CPFund Facts and Glossary

The Community Preservation Fund
59 Town Hall Square
Falmouth, Mass 02540

Tel: 508-495-7436
Fax: 508-457-2511

Email: cpfund@falmouthmass.us



1. Falmouth adopted the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in 2005 (MGL 44b and Cape Cod Amendment).  

2. The 3 percent Cape Cod Land Bank property tax surcharge became a 3 percent Community Preservation surcharge.

3. The Community Preservation Fund (CPFund) assumed repayment of $30 million Land Bank debt by 2035.

4. The state matches local revenues up to a certain percentage from the Massachusetts Community Preservation Trust. In 2005 the state match was 100 percent of local revenues; in FY 2015 it was 33 percent.

5. CPFund revenues (state and local) increase annually as Land Bank debt decreases.

6. By 2035, the CPFund will have received an estimated $113 million in state and local revenues and will have repaid Land Bank debt in full.

7. Under the CPA, the CPFund supports projects that:

  • Acquire, create, preserve, and support community housing

  • Rehabilitate and restore community housing acquired with CPFunds

  • Acquire, preserve, rehabilitate and restore historic resources

  • Acquire, create and preserve open space

  • Rehabilitate and restore open space acquired with CPFunds

  • Acquire, create, preserve, rehabilitate, and restore recreation facilities or space

8. Since its beginning in 2005 the CPFund has disbursed a total of 17 million in support of over 120 projects throughout Falmouth and paid down 22 million in Land Bank debt:

  • 6 million for Community Housing (14% of total)

  • 5 million for Historic Preservation (12% of total)

  • 2 million for Open Space (6% of total)

  • 4 million for Recreation (10% of total)

  • 22 million for Land Bank debt (55% of total)

  • 1 million for administration of the Fund (3% of total)

9. The Falmouth Community Preservation Committee (CPC) reviews grant applications and recommends project appropriations to Town Meeting, which may or may not vote to appropriate the recommended funds.

10. The Falmouth Community Preservation Committee (CPC) is comprised of four at-large members appointed by the Board of Selectmen and representatives of 5 Town governmental bodies:

  • Planning Board

  • Conservation Commission

  • Recreation Committee

  • Historical Commission

  • Housing Authority

11. CPFund staff are available to provide information and assistance to organizations interested in applying for grants in one of the four eligible areas.

12. See the Town of Falmouth Community Preservation webpage for application and submission guidelines (www.falmouthmass.us)


As used in this chapter, the following words shall, unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning, have the following meanings:

Acquire – obtain by gift, purchase, devise, grant, rental, rental purchase, lease or otherwise. Acquire shall not include a taking by eminent domain, except as provided in this chapter.

Annual Income – a family’s or person’s gross annual income less such reasonable allowances for dependents, other than a spouse, and for medical expenses as the housing authority or, in the event that there is no housing authority, the department of housing and community development, determines.

Capital Improvement – reconstruction or alteration of real property that: (1) materially adds to the value of the real property or appreciably prolongs the useful life of the real property; (2) becomes part of the real property or is permanently affixed to the real property so that removal would cause material damage to the property or article itself; and (3) is intended to become a permanent installation or is intended to remain there for an indefinite period of time.

Community Housing – low and moderate income housing for individuals and families, including low or moderate income senior housing.

Community Preservation – the acquisition, creation and preservation of open space, the acquisition, creation and preservation of historic resources and the creation and preservation of community housing.

Community Preservation Committee (CPC) – the committee established by the legislative body of a city or town to make recommendations for community preservation, as provided in section 5 of the CPA.

Community Preservation Fund (CPF) – the municipal fund established under section 7 of the CPA.

CP – community preservation.

Historic resources – a building, structure, vessel real property, document or artifact that is listed on the state register of historic places or has been determined by the local historic preservation commission to be significant in the history, archeology, architecture or culture of a city or town. [The Falmouth CPC defines a resource as historic if it is over 50 years and holds architectural, cultural or historical significance.]

Legislative Body – the agency of municipal government which is empowered to enact ordinances or by-laws, adopt an annual budget and other spending authorizations, loan orders, bond authorizations and other financial matters and whether styled as a city council, board of aldermen, town council, town meeting or by any other title.

Low Income Housing – housing for those persons and families whose annual income is less than 80 per cent of the areawide median income. The areawide median income shall be the area wide median income as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Low or Moderate Income Senior Housing – housing for those persons having reached the age of 60 or over who would qualify for low or moderate income housing.

Maintenance – incidental repairs which neither materially add to the value of the property nor appreciably prolong the property’s life, but keep the property in a condition of fitness, efficiency or readiness. [The Falmouth CPC additionally defines maintenance as anything required more frequently than every ten years.]

Moderate Income Housing – housing for those persons and families whose annual income is less than 100 per cent of the area wide median income. The area wide median income shall be the area wide median income as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Open Space – shall include, but not be limited to, land to protect existing and future well fields, aquifers and recharge areas, watershed land, agricultural land, grasslands, fields, forest land, fresh and salt water marshes and other wetlands, ocean, river, stream, lake and pond frontage, beaches, dunes and other coastal lands, lands to protect scenic vistas, land for wildlife or nature preserve and land for recreational use.

Preservation – protection of personal or real property from injury, harm or destruction.

Real Property – land, buildings, appurtenant structures and fixtures attached to buildings or land, including, where applicable, real property interests.

Real Property Interest – a present or future legal or equitable interest in or to real property, including easements and restrictions, and any beneficial interest therein, including the interest of a beneficiary in a trust which holds a legal or equitable interest in real property, but shall not include an interest which is limited to the following: an estate at will or at sufferance and any estate for years having a term of less than 30 years; the reversionary right, condition or right of entry for condition broken; the interest of a mortgagee or other secured party in a mortgage or security agreement.

Recreational Use – active or passive recreational use including, but not limited to, the use of land for community gardens, trails, and noncommercial youth and adult sports, and the use of land as a park, playground or athletic field. “Recreational use” shall not include horse or dog racing or the use of land for a stadium, gymnasium or similar structure.

Rehabilitation – capital improvements, or the making of extraordinary repairs, to historic resources, open spaces, lands for recreational use and community housing for the purpose of making such historic resources, open spaces, lands for recreational use and community housing functional for their intended uses including, but not limited to, improvements to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal, state or local building or access codes; provided, that with respect to historic resources, “rehabilitation” shall comply with the Standards for Rehabilitation stated in the United States Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties codified in 36 C.P.R. Part 68; and provided further, that with respect to land for recreational use, “rehabilitation” shall include the replacement of playground equipment and other capital improvements to the land or the facilities thereon which make the land or the related facilities more functional for the intended recreational use.

Support of Community Housing – shall include, but not be limited to, programs that provide grants, loans, rental assistance, security deposits, interest-rate write downs or other forms of assistance directly to individuals and families who are eligible for community housing or to an entity that owns, operates or manages such housing, for the purpose of making housing affordable.

* Definitions from MGL c. 44B s. 2

Chapter 40B of the Massachusetts General Law, also known as the Comprehensive Permit Act, enables local Zoning Boards of Appeals to approve affordable housing developments under flexible rules if at least 20-25 percent of the units have long-term affordability restrictions.