Certified Local Government FAQ

Q: What are the first steps to becoming a CLG?

A: For counties, start by talking with the Chair of your County Historical Commission. Invite the Chair to learn more about the CLG Program through the website or by contacting the CLG Program Coordinator. 

For cities with existing local preservation ordinances, find out who administers the preservation ordinance (typically, the Planning Director or Historic Preservation Officer) and start the conversation with those individuals about becoming a Certified Local Government. If your city does not have a preservation ordinance, work with elected officials, city staff, and the public to gain support for the adoption of a preservation ordinance. Work with CLG Program staff to make sure that the drafted ordinance meets the CLG Program requirements. 

Q: What are the responsibilities of the CLG?

A: Local governments are responsible for establishing and supporting a local preservation program. See the CLG Requirements webpage for more information. 

Q: Who May Apply for the Grants?

A: Cities and counties designated by the THC and the National Park Service as Certified Local Governments are eligible to apply for grants. The local government must be certified prior to the beginning of the grant cycle to be eligible for grants.

Q: What doesn't qualify for CLG grant funding?

A: CLG Grant funds are used to develop projects benefitting the local government’s preservation program. See examples of previous grants. Unallowable costs include any work completed after the grant deadline, refreshments, entertainment. For a complete list of unallowable expenses, review the Historic Preservation Fund Grants Manual

Q: Can my CLG submit multiple grant applications in one year? 

A: Yes. There is no limit to the amount of applications one CLG may submit.

Q: I represent a nonprofit organization in a CLG community, how do we apply for a CLG grant? 

A: Third party organizations, such as preservation nonprofits, should complete the CLG grant application. Part of the application will require third party applicants to obtain the support and signatures from the CLG's Historic Preservation Officer and highest elected official.  

Q: What is the purpose of CLG Grants?

A: The grants are to assist local governments in documenting and promoting the preservation of historic and archaeological sites. Examples of eligible projects include conducting architectural and archaeological surveys, nominating properties to the National Register of Historic Places, developing educational outreach activities or events, and preparing historic preservation plans.

Q: What does "Section 106 Review" mean?

A: Section 106 refers to a particular part of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 that requires every Federal agency to "take into account" how each of its undertakings could affect historic properties.

Section 106 Review refers to the federal review process designed to ensure that historic properties are considered during federal project planning. The review process is administered by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, an independent agency, in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer. The Council must be afforded a reasonable opportunity to comment on such projects. Any project involving federal funds is subject to Section 106 Review.

It is important to note that Section 106 Review extends to properties that possess significance and are determined eligible for listing on the National Register, but have not yet been listed.

Learn more about the Section 106 Review process.

Q: To which laws must CLGs and landmark commissions or architectural review boards pay specific attention?

A: The Certified Local Government Program is governed by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 as amended, National Park Service Regulations 36 CFR 61, the Historic Preservation Fund Grants Manual, 2007 edition, Texas Administrative Code Section 13, Chapter 15.6, and the CLG Handbook. All requirements for CLGs are listed in the CLG Certification Agreement.

In addition, historic preservation commissions are governed by the responsibilities and regulations established in the local historic preservation ordinance.

Q: What role does a CLG play in the National Register of Historic Places process?

A: One of the minimum duties of a landmark commission is to review all proposed National Registration nominations for properties within the boundaries of the CLG's jurisdiction.

Q: What can I, an average citizen, do to help establish a historic district in my area?

A: To begin with, you will need to gain the support of both your elected officials and the citizens of your potential historic district. Take time to speak to the citizens, hold a public meeting, and explain the advantages of historic districts.

Remember, a historic district is established to benefit the public. The public is always welcome at meetings and should be encouraged to attend and participate. Review these 10 steps recommended by the National Trust for Historic Preservation when establishing a historic district. 

Q: How often must a preservation commission meet?

A: The THC requires the preservation commission of a CLG community to meet at least six times a year. Meeting dates and times are set by the local government and must be conducted in accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act. 

Q: What must be included in a CLG-approved historic preservation ordinance?

A: City CLGs must have an adopted preservation ordinance that meets the CLG Program's standards. Preservation ordinance standards can be found here

Q: What is demolition by neglect?  

A: Demolition by Neglect is the lack of or improper maintenance of any structure or property with historic overlay zoning, which results in deterioration of the structure and threatens the preservation of the structure.

Q: Can a CLG community lose its CLG status? 

A: Yes. A CLG may request decertification in writing at any time. The THC also reserves the right to decertify a CLG that does not meet the requirements in the CLG Certification Agreement. 

Q: How are County CLGs typically structured? 

A: County CLGs are typically part of the County Historical Commission as a standing committee. The CLG Committee is defined in the County Historical Commission's bylaws.  

Q: What are the training requirements for Historic Preservation Officers and Preservation Commission members? 

A: Preservation commissioners and Historic Preservation Officers are required to attend one preservation-related training a year.