Hatfield to update Community Preservation Act master plan


Staff Writer
Published: 4/20/2021 3:49:31 PM

HATFIELD — A master plan that guides how Community Preservation Act money is spent in Hatfield is getting significant updates for the first time in more than 10 years.

Before changes are incorporated into the plan, many focused on affordable housing, the Community Preservation Committee will hold a virtual public hearing using Microsoft Teams to receive feedback on the 11-page document April 28 at 6 p.m.

Such hearings are required annually, but CPA Chairman Bob Wagner said they have typically been used to describe projects that will be considered at annual Town Meeting.

This year, though, is a more extensive review and presentation that will outline how the CPA master plan includes recommendations embedded in a housing production plan, or HPP. The housing production plan identifies and promotes affordable housing options and was developed with assistance from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission a few years ago, Wagner said.

“The CPA Plan now reflects the recommendations from the HPP that can benefit from CPA funding,” Wagner said.

Adopted by voters in 2006, the CPA first funded projects in 2009 and a year later the town adopted the first master plan to prioritize eligible projects for open space, historic resources, community housing, and recreation.

CPA dollars, collected through a surcharge on property tax bills that are matched by a state contribution, have gone for dozens of projects over the years, including renovations and improvements at Memorial Town Hall, farmland preservation, creation of a downtown recreation area and central park, restoration of historical town records and artifacts, and the protection of conservation lands in the town’s drinking water supply watershed.

In November, Hatfield received $169,578 from the state’s CPA Trust Fund, a full match to the town’s share from the previous year.

This spring, the lone project coming before annual Town Meeting is a request from the town clerk’s office to use $9,862 to restore and preserve historic vital town records.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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