Historic Landmarks Commission

The Historic Landmarks Commission derives its authority from State enabling legislation.  Click here to read Statutes providing legal authority.

Historic Landmarks Commission Manual Of Practice

List Of Historic Landmarks In Charlotte Mecklenburg

The essential purpose of the Historic Landmarks Commission is to use the police power of local government to regulate real and personal property of special historic significance to protect it from inadvertent material alteration or demolition.

It achieves this objective by recommending real and personal property for historic landmark designation by the agency of local government that has zoning authority over the prospective historic landmark.

If the Historic Landmarks Commission has voted to recommend to the local governing board that a property be designated as a historic landmark, the Historic Landmarks Commission may delay the demolition of the subject historic landmark for up to 180 days or the date on which the local governing board votes on the Commission's recommendation, whichever occurs first.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission has entered into an interlocal agreement that enables it to function as the Landmarks Commission for:  Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Pineville, Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, and Matthews.

The Survey Committee of the HLC recommends properties  to be processed for historic landmark designation by the HLC. 


Once designated as a historic landmark, the property is subject to the following regulatory consequences:

1.  The owner of a historic landmark must obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness for the material alteration of a historic landmark.  No building permit or demolition permit will be issued to the owner until the owner has obtained a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Landmarks Commission. 

2.The Commission cannot deny a Certificate of Appropriatness for demolition.  It may delay the granting of the Certificate of Appropriateness for up to 365 days from the date the Commission acts on the application.

3. The local governing board may acquire a historic landmark by eminent domain for which an Application for a Certificate of Approriateness for demolition has been filed.

4.  The owner of a historic landmark may apply for an automatic deferral of one-half of the local property taxes due on that portion of the property which is a historic landmark.  The deferred tax is only recapturable if the owner demolishes the historic landmark.  In that instance, three-year's back taxes are due plus interest.

The Design Review Committee makes recommendations to the Historic Landmarks Commission regarding Certificates of Appropriateness.

The Historic Landmarks Commission may acquire the fee simple or any lesser included interest (e.g. easements, options) in historic landmarks.

The Historic Landmarks Commission purchases property in its own name, which means its sales are essentially private sales and are not subject to the upset bid rules or the requirement to accept the highest bid that govern sales by government.

The Board of County Commissioners must "recognize" the money that is spent on property by the Historic Landmarks Commission.

The Assets and Facilities Management Department provides project managment services for the HLC.

The Projects Committee makes recommendation to the Historic Landmarks Commission regarding real estate transactions.


The National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Hisoric Places was ceated in 1966 by Congress and is run by the National Park Service.

Its primary purpose is to protect individual and collections of historic properties from adverse impacts resulting from  the expenditure of Federal money and programs.  It in no way limits property owners from using their own money to materially alter or demolish their property.  It enourages preservation by providing Federal tax credits to owners of income producing properties who have had their rehabilitation plans approved the the National Park Service.

National Register Of Historic Places Website

List of National Register Properties in North Carolina

In this video I explain the historic preservation agencies that operate at the local government level.

In this video I explain the National Register Of Historic Places.
Dr. Dan L. Morrill
139 Middleton Drive
Charlotte, N.C. 28207
[email protected]
R. J. Reynolds High School - 1956
Wake Forest University - 1960 (B.A.)
Emory University -  1961 (M.A.)
Emory University - 1966  (Ph.D.)
Professor Emeritus of History UNCC
Director, Charlotte-Mecklenburg 
                  Historic Landmarks