Kentucky Heritage Council - (Banner Imagery) - click to go to homepage.

The Certified Local Government Program

Jointly administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service, Kentucky's Certified Local Government Program is a local, state, and federal partnership that promotes historic preservation planning and protection of prehistoric and historic resources at the local level.  Because local community planning staff often plays a key role in CLG procedures and projects, the thread of historic preservation is usually woven into the fabric of local land-use policy.

Pictured below, the Maysville commercial historic district.  The City of Maysville became a Certified Local Government in 1988.

Maysville, KY

Goals of the CLG Program

  • Historic preservation issues are understood and addressed at the local level and integrated into local planning and decision-making processes at the earliest possible opportunity.
  • Local interests and concerns are integrated into the historic site identification, evaluation, nomination, and protection functions of the State Historic Preservation Office.
  • Local historic preservation legislation and historic preservation commissions are established in cities where they do not yet exist and are updated, if necessary, where they already exist.
  • Existing Kentucky Historic Buildings Inventory and Kentucky Archaeological Inventory Information is made available to local communities to use in identifying and defining community and neighborhood development and conservation areas.
  • Information concerning local historic preservation issues is shared with the Kentucky Heritage Council and the public more readily.

Benefits of Becoming a Certified Local Government

  • Eligibility to compete for matching grants annually for approved projects.  According to federal law, at least 10% of the state's annual federal Historic Preservation Fund [HPF] allotment must be allocated to the Certified Local Government fund.  
  • Access to expert technical advice from the Kentucky State Historic Preservation Office as well as the National Park Service
  • CLGs have a formal role in the National Register nomination review process.
  • Participation in the establishment of regional and state historic preservation objectives.
  • Partnerships with the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions, Preserve America, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the National Main Street Center.

Requirements for the Program

The National Historic Preservation Act [NHPA] and the State of Kentucky require a local government seeking certification to meet five broad standards:

  • Enforce appropriate state and local legislation for the designation and protection of historic properties.  In Kentucky, a local government must adopt a local historic preservation ordinance that meets KHC guidelines [see the Kentucky CLG Manual in the Related Content box on the right].  The preservation ordinance is usually a section of the local zoning ordinance.  
  • Establish an adequate and qualified preservation commission [architectural review board], as stipulated in state and local legislation.
  • Establish and maintain a system for the survey and inventory of historic properties.
  • Provide for adequate public participation in the local historic preservation program, including the process of recommending properties for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Satisfactorily perform any other responsibilities delegated in the CLG agreement.

Kentucky's Certified Local Governments

For a list of CLGs in Kentucky, see the Related Content box to the right.

How to Apply for Certification

Communities interested in becoming a Certified Local Government must submit an application to the Kentucky Heritage Council.  For an application and State CLG Manual, see the Related Content box to the right.

Visit the National Park Service website for more information about the federal CLG program External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain.  and how this preservation partnership works, or for more about why local preservation programs are important and how the NPS assists local preservation efforts. External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain.

Also see the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain.  for more.

Watch Now!
Nick ClooneyHistoric Preservation: Saving Place [External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. ] is a historic preservation video starring Northern Kentucky’s favorite celebrity, Nick Clooney.  Watch as he and others describe the significance of historic places in their communities, the benefits of living and owning a business in a local historic district, and the importance of historic preservation in Northern Kentucky and throughout the Commonwealth.  This video was produced in 2011 by Barking Fish Lounge and funded in partnership by the Covington Urban Design Review Board and Bellevue Historic Preservation Commission with the assistance of a Certified Local Government grant, provided by the National Park Service and U.S. Department of the Interior and administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council.

For More Information

Vicki Birenberg
State Certified Local Government Program and Planning Coordinator
(502) 564-7005, ext. 126



Related Content

CLGs and the National Register - detailed instructions

CLG/National Register report form

National Park Service resources are available for local preservation planning:

Historic Preservation Planning in Local Communities [External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. ] includes links to planning tips, tools and guidelines and provides examples of local historic preservation plans across the country

Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Illustrated Guidelines on  Sustainability for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings [External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. ] is the set of official NPS guidelines on how to make changes to improve energy efficiency of historic buildings


Last Updated 7/25/2017