Somerville’s First Conservation Restriction Executed, Will Preserve Site in East Somerville as Perpetual Open Space

The former 5 Palmer Ave. site will be protected as open space through a partnership between the City of Somerville, Community Preservation Committee, and Groundwork Somerville.

The former parcel at 5 Palmer Ave. in Somerville will be perpetually conserved as open space, thanks to the city’s first-ever conservation restriction which was executed in September. The property was acquired using funding from the Community Preservation Act (CPA), and will add open space to the adjacent Glen Park Community Garden.

Working with the state’s Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Somerville Community Preservation Committee (CPC) developed the conservation restriction, which will be used as a model for other dense urban communities using CPA funds to increase their open space.

Because a third party is required to hold the restriction to ensure that the parcel is preserved as open space, local nonprofit Groundwork Somerville is partnering with the City and the CPC to hold the restrictions for this and all future parcels acquired with CPA funding.

“Groundwork Somerville is very excited to enter into this partnership with the City of Somerville in creating and protecting this new parcel for the city, in one of our most densely populated neighborhoods where green, open space is at a premium,” said Kat Rutkin, Executive Director of Groundwork Somerville. “This alignment of our mission with the intent of the Community Preservation act is another reason we are so happy to be working in a collaborative city like Somerville.” 

“Somerville has been leading the way in demonstrating how the Community Preservation Act can work in densely populated urban cities to create new open space and add affordable housing. Expanding an existing open space, protecting it forever as open space, and serving as a demonstration project for other CPA cities is exactly what we hoped to achieve when Somerville adopted the Community Preservation Act,” said Mayor Joe Curtatone.

While additional community garden plots have been identified as a community need, there will be a public process at a later date to determine design options for the space. For more information on the CPA, sign up for the CPA Email Newsletter by visiting the City’s website at www.somervillema.gov/cpa and clicking “Sign Up Now for CPA News.”