A Panel Discussion
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) was adopted by the City of Newton in 2001. Since then, over 40 projects involving open space, community housing, historic preservation, and recreation have been approved. In Newton, the CPA Fund comes from a 1% surcharge on the property tax which, to date, has received 100% matching from the state, and whose projects have leveraged additional funding sources. As we near the 5th year since its passage in Newton, there has been increasing debate on the value of the program. The Newton Conservators Spring Lecture this year will be devoted to a review of the projects that have been implemented with the aid of the CPA Fund. This presentation will provide a review the history of the CPA in Newton, the process by which projects go from proposal to implementation, and the distribution of by type, area of the city, and funds allocated.
Members of the CPA Committee, the Planning Department, members of aldermanic Committees with CPA oversight, and project planners themselves will be provide their perspective on the program. There will be opportunities for questions on the CPA process and its future. The bulk of the program will be devoted to a pictorial overview of CPA projects that have been funded in the years since inception in Newton. In its first four years, over 30 acres of open space have been preserved including the last remaining farm in the city and a large tract that connects existing conservation areas. Over 80 units of community housing have been funded, including a Newton Housing Authority apartment building in Waban and the land for the first Habitat for Humanity project in the western suburbs. Our city’s three historic burying grounds are finally receiving badly needed restoration work and long needed recreational improvements for many of our parks and facilities such as Gath Pool are underway.
The free Newton Conservators Lecture Series , now in its fifth year, is cosponsored by the Newton Conservators and the Newton Free Library.