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CLG Application Process

For more information contact:

Michelle Thompson
Certified Local Government & Main Street Design Specialist
(360) 890-2617


Step 1: The process to become a Certified Local Government starts with the adoption of a historic preservation ordinance (model ordinance).  The model ordinance provides all of the elements 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 5 members with 2 being professional members. DAHP will provide guidance on professional qualification standards for these disciplines. A broad range of professions shall be represented on the commission to the extent that qualified candidates are available in the community. Local commissions may meet certification standards without a broad range of types of professional disciplines represented in the commission membership if the local government can demonstrate it has made in good faith a reasonable effort to recruit qualified professionals for those positions. A good faith, reasonable effort may include social media advertisement, solicitation from professional organizations, or personal requests among others. If you can not secure 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.

Downtown Port TownsendStep 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. 

Step 4: Once you have all of the above items completed, you may then apply for Certified Local Government statusDocumentation 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.

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