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CLG certification follows an easy process through which SHPO works with the applicant to outline a preservation program that will help the community be successful in its efforts. The process is designed to help a community achieve certification in a timely manner, so long as it has satisfactorily demonstrated its ability to meet program requirements. A detailed explanation of the application process is available in Michigan's Certified Local Government Certification Manual and summarized below.
SHPO is responsible for ensuring that communities participating in the CLG program satisfactorily meet National Park Service (NPS) requirements. Communities wishing to pursue CLG status are strongly encouraged to contact SHPO prior to applying for certification.
SHPO’s CLG Coordinator is available to meet with local officials, historic district commissioners, planning managers, and others to discuss the CLG program, its requirements, and benefits to make sure they understand the program and how it can help them meet their community’s goals and priorities. The SHPO CLG Coordinator is also available to talk through the application process and required materials, which can help streamline the review process and facilitate a community’s ability to successfully achieve certification.
If the local government has not already done so, it must adopt a local historic preservation ordinance complying with the requirements of Public Act 169 of 1970 (PA 169), as amended (Michigan's Local Historic Districts Act), prior to applying for CLG certification. The ordinance declares the community’s commitment to preservation. It also serves as a planning and regulatory tool, much like a zoning ordinance, and provides for the identification and protection of important historic resources in the community. It does this by codifying the procedures for establishing, administering, and modifying locally designated historic districts and authorizing the establishment of a historic district commission responsible for design review in designated areas. For additional guidance on preparing a local historic district, see SHPO's guidance here.
Following adoption of the ordinance, the local government should solicit interest in and appoint members to the historic district commission in accordance with the requirements outlined in PA 169, with the goal of identifying knowledgeable and qualified persons who will promote responsible decision-making. Once established, the commission should hold its first meeting and approve rules of procedure, including bylaws and a conflict of interest policy that governs real and perceived conflicts.
Once a community has its local district ordinance and historic district commission in place, it can formally apply to SHPO for CLG certification. Interested communities should prepare an application meeting the requirements outilned in Michigan's Certifiied Local Government Program Certification Manual. If they have not already done so, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact SHPO's CLG Coordinator to make sure that all of the required materials have been gathered before submitting to SHPO.
As part of the application process, the applicant will be required to provide the following to SHPO for review:
Once SHPO receives a community’s CLG application, the CLG Coordinator will review the materials to make sure that all required information has been submitted and that the community has satisfactorily demonstrated its ability to meet program requirements. Within 45 days of receipt, the CLG Coordinator will provide a letter to the primary point of contact for the application summarizing the results of SHPO’s review:
Once SHPO receives a satisfactory application:
All final certifications are the responsibility of the National Park Service. NPS will review SHPO’s recommendation and, if everything is satisfactory, certify the local government as a CLG. Certification becomes effective on the date that NPS concurs in writing with SHPO’s recommendation. Once certified, a community is immediately eligible to receive program benefits.