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Lexington Accepted into Certified Local Government Program

August 24, 2017

Planning and Development

This month, City of Lexington was officially accepted into the Certified Local Government (CLG) program. Jointly administered by the National Park Service (NPS) and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, this program recognizes local governments who have enacted sound local historic preservation policies. Designation as a CLG gives local governments a way to participate more formally in state and national historic preservation programs, and comes with certain benefits, including eligibility for grant programs.

As a Certified Local Government, Lexington will be eligible to apply for preservation matching grants from a 10% share of Virginia’s annual federal appropriation. Lexington will also automatically be considered for Department of Historic Resources Cost Share Program funding, among other benefits. CLG grants can be used for a number of things, including rehabilitation of buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places, public education programs, and, particularly of interest to Lexington, drafting new design guidelines.

The City plans to apply for a CLG grant for new design guidelines for historic districts in early 2018. Revitalizing the design guidelines would strengthen the city’s process for architectural improvements and further ensure the preservation of Lexington’s beloved historic districts.

More about the Certified Local Government Program in Virginia (from dhr.virginia.gov): Communities strengthen and expand their local preservation programs through Certified Local Government (CLG) designation. The CLG program was created by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended in 1980). It establishes a partnership between local governments, the federal historic preservation program, and each state's State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), which in the case of Virginia is the Department of Historic Resources (DHR). The program allows DHR, as the SHPO, to recommend for certification local governments that have put key elements of a sound local preservation program in place in their communities. Designation as a CLG gives local governments a way to participate more formally in the state and national historic preservation programs. General requirements for certification are identified in the federal program; specific requirements for the Virginia program have been established by DHR. Goals of the Virginia CLG program are threefold:

• Promote viable communities through preservation
• Recognize and reward communities with sound local preservation programs
• Establish credentials of quality for local preservation programs