Step 1: The process to become a Certified Local Government starts with the adoption of a historic preservation ordinance (sample ordinance). The model provides all of the pieces that are needed to create an historic preservation program at the local level: an historic preservation commission, a local register of historic places, design review of locally listed properties, and the special tax valuation incentive.
Step 2: Once the ordinance has been passed, the next step is to form the Historic Preservation Commission, if not already formed concurrently with the ordinance. The Commission should include at least one professional that meets the Secretary of the Interior's Qualification Standards. These are professionals like architects, historians, archaeologists, or historic preservationists. If you do not have representation from these professions on your commission right away, the requirement may be waived with a letter from your highest elected official which states what measures were undertaken in order to try to secure professionals for the Commission. DAHP also asks for statements of experience or interest in historic preservation from each of the appointed commissioners.
Step 3: After the creation of the Commission, the group should work through the Bylaws and Rules of Procedure (sample bylaws) that are established for the Commission and administration of the program.
Once you have all of the above items completed, you may then apply for Certified Local Government status. Documentation needed for your application: a copy of your Historic Preservation ordinance; copies of the statements from all Historic Preservation Commissioners; resumes or vitaes for professional members of the Commission OR if there are not professionals on the Commission - a letter from the highest elected official stating why there are not the required number of professionals; a resume from the staff person assigned to staff the commission from the City or County; and a copy of the Bylaws and Rules of Procedure for the Commission.
DAHP staff will then return a Certification Agreement to the local government for the highest elected official's signature. Once that Certification Agreement has been signed and returned to our office, we will then forward your application to the National Park Service for final certification.