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Historic Landmark Preservation Commission: Applications

Apply for Cultural Heritage Site/Object Designation

Cultural Heritage Site/Object Application

To apply for Cultural Heritage Site/Object designation, submit the application linked above. There is no fee to apply for Cultural Heritage designation. A Cultural Heritage Site is a site that is of local significance historically, archaeologically, culturally or naturally but does not meet the requirements for designation as a landmark. Based on the application, landmark commission will prepare a Cultural Heritage Site/Object designation report. The landmark commission will consider the report at a regular meeting and determine whether to confer Cultural Heritage Site/Object status. If approved, the designation will be noted on the commission's website, have its location permanently maintained in the records of the Randolph County Planning Department and be marked as such in the Randolph County Geographic Information System (GIS). Cultural Heritage Site designation places the property owner under no obligation in regard to the site. Cultural Heritage Objects are usually in a government, library or museum collection where they can be preserved in perpetuity.


Apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness

Certificate of Appropriateness Application

After a site is designated as a Local Historic Landmark, no significant exterior alteration can take place without a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) issued by the landmark commission. The COA process ensures that proposed changes are in keeping with the special character of the landmark. Once an application is submitted by the property owner, commission staff will work with applicant to refine the request and address problems before presentation to the Landmark Commission. A COA is required prior to issuance of a building permit, but is also required if a building permit is not. Some minor alterations can be approved administratively by staff. A COA is not required for ordinary maintenance or repair of a landmark that does not involve a change in design, materials or exterior appearance; or for changes required for public safety as certified by the Building Inspector; or in other specialized situations. For details about the COA process, consult Section 7 of the Historic Landmark Preservation Ordinance.

Apply for Local Historic Landmark Designation

Landmark Designation Application

To apply for Local Historic Landmark Designation of a site, submit the application linked above. There is a $125 application fee. Once the commission receives an application, staff will develop a Landmark Designation Report documenting how the site meets criteria for landmark status. The report will be sent to the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office for a 30-day comment period. The landmark commission is not bound by the NCHPO's comments, but strives to address any concerns expressed to strengthen the proposal. Once the comment period has ended, the Landmark Commission will consider the designation request at a regularly-scheduled meeting. Consideration will include notification of surrounding property owners and a public hearing. If the commission votes to recommend the site for landmark designation, a resolution is sent to the local governing board that has jurisdiction over the site (for unincorporated areas of the county, the Randolph County Board of Commissioners; or the municipal council or commission if the site is in a city or town). The governing board will hold a public hearing and consider adopting an ordinance designating the site as a local historic landmark. The designation will be so noted on the landmark commission's website and in county tax records. A sign will be placed at the site if so desired by the property owner. A 50 percent property tax deferral for the site is optional for the property owner. Once a site is designated as a landmark, the property owner must obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness from the landmark commission to make significant changes other than ordinary maintenance.

Criteria for landmark designation are:

  • Critical Part of County’s Heritage. Its value as an example of the architectural, cultural, economic, historic, social or other aspect of the heritage of Randolph County; and
  • Significant Historic Event. Its location as a site of a significant historic event which may or may not have taken place within or involved the use of any existing improvements; and
  • Significant Person. Its identification with a person or persons who significantly contributed to the architectural, cultural, economic, historic, social, or other aspect of the development of Randolph County; and
  • Important Architecture. Its exemplification of an architectural type or style distinguished by innovation, rarity, uniqueness, or overall quality of design, detail, materials, or craftsmanship; and
  • Distinctive Theme. Representation of an architectural, cultural, economic, historic, social or other theme expressed through distinctive area, places, buildings, structures, works of art, or other objects that may or may not be contiguous; and
  • Unique Visual Feature. Its unique location or distinctive physical appearance or presence representing an established and familiar visual feature of Randolph County; and
  • Duration. Its historical significance achieved for fifty (50) years or more; and
  • National Register. Any criteria used by the National Register for evaluation of landmarks.