State Historic Preservation Office
Guidelines for North Carolina's Certified Local Government Program*
Since 1966, when Congress established an historic preservation program for the United States, the national preservation program has operated as a decentralized partnership between the federal government and the states. The federal government established a program of identification, evaluation and protection of historic properties and gave the states primary responsibility for carrying out this program. The success of that working relationship prompted Congress to expand the partnership to provide for participation by local governments.
The National Historic Preservation Amendments Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-151) and the corresponding regulations (36 CFR 61.5 and 61.7) contain the legal basis for the federal-state-local preservation partnership. The role of the "Certified local governments" (CLGs) in the partnership involves, at a minimum, 1) responsibility for review and approval of nominations of properties to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), and 2) eligibility to apply to the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) for matching funds earmarked for CLGs.
To become certified, a local government must meet several requirements which include the enactment of preservation legistlation and the appointment of a qualified historic preservation commission. The Federal Act directs the SHPO and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to certify local governments to participate in the partnership. The purpose of this document is to outline how this partnership works in North Carolina.
The 1980 Act requires each state to establish its own process and guidelines for certifying local governments in consultation with local governments, local historic preservation commissions, and interested citizens. The North Carolina Division of Archives and History (DAH) began the process in 1984 by convening a committee of local government representatives from six communities of various sizes in the mountain, piedmont, and coastal plain regions to draft these guidelines. The second step in the process of adopting North Carolina's program was to seek the comments of all interested government officials and citizens. In addition to circulating the guidelines for comment to over 200 local governments, the DAH in 1984 held public meetings on CLGs in Winston-Salem and Greenville so that interested parties would have the opportunity to present their comments in person.
In North Carolina, many municipalities and counties have developed local preservation programs. The DAH believes that most communities having historic preservation, historic district, or historic landmark ordinances containing the provisions of the state enabling legistlation (G.S. 160-400.1 through 160A-400.14) should be eligible for certification (see page 6, "Local Legistlation").
|* Reproduced for the City of Washington Department of Planning and Development Website from the January 1992 revision of this document.|