Community Preservation Committee members shall be as follows:

One member of the Conservation Commission as designated by the Conservation Commission, for a term of three (3) years. One member of the Historical Commission, as designated by the Historical Commission, for a term of three (3) years. One member of the Planning Board as designated by the Planning Board, for a term of three (3) years. One member of the Board of Selectmen, or their designee, in their capacity as Parks Commissioners for a term of three (3) years. One member of the Housing Authority as designated by the Authority for a term of three (3) years. Two members to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen, one member to be appointed for an initial term of one (1) year and thereafter for a term of three (3) years and one member to be appointed for an initial term of two (2) years and thereafter for a term of three (3) years. In the event that any Commission, Board, or Authority who has appointment authority under this section, no longer exists, for whatever reason, the appointment authority for that Commission, Board, or Authority shall be the Board of Selectmen.

2. Duties

2.1. Needs Assessment

The Community Preservation Committee shall undertake an annual Needs Assessment to determine the Town’s priorities for open space, historic resources, community housing and outdoor recreation projects. The Community Preservation Committee shall consult with existing municipal boards, including the Conservation Commission, Historical Commission, Planning Board, Parks Commission and the Housing Authority to assess the Town’s community preservation goals. The Town department heads involved with recreation, conservation, affordable housing and historic preservation shall also assist the Community Preservation Committee in the development of the Needs Assessment. As part of its analysis of community preservation needs, the Community Preservation Committee shall hold one or more public informational hearings to seek the public’s input on the Town’s community preservation needs, opportunities, resources and priorities. The Community Preservation Committee shall provide notice of the public hearing by posting notice at Town Hall, the Town’s official web page and by publishing the notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town for each of two consecutive weeks preceding the hearing.

2.2. Recommendations to Town Meeting

The Community Preservation Committee shall make recommendations to Town Meeting for the acquisition, creation and preservation of open space, for the acquisition, preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration of historic resources, for the acquisition, creation, preservation, rehabilitation and restoration of land for recreational use, for the acquisition, creation, preservation and support of community housing and for rehabilitation or restoration of open space and community housing that is acquired or created with monies from the Town’s Community Preservation Fund. With respect to community housing, the Community Preservation Committee shall recommend, wherever possible, the reuse of existing buildings or construction of new buildings on previously developed sites.

2.3. Recommendations on the Community Preservation Fund

The Community Preservation Committee may include in its recommendation to Town Meeting a recommendation to set aside for later spending funds for specific purposes that are consistent with community preservation but for which sufficient revenues are not then available in the Community Preservation Fund to accomplish that specific purpose or to set aside for later spending funds for general purposes that are consistent with community preservation.

3. Expenditures

Subject to the requirements of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 44B, no expenditures shall be made from the Community Preservation Fund without first receiving a recommendation from the Community Preservation Committee and an appropriation from Town Meeting. Town Meeting may make appropriations from or reservations of money in the Community Preservation Fund in the amount recommended by the Committee or it may reduce or reject any recommended amount. Any motions to appropriate an amount of money less than the amount recommended by the Community Preservation Committee shall be based on a written cost estimate. Town Meeting may not increase any appropriation or reservation amount recommended by the Community Preservation Committee and it may not appropriate or reserve any Community Preservation Fund monies on its own initiative.

4. Requirement for a Quorum and Cost Estimates

The Community Preservation Committee shall not meet or conduct business without the presence of a quorum. A majority of the members of the Community Preservation Committee, four members, shall constitute a quorum. The Community Preservation Committee shall approve its actions by a majority vote of four members, present and voting. Community Preservation Committee recommendations to Town Meeting shall include their anticipated costs for each Community Preservation Fund expenditure, based on a written cost estimate.

5. Amendments

This section of the bylaw may be amended from time to time by a majority vote of the Town Meeting, provided that the amendments would not cause any conflict to occur with M.G.L. Chapter 44B.

6. Severability

If any provision, or portion thereof, of this Bylaw is declared to be illegal, invalid or unenforceable by final judgment or order of a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions shall continue in effect to the extent permitted by law.

7. Effective Date

Each appointing authority shall have thirty (30) days after approval of this Bylaw by the Attorney General to make its initial Community Preservation Committee member appointments.

CPA Funds Leverage Even More Money in Grants

Several Massachusetts towns have used their CPA funds to leverage federal, state or private grants. Easthampton got matching funds of $50,000 to restore town hall. West Bridgewater quadrupled (x4) their CPA money with federal and state grants worth more than $1.2 million for a project at Anderson Farm. Hampden and Newton roughly quintupled (x5) their CPA funds to preserve 166 acres of open space and build elderly housing, respectively. Grafton pulled in $1.85 million in federal, state and private funds to complement $250,000 in CPA money for open space and historic preservation projects. And Peabody funded a rail-trail project with $162,000 in CPA money and $1.36 million in federal grant funds.

September 13 Meeting

The CPA4Norwood Committee met at 59 Beech Street at 7:30 to discuss future events and promote the Community Preservation Act leading up to the November election.
The Norwood Planning Board will host an informational meeting on October 12th at 7:30 PM at the Norwood Civic Center. It is open to the public.
John Hall will represent the Pro side for the ballot question at the League of Women Voters meeting presentation of candidates and issues. The date has not been announced.
A presentation at the Senior Center will be scheduled close to the election date.
Lawn signs and bumper stickers are available and a preliminary date for the middle of October for starting the sign campaign was discussed.
A number of misconceptions about the act have been voiced and the ability to address those was discussed. One of the most common is that rental property will have to pay the commercial rate, but this isn’t true. The 1% is based on the actual tax rate paid.
The next meeting will be held October 6 at 7:30PM at 59 Beech Street.