36 CFR § 61.6 - Certified local government programs.

§ 61.6 Certified local government programs.

(a) Each approved State program must provide a mechanism for certification (by the State Historic Preservation Officer and the Secretary) of local governments to carry out the purposes of the Act.

(b) Each State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) must follow procedures that the Secretary approves for the certification of local governments. Each SHPO also must follow procedures for removal of certified local government (CLG) status for cause. A SHPO must submit any proposed amendment to its procedures to the Secretary for approval. The Secretary will act on each proposal in a timely fashion generally within 45 days of receipt.

(c) When a SHPO approves a local government certification request in accordance with the State program's National Park Service (NPS)-approved certification process, the SHPO must prepare a written certification agreement between the SHPO and the local government. The certification agreement must list the specific responsibilities of the local government when certified. The SHPO must submit to the Secretary the written certification agreement and any additional information as is necessary for the Secretary to certify the local government pursuant to the Act and this part. If the Secretary does not disapprove the proposed certification within 15 working days of receipt, the Secretary has certified the local government.

(d) Beyond the minimum responsibilities set out in the Act for all CLGs, the SHPO may make additional delegations of responsibility to individual CLGs. However, these delegations may not include the SHPO's overall responsibility derived from the Act or where law or regulation specifies.

(e) The SHPO must ensure that each local government satisfies the following minimum requirements as conditions for certification. Each CLG must:

(1) Enforce appropriate State or local legislation for the designation and protection of historic properties. The State procedures must define what constitutes appropriate legislation, as long as:

(i) Designation provisions in such legislation include the identification and registration of properties for protection that meet criteria established by the State or the locality for significant historic and prehistoric resources within the jurisdiction of the local government;

(ii) Protection provisions in such legislation include a local review process under State or local law for proposed demolitions of, changes to, or other action that may affect historic properties as paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section describes; and

(iii) The legislation otherwise is consistent with the Act.

(2) Establish by State or local law and maintain an adequate and qualified historic preservation review commission (Commission). All Commission members must have a demonstrated interest, competence, or knowledge in historic preservation. Unless State or local legislation provides for a different method of appointment, the chief elected local official must appoint all Commission members.

(i) The State procedures must encourage certified local governments to include individuals who meet “the Secretary's (Historic Preservation) Professional Qualifications Standards” among the membership of the Commission, to the extent that such individuals are available in the community.

(ii) The State procedures may specify the minimum number of Commission members who must meet “the Secretary's (Historic Preservation) Professional Qualifications Standards.” The State procedures may also specify which, if any, disciplines the Commission's membership must include from among those disciplines that the Standards describe. Membership requirements set by the State procedures for Commissions must be cognizant of the needs and functions of Commissions in the State and subject to the availability of such professionals in the community concerned.

(iii) Provided that the Commission is otherwise adequate and qualified to carry out the responsibilities delegated to it, the SHPO may certify a local government without the minimum number or types of disciplines established in State procedures, if the local government can demonstrate that it has made a reasonable effort to fill those positions, or that an alternative composition of the Commission best meets the needs of the Commission and of the local government.

(iv) The SHPO must make available to each Commission orientation materials and training designed to provide a working knowledge of the roles and operations of Federal, State, and local historic preservation programs, and historic preservation in general.

(3) Maintain a system for the survey and inventory of historic properties. The SHPO must ensure that such systems and the data that they produce are capable of integration into and are compatible with statewide inventories and (when and as appropriate) with State and local planning processes.

(4) Provide for adequate public participation in the local historic preservation program as a whole. The SHPO must provide each CLG with appropriate guidance on mechanisms to ensure adequate public participation in the local historic preservation program including the process for evaluating properties for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

(5) Satisfactorily perform the responsibilities delegated to it under the Act. The SHPO must monitor and evaluate the performance of each CLG according to written standards and procedures that the SHPO establishes. If a SHPO's evaluation of a CLG's performance indicates that such performance is inadequate, the SHPO must suggest in writing ways to improve performance. If, after a period of time that the SHPO stipulates, the SHPO determines that the CLG has not improved its performance sufficiently, the SHPO may recommend that the Secretary decertify the local government. If the Secretary does not object within 30 working days of receipt, the Secretary has approved the decertification.

(f) Effects of certification include:

(1) Inclusion in the process of nominating properties to the National Register of Historic Places in accordance with sections 101 (c)(2)(A) and (c)(2)(B) of the Act. The SHPO may delegate to a CLG any of the responsibilities of the SHPO and the Review Board in processing National Register nominations as specified in 36 CFR part 60 (see also § 61.4(b)(3)), except for the authority to nominate properties directly to the National Register. A CLG may make nominations directly to NPS only when the State does not have an approved program pursuant to § 61.4.

(2) Eligibility to apply for a portion of the State's annual Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grant award. Each State must transfer at least 10 percent of its annual HPF grant award to CLGs for historic preservation projects and programs in accordance with the Act and as § 61.7 specifies.

(g) The District of Columbia is exempt from the requirements of this section because there are no subordinated local governments in the District. If any other jurisdiction that section 301(2) of the Act defines as a State believes that its political subdivisions lack authorities similar to those of local governments in other States, and hence cannot satisfy the requirements for local government certification, it may apply to the Secretary for exemption from the requirements of this section.

(h) Procedures for direct certification by the Secretary where there is no approved State program pursuant to § 61.4. To the extent feasible, the Secretary will ensure that there is consistency and continuity in the CLG program of a State that does not have an approved State program.

(1) Where there is no approved State program, a local government wishing to become certified must apply directly to the Secretary.

(2) The application must demonstrate that the local government meets the specifications for certification set forth in paragraph (e) of this section.

(3) The Secretary will review certification applications under this paragraph (h) and take action in a timely fashion generally within 90 days of receipt.