Community Preservation Committee

The Brewster Community Preservation Committee is comprised of 9 members: four Citizen Representatives, appointed by the Board of Selectmen and members designated by the following committees: Conservation Commission, Planning Board, Brewster Historical Commission, Housing Authority and Recreation Commission. The Committee was established with initial staggered terms and three terms thereafter. The CPC typically meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month. For meeting schedules and agendas, please check the Brewster Calendar.

Committee Members

Peggy Jablonski 6/30/2024
Paul Ruchinskas 6/30/2024
Roland Bassett Jr 6/30/2022
Sharon Marotti 6/30/2022
Faythe Ellis 6/30/2022
Bruce Evans 6/30/2022
Christine Boucher 6/30/2022
Elizabeth Taylor 6/30/2023
Sarah Robinson 6/30/2024


What is the Community Preservation Act?

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) is a state law designed to help communities plan ahead for sustainable growth. The CPA allows towns to levy a community-wide property tax surcharge of up to 3% for the purpose of creating a local Community Preservation fund that can qualify for state matching funds. The fund must be used to acquire and protect Open Space and recreation lands, preserve Historic Buildings, Documents and Landscapes, and create and maintain Community Housing.

How does the CPA work in Brewster?

The CPA was adopted by Town Meeting, November of 2004 and received ballot approval in May of 2005. This approval resulted in a 3% surcharge on real estate tax, thereby replacing the Land Bank surcharge.

The Brewster By-law requires that 50% must be spent or reserved for Open Space, 10% must be spent or reserved for Community Housing and 10% must be spent or reserved for Historic Preservation. The balance, 30%, may be spent for Community Housing or Historic Preservation areas plus Recreation purposes. This money is cumulative and can be spent in subsequent years.

This gives Brewster the opportunity to determine its priorities, plan for its future, and generate funds to implement those plans.

The state bylaw or ordinance establishing the CPC also serves to enumerate the responsibilities of the CPC. These three responsibilities are outlined in Sections 5(b) and 5(c) of the CPA statute.

Develop a Community Preservation Plan

The first responsibility is to study the needs, possibilities and resources of the community with regards to community preservation. In performing this research function, the CPC must meet and consult with town departments and other committees to get their input, and must hold at least one public hearing annually to get input from the general public. The public hearing must be posted publicly and advertised for two weeks preceding the public hearing in a local newspaper of general circulation. Following its research, the CPC is responsible for developing a local CPA plan to guide its decision-making on CPA project proposals. The CPC adopted 5 Year CPA Plan in March 2022.

Review and Recommend CPA Projects

The second responsibility of the CPC is to accept project proposals from the community, and conduct a thorough review of them, with the aim of selecting the most compelling projects for recommendation to Town Meeting. Project proposals can be submitted to the CPC twice a year.  Once the CPC has voted on a slate of projects to recommend, along with the specific dollar amounts and CPA funding sources it recommends to complete them, it forwards these to the town meeting for action. As part of preparation for town meeting, a representative of the CPC makes a presentation to the Select Board and the Finance Committee to describe project recommendations in the CPC warrant article and the reasoning behind its choice of that particular group of projects.

Keep Records and Report on the CPA Budget

The third responsibility of the CPC is a record keeping and budgetary responsibility. It is required to keep records of all CPC meetings, proposals, and recommendations, and to submit a CPA budget annually to the legislative body.

CPC Administrative Funds

In order to fund the work of the CPC, the CPA statute specifies that the committee may use up to 5% of the community's annual CPA revenues each year. Town Meeting must approve these monies annually. The CPC’s administrative funds can be used for the same kinds of expenses budgeted for any town department or committee to carry out its mission each year, such as employee salaries, office expenses and contractual services.

Brewster CPC History

In Brewster, the CPA replaced the Cape Cod Land Bank, which had previously funded Open Space acquisitions. The Act also created a State fund which will provide the Town with matching funds. The state match varies from year to year.

Property taxes traditionally fund the Town's day-to-day operating needs of safety, health, schools, roads, maintenance. - and more. The 3% CPA property tax surcharge generates additional needed revenue to meet Open Space, Community Housing, Historic Preservation, and Recreation goals.

What is the Application Process?

The CPC Funding Application is an electronic form and is available online via this link: Instructions for Applicants (brewster-ma.gov) .  Applications should be submitted electronically according to the instructions in the CPC Funding Application document.

Applications should be submitted by July 1st for the fall meeting or December 1st for the spring meeting, to allow sufficient CPC review time for potential presentation to the following Brewster Town Meeting. Applications deemed CPA eligible, complete, and timely, are then reviewed in public hearings and decisions are made as to which applications will be approved for recommendation at Town Meeting. Voters at Town Meeting will then vote yes or no on CPC recommendations. 

Note:  Late submissions have been accepted in the past with the caveat that, if the committee cannot complete the review process, those late submissions may be deferred to the following town meeting.  Applicants who plan to submit a late application with the intention of making the warrant for the next town meeting should consult with the committee chair in advance.

The following are the CPC funding requests that were approved at the May 2016 Town Meeting.

The following is the CPC funding request that was approved at the November 2016 Town Meeting.

The following are funding requests that were approved at the May 2017 Town Meeting.

The following is the funding request that was approved at the November 2017 Town Meeting

The following are the funding requests that were approved at the May 2018 Town Meeting.

The follow are the funding requests that were approved at the Fall 2018 Town Meeting

The following are the funding requests that were approved at the May 2019 Annual Town Meeting.

The following are the funding requests that were approved at the Fall 2019 Town Meeting

The following are the funding requests that were approved at the 2020 Annual Town Meeting:

The following are the funding requests that were approved at the 2021 Annual Town Meeting:

  • Town of Brewster – Stony Brook Mill Retaining Wall
  • Town of Brewster – Housing Coordinator FY22
  • Cape and Islands Veterans Outreach Council– Veterans Home in Dennis
  • Brewster Affordable Housing Trust – Rental Assistance Program
  • Habitat for Humanity – Red Top Road Housing
  • Town of Brewster – Creation of Brewster Dog Park

The following are the  funding requests that were approved at the 2021 Fall Town Meeting:

  • Town of Brewster – Crosby Mansion Reconstruction and Restoration
  • Town of Brewster–Update Housing Production Plan

The following are the funding requests that were approved at the 2022 Annual Town Meeting:

  • Brewster Historical Society – Digitation of the Ellen St. Sure Collection
  • Town of Brewster – Housing Coordinator
  • Community Development Partnership – Cape Housing Institute
  • Pennrose – Cape Cod Five Affordable Housing

The following is a list of CPA funded projects along with financial information:

The following is a list of CPA funded projects along with financial information:

Forms, Applications, and Documents Agendas & Minutes Public Meeting Packets

For more information, contact Elizabeth Taylor, Clerk
508-896-3701 x1149
Brewster Town Offices
2198 Main St
Brewster, MA 02631