Created in July 1973 by joint action of the Charlotte City Council and the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners, the Historic Landmarks Commission derives all of its powers from State Enabling Legislation. The fundamental purpose of the Commission is to recommend the designation of properties (real and personal) for historic landmark designation and to secure the preservation of same through exercising design review and through buying and selling endangered historic landmarks.
Who We Are
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) is an agency of Mecklenburg County, and for budgetary purposes is a component of the County’s Asset and Facilities Management Department. The HLC has 12 members. The Board of County Commissioners appoints 6 members. The Charlotte City Council appoints 4 members. The Mayor of Charlotte appoints 2 members. All are appointed for 3-year terms and may be re-appointed for an additional 3-year term. Read more about the functions and procedures of the HLC in its Policy Guidelines Manual.
What We Do
The Historic Landmarks Commission protects properties in four fundamental ways. First, it recommends the designation of individually significant properties as historic landmarks. Second, it buys and sells endangered historic landmarks through its $9 million dollar revolving fund and places preservation covenants in the deeds when the properties are sold. Third, it administers design review over intended material alterations of historic landmarks. Fourth, it educates the general public about the significance of historic landmarks.
The Commission has five committees:
1. Survey Committee. The Survey Committee formulates recommendations regarding the designation or removal of designation of historic landmarks and the conducting of surveys and inventories of the local historic built environment. The documentation for prospective historic landmarks is found in a Survey and Research Report.
2. Projects Committee. The Projects Committee formulates recommendations concerning the operations of the Commission’s $9 million revolving fund. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission has the largest, local, publicly funded historic preservation revolving fund in the United States.
3. Design Review Committee. The Design Review Committee formulates recommendations regarding the issuance of Certificates of Appropriateness (COA) for intended physical changes to historic landmarks. Certificates of Appropriateness can be one of two types: Minor Works and Major Works. A Minor Works COA is issued for incidental changes. The Chair of the Design Review Committee and the Preservation Planner of the HLC have the authority to issue such documents if they agree on its content. A Major Works COA must come before the full Historic Landmarks Commission for action before issuance.
4. Executive Committee. The Executive Committee of the Commission is composed of the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Projects Committee Chair. The Executive Committee acts as the Personnel Committee and has the power to make decisions as directed by the Commission. All personnel decisions are made by the Historic Landmarks Commission meeting in executive session.
5. Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee selects a list of nominees for the elected officers of the Commission. Elected officers are: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.