Tennessee Preservation Trust

THC Certified Local Governments (CLG):

For over 30 years, the Certified Local Government (CLG) program has been a major source of support for local communities throughout Tennessee. The program gives local governments support and technical advice from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the responsibility for review and approval of National Register nominations, and the eligibility to apply to the SHPO for grant funds that are earmarked for certified local governments. The Tennessee Historical Commission, as the Tennessee SHPO, must award ten percent of Tennessee’s share of the Historic Preservation Fund for eligible historic preservation projects undertaken by Certified Local Governments. As of 2011, 32 towns, cities, and counties in Tennessee had been certified by the Tennessee Historical Commission and the National Park Service as Certified Local Governments.

To become a Certified Local Government, the Tennessee Historical Commission requires a local government to:

  • have enacted a historic zoning ordinance, in compliance with the state enabling legislation, to protect historic districts and/or landmarks;
  • enforce that ordinance through design review by a qualified historic zoning commission (also called a board of architectural review or historic preservation commission);
  • maintain a system for the survey and inventory of historic properties;
  • provide for adequate public participation in the local preservation program;
  • satisfactorily perform the responsibilities delegated to it under the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended.

Benefits of being a Certified Local Government:

  • Receive priority in technical assistance and services from the Tennessee Historical Commission.
  • Training sessions for historic zoning commissioners are held on-site at the request of the Certified Local Government.
  • Special networking meetings are held for CLG staff and historic zoning commissioners to discuss issues in historic zoning and historic preservation.
  • The THC is also required to allocate at least 10% of the Historic Preservation Fund Grants to the Certified Local Governments; thus, CLGs receive priority status in grant funding available.

CLG grants in Tennessee have funded a number of diverse projects, such as:

  • Preservation Plans
  • Design Guidelines
  • Survey of Historic Properties
  • Bricks and Mortar
  • Preservation Education projects, such as brochures
  • Training for historic zoning commissioners

For more information about the Certified Local Government program or interested in becoming a Certified Local Government, contact Dan Brown, the Certified Local Government Coordinator, at the Tennessee Historical Commission at 615.532.1550.

Click here for a full list of Tennessee’s Certified Local Governments and their contact information.

Visit the National Park Service for additional information on Certified Local Governments.