Why Preservation Matters at the Local Level

Historic resources are important community assets:

  •  they provide tangible links to the community's historical and cultural heritage
  • they help create each community’s special character and identity
  • they represent investments in energy, time, money, and raw materials 
  • the maintenance, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse of older buildings creates economic benefits locally    and are sustainable and green practices

Wise assets management involves:

  • respecting their value
  • prolonging their life
  • effectively using them to derive multiple benefits
  • acting in a stewardship role

Law and the Historic Preservation Commission: What Every Member Needs to Know

Law and Historic Preservation Commissions: What Every Member Needs to Know by James K. Reap and Melvin B. Hill, Jr. provides an introduction to basic legal issues and concepts that historic preservation board members may encounter during their service. The co-authors see the overall goal of the publication as an effort to “…demystify the law governing historic preservation and give commissioners the information they need to make sound and legally defensible decisions.” 

Code of Ethics for Commissioners and Staff

NAPC Short Guide to Parliamentary Procedure

How to Conduct a Preservation Commission Meeting

A Commissioner's Top Ten List of Incongruous Behaviors 

Building a Defensible Commission Record

National Alliance of Preservation Commissioners

The mission of the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions  (NAPC) is “To build strong local preservation programs through education, training, and advocacy.” Established in 1983, NAPC provides technical support and manages an information network to help local commissions accomplish their preservation objectives. The Alliance also serves as an advocate at federal, state, and local levels of government to promote policies and programs that support preservation commission efforts.  NAPC maintains a resource library, publishes a journal,and maintains a listserv for NACP members. NAPC provides educational and training programs to the dedicated volunteers who serve on local historic preservation commissions and municipal staff. 

Technical Assistance

Cultural Resources and CEQA Compliance: Guidelines for City and County Planners

NAPC Techinical Assistance Resources Library

When Historic Properties Are Threatened

Design Guidelines Examples

Assessing Economic Hardship Claims Under Historic Preservation Ordinances

Drafting Effective Historic Preservation Ordinances: A Manual for California's Local Governments 

Local Preservation Ordinances: Making Them Work for Your Community

Demolition by Neglect

Establishing a Demolition by Neglect Ordinance

Protecting Potential Landmarks Through Demolition Review

Economic Benefits of Preservation: "Sustainability, Smart Growth, and Historic Preservation"

Local Historic Districts

  • What are the benefits of creating local historic districts and local design guidelines?
  • What are local design guidelines and how do they affect my property?
  • What treatment is best for a historic property?
  • What does a local preservation ordinance do?

    You can find answers to these and other questions about historic districts in the National Park Service publication: Working on the Past in Local Historic Districts