Community Preservation Committee


For many years in Massachusetts, proponents of the preservation of open space, proponents of historic preservation and proponents of community housing sought a mechanism for state funding for local activities. The three groups eventually combined their efforts and collectively supported a state-wide Community Preservation Fund, which was established by the legislature in Chapter 267 of the Acts of 2000, known as the “Community Preservation Act”.

At a Special Town Meeting on February 26, 2001, the Town of Harvard accepted the provisions of Chapter 267, establishing a Community Preservation Fund and a Community Preservation Committee for the Town. This action by Town Meeting was approved by Harvard’s voters at Annual Town Election on April 3, 2001.

Moneys come to the Fund from two sources - the locally raised portion from a surcharge on local property taxes, and the state match from an increase in fees paid state-wide at the Registries of Deeds. Expenditures from the Fund are restricted to purposes stipulated in the Act: 1) for the acquisition, creation and preservation of open space; 2) for the acquisition and preservation of historic resources; 3) for the acquisition, creation and preservation of land for recreational use; 4) for the creation, preservation and support of community housing; and 5) for rehabilitation or restoration of such open space, historic resources, land for recreational use and community housing. Of each year’s funds, not less than 10% must be appropriated or reserved for each of the following: 1) open space (excluding recreational uses); 2) historic resources; and 3) community housing.

The Committee consists of four (4) elected members and five (5) appointed members, one member each of the Conservation Commission, the Planning Board, the Historic Commission, the Park and Recreation Commission and the Harvard Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund as designated, respectively, by the commission, board or authority of which s/he is a member. Elected members shall be elected to a term of three years. Appointed members shall be appointed to a term of one year by their respective boards, trusts or commissions which will run from July 1st through June 30th.

Term Length: 3 years