Revised 1982, 1992,
I. GENERAL RULES
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission shall be governed by the
terms of Part 3B of Chapter 6-160A of the General Statutes of North Carolina and
by Joint Resolution of the County of Mecklenburg (June 4, 1973) and the City of
Charlotte (June 18, 1973). All members of the Commission should thoroughly
familiarize themselves with this statute and these resolutions. In addition,
the meetings of the Commission shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order as
revised and amended.
II. OFFICERS AND
officers shall be elected by majority vote of the Commission from among its
members. Their terms of office shall be for one year or until their successors
are elected, and these officers shall be eligible for reelections:
The Chair shall preside over meetings of the Commission and shall decide all
points of order and procedure, unless directed otherwise by a majority of the
Commission in session at the time. He or she shall see that an agenda is
prepared and that accurate minutes are kept and circulated. He or she shall
appoint all Committee Chairs and serve as an ex officio member of each of them.
He or she shall act as liaison between the Commission and the Director. He or
she shall see that effective presentations are made to the County Commission and
City Council and other appropriate bodies of local government and that the
policies of the Commission are carried out. He or she shall in general have all
powers and perform all duties incident to the office of Chair and such other
powers and duties as may be prescribed from time to time by the Commission.
Chair. The Vice Chair shall serve as acting Chair in the absence of the
Chair and at such times shall have the powers and duties as the Chair. In
addition, he or she shall perform such other duties and have such other powers
as may be prescribed by the Chair or the Commission.
The Secretary may gather information from other groups dedicated to historic
preservation and may report such information to the Commission.
The Treasurer reports monthly on the status of the HLC’s Revolving Fund. The
Consulting Director prepares the annual budget of the Commission in consultation
with the County Budget Department. The Consulting Director welcomes
recommendations from the Commission concerning budget items to be requested from
the County or from whatever other agency might contribute financially to the
work of the Commission.
There shall be such
committees as the Commission requires. Committee Chairs and members are
appointed by the Commission Chair.
Committee. The Survey Committee shall be responsible for identifying
buildings, structures, sites, areas, and objects in Charlotte-Mecklenburg for
possible designation as historic landmarks and shall see that they are brought
to the attention of the Commission in an orderly fashion. A Study List of all
prospective historic landmarks shall be developed and maintained by Staff.
Meetings are held as needed.
Design Review. The Design Review Committee meets on a regular basis to
consider Applications for Certificates of Appropriateness for locally designated
historic landmarks. Recommendations are presented to the Historic Landmarks
Commission for final vote.
Committee. The Projects Committee evaluates historic properties that
have potential for Commission purchase and sale under the Commission’s Revolving
Fund. The Commission must approve all recommendations. Meetings are held as
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.
established the policy and procedure set forth below for the approval of
expenditures by staff and the Executive Committee of the
Executive Committee Approval for Expenditure of Funds. It
is the policy of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission (CMHLC)
that expenditures be approved by a vote of the Board of the CMHLC at its monthly
meeting. However, due to the nature of real estate ownership and the
preservation of historic properties, unexpected circumstances arise that justify
the immediate expenditures of funds prior to the next meeting of the CMHLC.
Policy and Procedure for Approval of Expenditures by Staff and the Executive
Committee of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.
Due to these
concerns, the Board adopts the following procedure to allow the Executive
Committee of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission (“CMHLC”),
consisting of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Chair of the
Projects Committee, to authorize expenditures from CMHLC’s funds. In addition,
the Board of CMHLC also believes that it is prudent to allow staff to expend
certain funds associated with real estate owned by CMHLC without its specific
approval. Therefore, it has adopted the following policy:
Committee of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission shall have
the authority to authorize expenditures from the funds of CMHLC, without the
approval of the Board of CMHLC, under the following conditions:
The Executive Committee shall have the authority to expend funds for repairs to
correct any conditions on real property owned by CMHLC that would likely, if not
immediately corrected, result in (a) personal injury, (b) damage to property
owned by any third party; or (c) substantial damage to property owned by CMHLC,
which damage significantly exceeds the cost of the repair.
The Executive Committee shall have the authority to expend funds for repairs
required to fulfill its obligations under state law to provide fit and habitable
dwellings to residential tenants or to fulfill its obligations under leases,
provided such repairs are of the type that a tenant would reasonably expect to
be immediately completed, such as repairs required to provide basic services,
including electricity, water/sewer service, heating and air conditioning. This
provision shall not be used to pay for routine maintenance or other repairs that
could reasonably be handled by the CMHLC Board at a regularly scheduled meeting.
In addition to the expenditures authorized herein, the Executive Committee shall
also have the right to approve incidental expenses associated with real estate
owned by CMHLC up to the sum of $10,000.00 per incident or occurrence.
and Research Reports.
The Director is authorized to approve that a Survey and Research Report be
issued for up to $2,500.00. The Chair of the Survey Committee can authorize the
Consulting Director to prepare a Survey and Research Report. The Consulting
Director, with the approval of the Chair of the Survey Committee, may prepare
Survey and Research Reports for a fee not to exceed $2500.
Expenditures by Staff.
The Consulting Director shall have the authority to approve expenditures
associated with the real estate owned by CMHLC up to the sum of $1,500.00 per
incident or occurrence.
Committee. The Nominating Committee recommends a slate of officers for
the Commission in April or May and supervises the election of officers in June
of each year. Elections, unless otherwise determined by the Commission, are
held by secret ballot.
Committees/Chairs. The Commission Chair is authorized to establish
additional committees and/or chair as needed.
Meetings. Regular meetings of the Commission shall be held on the second
Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the Commission office, or at such other
place as shall be specified by the Commission Chair in advance of the meeting.
The Commission does not hold meetings in July of each year.
Meetings. Special meetings of the Commission may be called at any time by
the chair. At least 24 hours notice of the time and place of special meeting
shall be given by the Secretary or Chair to each member of the Commission.
A majority of the voting members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum.
Attendance requirements are in accordance with City and County rulings, as
runs January 1 – December 31. There are no excused absences for sickness,
business, or personal matters of any kind. City and County Attendance
Policies: City Council has an attendance policy that requires you to attend
65 percent of all regular, special and assigned subcommittee meetings from
the time your term begins until the end of this calendar year and each
subsequent calendar year thereafter; and you may not miss three consecutive
regular meetings of this board. If you fail to meet either of these two
requirements you will automatically be removed from the board per City Council’s
of Meeting. Meetings are open to the public. The order of business at
regular meetings is published in advance of each meeting.
Meeting. The annual meeting, where Commission officers are elected for the
new fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30, is held in June of each
Robert’s Rules of Order are followed regarding voting procedure.
rules/By-Laws may be amended at any time by a majority of the members of the
Information – All meetings shall be open to the public. The order of
business at regular meetings, unless amended by the Commission, shall be as
a) approval of
minutes, b) HLC Chair report, c) review of attendance sheet, d) Director’s
Report; e) Committee Reports; f) old business; g) new business).
ENABLING LEGISLATION OVERVIEW
The most powerful
governmental regulatory powers for historic preservation exist at the level of
local government. They are historic landmarks (properties which because of
their individual characteristics possess architectural, cultural, or historical
significance) and historic districts (properties which as a group possess
architectural, cultural, or historic significance). The specific regulations
associated with local historic landmarks and local historic districts are
enumerated in N.C.G.S 160A-400. It is imperative to realize that this is
local enabling legislation, which means that only those local governing
boards which choose to exercise these powers may do so. The specific action of
the local governing board (City Council, Town Board, and Board of County
Commissioners) is to create a local historic commission, either a Historic
District Commission, A Historic Landmarks Commission, or a Historic Preservation
Commission (this agency has jurisdiction over both historic landmarks and
historic districts). See Appendix B for the legislation itself.
Historic Landmarks Commission
The essential purposes of a Historic Landmarks Commission are:
Recommend the designation of properties as historic landmarks under the
police power of a local governing board.
To conduct comprehensive inventories of local built environment to
determine what properties might prospectively be designated as historic
To conduct design review over the material alteration or demolition of
To encourage the preservation of historic landmarks, including acquiring
the fee simple or any lesser included interest in historic landmarks and
disposing by sale, lease or any other legal means consistent with the
preservation of the landmark.
The fundamental consequences for having property designated as a historic
The Historic Landmarks Commission can delay the demolition of a historic
landmark for up to 365 days. During this period the Commission may attempt to
dissuade the owner from demolishing the historic landmark.
The Historic Landmarks Commission may recommend that the local governing
board acquire through eminent domain historic landmarks for which a demolition
permit is pending if such historic landmarks have been determined by the State
Historic Preservation Officer to have state-wide significance.
The Historic Landmarks Commission must issue a Certificate of
Appropriateness for any material alteration to a historic landmark.
The Historic Landmarks Commission may acquire the fee simple or any
lesser included interest in a historic landmark and dispose of same.
The owner of a historic landmark may apply for an automatic deferral of
one-half of the property taxes (Ad Valorem taxes) on that portion of the
property which has been so designated. Such deferral is continuous as long as
the property retains its designation as a historic landmark, The deferral is
not collectable upon resale. If the property should lose its historic landmark
status, the owner must pay three years’ back taxes plus a penalty.
determination of the HLC Budget is made annually by the Mecklenburg County
Budget Department. The Consulting Director of the HLC meets initially with a
budget analyst, usually in February, to determine whether the upcoming fiscal
year (July 1st to June 30th) will be a Current Level
Budget or will allow for Increased Services. If the Budget is to be a Current
Level Budget, the Budget Department will determine the necessary increases to
maintain Current Level. If the County will accept requests for Increased
Services, the Consulting Director will develop a list of requests for Increased
Services, will solicit input from Commissioners, and will make adjustments he or
she and the Budget Analyst deem appropriate for presentation to the Budget
HLC County Employees is determined by Mecklenburg County. The Consulting
Director of the HLC prepares an annual evaluation of the performance of HLC
County Employees and submits same to Mecklenburg County. The Consulting
Director and the Recording Consultant are consultants to the Historic Landmarks
Commission. They receive an increase of compensation equal to the average
annual increase for County employees.
purpose of the fund is to aid in the preservation and rehabilitation of
properties that are historic and/or culturally significant to the community.
established by issuance of public bonds and the commitment of other monies to
preserve and rehabilitate properties that are deemed "historic."
factors for consideration of eligibility for the acquisition of the fee simple
or any lesser included interest are: level of endangerment and economic
viability, or simply if the Landmarks Commission believes the preservation of
the subject property would be worthwhile to the public.
projects include individual buildings, structures, sites, areas, or objects
which have been studied by the Commission and judged to have historical,
architectural, archeological, or cultural value.
The Historic Landmarks Commission becomes the owner of any property acquired by
the Historic Landmarks Commission. Protective covenants are written into the
deeds to assure the longevity of preservation.
Landmarks Commission may, at its discretion, pursue preservation projects with
government agencies, non-profit organizations, and for-profit organizations.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission has Interlocal Agreements
with the following municipalities: City of Charlotte, Town of Cornelius,
Town of Davidson, Town of Matthews, Mecklenburg
County, Town of Huntersville, and Town of Pineville. These Interlocal Agreements, adopted by
each municipality, establish the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks
Commission as the historic commission for each municipality. For more
information on the Interlocal Agreements, contact the Attorney of the Historic
LOCAL GOVERNMENT (CLG) PROGRAM
In 1980, Congress amended the National
Historic Preservation Act of 1966
require each state to establish a procedure by which local governments may be
certified to participate in the national framework of historic preservation
programs. This requirement has become the "Certified Local Government (CLG)
Program" in which many North Carolina counties and cities participate, including
Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte.
Since Congress created
a preservation program for the United States in 1966, the National Historic
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
individual state governments the 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. To read
about the benefits of CLG status, see the
Guidelines for North Carolina’s
Certified Local Government Program (http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/2003%20CLG%20Guidelines.pdf)
9. DUTIES OF THE
DIRECTOR AND SUPPORT STAFF
Note: The Historic
Landmarks Commission has Consultants and Employees. Employees are paid by
Mecklenburg County and receive social security, sick leave, vacation, health
insurance, retirement benefits, disability benefits, etc, which add
approximately 40% to the salary. Consultants receive a stipend from the HLC
Annual Budget with no fringe benefits.
The Director shall be the principal administrative officer of the Commission.
The Director shall conduct all business that has not been specifically assigned
to others and see that the policies and directives of the Commission are carried
out. The Director shall provide continuing planning and organizational support
for the Commission. The Director shall attend the meetings of the Commission
and other civic and governmental organizations so that there will be a
coordinated program of historic preservation for Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The
Director shall assist the Preservation Planner in the preparation of ordinances
and engage in additional staff support as it may be required and authorized.
The Director shall aid the Preservation Planner in the design review of all
plans for properties over which the Commission has jurisdiction and assist in
the preparation and review of surveys and reports. In addition, the Director
shall perform all duties incident to the office of Director and such other
duties as may be prescribed from time to time by the Commission. It is
understood that the duties enumerated above do not include all responsibilities
that might involve the Director.
Planner (Employee) –
responsibility of the Preservation Planner is administering design review and
the processing of properties for historic landmark designation. The
Preservation Planner shall advise upon and oversee design review matters for all
submitted Certificates of Appropriateness Applications for locally designated
historic landmarks. The Preservation Planner shall prepare the Agenda for each
meeting of the Design Review Committee. The Preservation Planner will also
assist the Director of the Commission with the development of Survey and
Research Reports and assumes responsibility for the elements involved in the
designation process of historic landmarks. It is understood that the duties
enumerated above do not include all responsibilities that might involve the
Consultant (Consultant) –
The Recording Consultant takes minutes at all Commission and Committee
meetings. The Recording Consultant is also responsible for contacting and
notifying Commission and Committee members of upcoming meetings. The Recording
Consultant sends a meeting notification letter by mail and also phones all
Commission and Committee members to remind them of any upcoming meetings. It is
understood that the duties enumerated above do not include all responsibilities
that might involve the Recording Consultant.
Attorney – The
Commission Attorney provides
legal guidance to CMHLC in its investigation of, purchase and sale of, and
ownership of real estate. In addition to providing general real estate advice,
he or she prepares contracts, restrictive covenants, leases, and all real estate
documentation needed by the Commission. The Commission Attorney handles the
closing transactions, including obtaining title policies and surveys on real
estate prospectively to be purchased and works with HLC Staff (primarily the
Project Manager) regarding other due diligence matters involving real estate.
The Commission Attorney or members of his or her firm may handle additional
matters for CMHLC, but refers most other matters and any administrative matters
to the Mecklenburg County Attorney. The Commission Attorney is paid an hourly
fee from the HLC’s Revolving Fund or from the Professional Fee item in the HLC
operation budget, whichever is appropriate. It is
understood that the duties enumerated above do not include all responsibilities
that might involve the Commission Attorney.
Mecklenburg County Attorney
– This position provides general legal advice to CMHLC including advice
regarding administrative law matters, use of bond money, relationship with
Mecklenburg County, statutory authority of CMHLC, and most matters that are not
real estate related. It is understood that the duties
enumerated above do not include all responsibilities that might involve the
Mecklenburg County Attorney.
(Employee) – This
position, assigned to the Asset Management Department of Mecklenburg County, is
responsible for advising and assisting the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic
Landmarks Commission (HLC) with property acquisition, design & construction
management, and resale of historic landmarks throughout Mecklenburg County. In
coordination with the HLC Attorney, the position assists with the property
evaluation, acquisition and disposition process, as well as the design and
construction phases for Historic Landmarks restoration projects. The position
is responsible for maintaining the financial records of the HLC Revolving Fund
and providing a financial report of same at the monthly meetings of the HLC.
The position assists with evaluating the feasibility of property purchases, with
determining project requirements, prepares budget estimates, selects consultants
& negotiates fees for architectural /engineering design, reviews & approves
design and construction document phase submittals from consultants, manages the
bidding phase, hires and negotiates with construction contractors,
manages/monitors the construction phase of projects. The position also assists
with property management of the inventory of HLC real estate. This position
works with the HLC staff in making acquisition, design, and construction
recommendations to the HLC to ensure a good value for the funds expended, and to
ensure that procurement of design and construction services is handled in a
legal manner in accordance with the North Carolina General Statutes, Mecklenburg
County Board of Commissioners, and Historic Landmarks Commission policies.
It is understood that the duties enumerated above do
not include all responsibilities that might involve the Project Manager.
Assistant (Employee) –
This position provides professional
administrative assistance and
support to the staff and
Board of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. Work includes
assisting and supporting the Director, Preservation
Planner, and Recording Consultant with design review,
historic landmark designation
processes and with preparing
materials for meetings of the HLC and its constituent committees. The
Administrative Assistant shall maintain
the HLC’s Study List of potentially
eligible properties for local historic landmark designation,
in the processing and issuance of applications for Certificates of
Appropriateness, mailing notifications necessary in the design review and
historic designation processes, and
in providing information to the public, HLC Staff, and Commission.
It is understood that
the duties enumerated above do not include all responsibilities that might
involve the Administrative Assistant.
The Survey Committee is responsible
for reviewing surveys brought before it by historic consultants, reviewing
potential historic landmark applications (http://cmhpf.org/Surveys/potentiallandmark.htm)
and for identifying and developing an ongoing list of buildings, structures,
sites, areas and objects in Charlotte-Mecklenburg for possible designation as
historic landmarks. The Survey Committee will make presentations to the
Commission regarding prospective historic landmarks. These presentations will
address the historical, architectural and associative significance of each
prospective historic landmark and also discuss the respects in which each meets
the criteria for local historic landmark designation.
HISTORIC LANDMARK DESIGNATION PROCESS
1. A property being
considered for designation as a historic landmark is referred to the Survey
Committee of the Historic Landmarks Commission. A letter of notification is sent
to the owner(s) of the property that is being considered for historic landmark
designation. This letter provides the time and place of the meeting of the
Survey Committee at which the property will be considered for placement on the
Study List. A “Legal
Consequences of Designation” (http://landmarkscommission.org/FactsConcerningLandmarkStatus.htm)
sheet is also included. It is desirable to have obtained owner approval for
designation in order for the property to be considered. The Survey Committee
decides whether or not the property meets the criteria to be placed on the HLC’s
Study List and makes a recommendation to the Commission at its regular monthly
meeting for consideration. The placement of a property on the Study List does
not mean that a Survey and Research Report will necessarily be prepared. The
responsibility for the preparation of a Survey and Research Report rests with
the owner or in some instances with the Historic Landmarks Commission. When an
owner is responsible for the preparation of the Survey and Research Report, they must submit the report to the HLC Staff for review and approval as to
form. The HLC prepares and pays for Survey and Research Reports when: 1) the
owner demonstrates financial hardship, 2) when the HLC determines that the
property is endangered or has a high level of significance and would most likely
otherwise not be processed for historic landmark designation, and 3) when HLC
programmatic functions, e.g. property acquisition, require historic landmark
designation. In the last instances payment is usually made from the HLC
2. A Survey and
Research Report may be prepared for prospective historic landmarks once they
have been placed on the Study List. Completed Survey and Research Reports must
be presented to the Historic Landmarks Commission for approval, disapproval, or
amendment. A letter of notification is sent to the owner(s) of the property that
is being considered for historic landmark designation. This letter provides the
time and place of the meeting of the Historic Landmarks Commission at which the
property will be considered for historic landmark designation. A “Legal
Consequences of Designation” sheet is also included. If the interior of a
privately-owned property is to be considered for designation, the owners are
required by N.C.G.S. 160A-400 to sign the “Permission of Owner for Interior
Design Review.” If the owner did not produce the Survey and Research Report, a
copy of the report will be made available. The Survey and Research Report will
be available to the Commissioners on the Commission’s website.
3. The Survey and
Research Report, with visuals included, is considered by the Commission at its
monthly meeting. The Survey and Research Report describes the portions of the
property that meet the statutory requirements of special significance (e.g.
interior, exterior, outbuildings, and associated land). The Commission may vote
to recommend to the local governing board having zoning jurisdiction over the
subject property, that the subject property be designated as a historic
4. If the potential
landmark is located within the City of Charlotte or the City’s ETJ, the
following departments must be given the opportunity to comment:
Charlotte Historic Districts Commission
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department
Mecklenburg Building Standards Department
Neighborhood Development Key Business
Charlotte Department of
5. State Statues
mandate that the Division of Archives and History be given the opportunity to
comment on all prospective historic landmark designations. A copy of the Survey
and Research Report is sent to the Division of Archives and History. Comments,
which are advisory in nature, must be made within 30 days of receipt.
6. If the N.C.
Division of Archives and History comments unfavorably on the prospective
designation of a historic landmark, staff will consider its comments and attempt
to resolve the issues contained in the unfavorable comment. In all instances
when an unfavorable comment is received, staff will advise the Historic
Landmarks Commission of this fact and provide an opportunity for the Commission
to amend or withdraw its recommendation regarding the prospective historic
7. If the N. C.
Division of Archives and History comments favorably on the prospective
designation of a historic landmark, or, if the Historic Landmarks Commission
votes to proceed with the designation process despite a negative comment from
the Division of Archives and History, the following procedural steps are
request is sent to the Mecklenburg County Tax Office, asking for the amount of
taxes deferrable on the property. The request should include the portions of
the property included in the designation recommendation.
following materials are sent to the appropriate City or Town Clerk:
–A draft of a Resolution calling for public hearings to consider the designation
of the property. Cover Page (facts sheet on property), Survey and Research
Report, HLC Vote Summary, Tax Deferral Letter, Department Review Summary,
Archives and History Comment Letter, Resolution draft and Ordinance draft.
– (Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Pineville) Ordinance draft.
–If a property located in the City of Charlotte or its ETJ is being processed
for local historic landmark designation, all members of the Mecklenburg Board of
County Commission are notified of the proposed designation.
8. Before a governing
board can adopt an ordinance designating a property as an historic landmark,
Public Hearings must be held by the governing board and the Historic Landmarks
Commission to discuss the proposed designation and give the public an
opportunity to comment. Public hearings must be advertised. HLC staff is
responsible for drafting the advertisement. The appropriate City or Town
Clerk’s office is responsible for running the advertisement.
property owners by mail of the dates of the forthcoming public hearings at least
two weeks in advance.
10. Staff attends
all public hearings.
appropriate local governing board may vote on the adoption of an ordinance
designating a property as a local historic landmark after the completion of the
public hearings. The vote can be called for during the same meeting where the
public hearing was held, or the vote can be scheduled for a later meeting.
12. If the
appropriate governing board votes to adopt an ordinance designating a property
as a local historic landmark, a certified copy of the ordinance (complete with
Town or City seal) must be produced. HLC staff is responsible for registering
the ordinance with the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds.
13. Typically it
takes 4-7 weeks to receive the registered ordinance back from the Register of
Deeds Office. The registered ordinance will be filed in the offices of the HLC.
The following parties will be supplied with a copy of the registered ordinance:
Archives and History
Mecklenburg County Tax Office
Building Standards Department (same for City and Towns
City or Town Clerk Mecklenburg County Land Records/GIS
County Planning Commission
property owner will also receive a letter containing contact information for the
Tax Office, and a reminder about the procedures of design review process. If
owner is interested, they can receive a plaque identifying their property as a
historic landmark. Plaque recipients will sign a receipt acknowledging receipt
of the plaque.
See Appendix A for NC Division of Archives and History.
DESIGN REVIEW PROCESS
The Historic Landmarks
Commission has adopted the
Secretary of the Interior’s Guidelines for Rehabilitation as its design
review standards to determine the appropriateness or inappropriateness of
intended changes to historic landmarks. Here is a video on the
process of Design Review.
The Design Review
Committee, except as stipulated below, formulates recommendations regarding the
Certificates of Appropriateness (COA) for intended physical changes to
historic landmarks. It is, therefore, the Commission’s instrument of design
review. Certificates of Appropriates can be one of two types.
Certificates of Appropriateness must be reviewed by the Design Review Committee
before a recommendation can be presented to the Historic Landmarks Commission
for action. After receiving an application for a Certificate of
Appropriateness, staff is required to notify all property owners located within
100 feet of the property. This notification provides the time and place of the
meeting of the Design Review Committee at which the prospective project will be
Works Certificate of Appropriateness is issued for incidental changes. A Minor
Works COA can be issued if the Chair of the Design Review Committee and the
Consulting Director of the Commission agree that the proposed project is
appropriate. Neighboring property owners of Minor Works COAs are not notified.
The links for the
Appropriateness Application is
The links for the
Minor Works Certificate of
Appropriateness Application is
3) When A Historic Landmark is also located in a Historic District – Applicants
are hereby advised the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission and
the Charlotte Historic Districts Commission are two
separate agencies and that each has its own design review responsibilities for
historic landmarks that are located in local historic districts in the City of
Charlotte. Applicants are also hereby advised that the usual period
for processing Applications for Certificates of Appropriateness for historic
landmarks that are located in local historic districts in Charlotte will take a
minimum of one and one-half months.
1. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic
Landmarks Commission’s Design Review Committee will formulate a recommendation
to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission regarding an
application for a Certificate of Appropriateness for the subject property.
2. The Charlotte Historic Districts
Commission may consider the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks
Commission’s Design Review Committee’s recommendation regarding the subject
property when the Charlotte Historic District Commission considers the issuance
of a Certificate of Appropriateness for the subject property. Staff of the
Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission will be available for a
presentation at the meeting of the Charlotte Historic Districts when the
Charlotte Historic Districts Commission considers the issuance of a Certificate
of Apppropriateness for the subject property.
3. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic
Landmarks Commission may consider the Charlotte Historic District Commission’s
action regarding the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness for the
subject property when the Charlotte Mecklenburg Landmarks Commission considers
the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness for the subject property.
Staff of the Charlotte Historic District Commission will be available for a
presentation of the meeting of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks
Commission when the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission
considers the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness for the subject
4. As required by State Law, both
commissions must issue their respective certificates of appropriateness for the
petitioner’s action to be allowed.
13. GUIDELINES FOR PROJECTS AND REAL ESTATE ACQUISITIONS
Historic Landmarks Commission is allowed by State Enabling Legislation to
purchase a property in its own name. This is significant, because it absolves
the Commission from the property acquisition and disposal procedures mandated
for local governments, e.g. mandatory sale to the highest bidder. The
Commission is not required to pay appraised price, and it may sell or lease
property at any price to any entity that will advance the purposes of preserving
the subject property.
1. The Commission
appreciates that each property possesses a unique character that suggests a
variety of potential preservation strategies (all of which, to qualify for
Commission consideration, must meet the
Secretary of the Interior’s Guidelines for Rehabilitation, which have been
adopted by the Commission as its design review standards). In selecting a
preservation strategy for a given property, the Commission shall seek to balance
the objectives of historic preservation and recovery of investment, in an effort
to preserve and enhance the revolving fund as one of its most important
2. As a general rule,
the Commission shall restore buildings only to the level necessary to safeguard
their physical integrity and to market them effectively for sale or other
3. The Commission
recognizes that in-fill (the building of new structures) and adaptive reuse are
legitimate preservation strategies and in appropriate circumstances shall
encourage their use either through its own actions or through the actions of
4. The Commission
further recognizes that circumstances can exist in which the recovery of funds
invested in a given project may not be assured. In such circumstances, the
Commission shall endeavor to balance the objectives of historic preservation and
fund preservation by applying the general rule that the greater the risk to
recovery of invested funds from a given project the higher the standard that
shall be applied in assessing the merits of the project under consideration.
N.C. ARCHIVES &
HISTORY’S EXPLANATION OF LOCAL HISTORIC DISTRICT AND HISTORIC LANDMARK
The North Carolina
Division of Archives and History provides the following information as guidance
for local historic preservation commissions.
may apply to individual buildings, structures, sites, areas, or objects which
are studied by the Commission and judged to have historical, architectural,
archaeological, or cultural value. Historic district designation may be either a
type of overlay or special use zoning that applies to entire neighborhoods or
other areas that include many historic properties. The zoning provides controls
on the appearance of existing and proposed buildings.
designation process usually begins when a commission identifies a property or an
area as a potential landmark or district. The commission studies the site and
writes a local designation report which documents the site’s significance. The
commission normally contacts property owners during this stage to seek their
cooperation and to explain the ramifications of local designation. Although
seldom done, a landmark may be designated over the objection of its owner;
however, owner consent is required for the designation of a privately-owned
landmark’s interior. Likewise, a district may be designated over the objection
of property owners; state law does not provide for the designation of the
interiors of properties within districts.
The Department of
Cultural Resources, acting through the State Historic Preservation Officer, is
given an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed designation. When the
commission recommends designation, the commission and the local governing board
hold a public hearing to consider the merits of the designation. The final step
in the designation process is the passage of an ordinance designating the
landmark or district by the local governing board.
The State Historic
Preservation Office has prepared an overview
of local landmark reports with
guidelines for their preparation (http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/local/LocalLandmarkReports.pdf)
model reports (http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/local/modelreports.html).
The Benefits of
is an honor, indicating the community believes the property or district deserves
recognition and protection. Owners of designated landmarks are eligible to apply
for an annual 50 percent property tax deferral as long as the property’s
important historic features are maintained. Recapture penalties may apply if the
owner destroys the property or damages its historic value. Unlike
landmark designation, local historic district designation has no effect on local
property taxes for property owners within the designated district. Historic
district zoning can help to stabilize property values by maintaining the
neighborhood’s character, and it benefits property owners by protecting them
from inappropriate changes made by other owners that might destroy the special
qualities of the neighborhood.
The Requirements of
of local landmarks and of property in local historic districts are required to
obtain certificates of
appropriateness from their
preservation commission before making significant changes or additions to a
property, before beginning new construction, or before demolishing or relocating
a property. The commission’s review of proposed changes ensures that work on a
property in a district or on landmark is appropriate to the special character of
the district or landmark. Commissions adopt design guidelines as the criteria to
judge what changes are appropriate. Property owners also use the design
guidelines to plan possible projects, and to discuss their applications with the