The Historic Landmarks Commission's Authority
This is a brief introduction to the work of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.
Click here for current roster.
It is primarily intended for the members of the Commission, but everyone is welcome to look it over. The course consists primarily of hyperlinks which take you to pages that explain the various purposes of the Historic Landmarks Commission.
The offices of the Commission are located at 2100 Randolph Road in in Charlotte in the historic Ratcliffe-Otterbourg House. The Commission meets the second Monday night of each month at 6 p.m. The public is welcome.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission is an agency of Mecklenburg County and for budgetary purposes is a component of the Assets and Facilities Management Department. It 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 reappointed for an additional 3-year term.
The Commission was created in July 1973 by joint action of the Charlotte City Council and the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners. The Commission derives all of its powers from State Enabling Legislation.
Click here to read 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.
The Historic Landmarks Commission protects properties in four fundamental ways. First, it recommends the designation of individually significant properties as historic landmarks. THE HLC WILL BE SENSITIVE AND RESPECTFUL OF AN OWNER’S DESIRE REGARDING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROCESSING AN OWNER’S PROPERTY, BUT THE HLC, AFTER DELIBERATE CONSIDERATION, MAY RECOMMEND THE PROCESSING OF PROPERTIES FOR HISTORIC DESIGNATION IF IT DEEMS THAT THE PROPERTY IS WORTHY OF CONSIDERATION FOR DESIGNATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PREVAILING GUIDELINES. 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 three principal committees. They are:
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.
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.
Click here to see Potential Historic Landmarks Form
, which is submitted by owners to the Commission. The documentation for prospective historic landmarks is found in a Survey and Research Report. Click here to see an example of a Survey and Research Report.
Design Review Committee. The Design Review Committee formulates recommendations regarding the issuance of Certificates of Appropriateness 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. A Minor Works Certificate of Appropriateness is issued for incidental changes. The Chairman of the Design Review Committee and the Consulting Director of the Commission have the authority to issue such documents if they agree on its content. Major Certificates of Appropriateness must come before the full Historic Landmarks Commission for action.
Click here to see a Minor Works Certificate of Appropriateness Application Form.
Click here to see a Major Certificate of Appropriateness Application Form.
The Nominating Committee selects a list of nominees for the elected officers of the Commission. They are: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer. Voting occurs annually at the June HLC Meeting.