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Local Historic Preservation Ordinances




Municipalities in New Jersey obtain their authority to identify, evaluate, designate, and regulate historic resources (individual sites and districts) from the Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL), the enabling legislation for municipal land use and development planning, zoning, and, since 1986, historic preservation zoning. A 1999 survey by the HPO of New Jersey's 566 municipalities revealed that 165 communities had historic preservation commissions established by local ordinance. The historic preservation ordinance is an extension of the municipality's zoning laws, and should be tailored to the community's character and historic preservation goals.

Historic Preservation Commissions


The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is created and defined by the local ordinance. The MLUL requires that the HPC consist of between five and nine members, plus alternates, who have a variety of backgrounds ranging from preservation professionals to citizen advocates. HPC's may be either Advisory, where the Commission only makes recommendations to the planning board, or Regulatory, where the Commission itself is empowered to make final decisions on projects subject to its review.

Certified Local Government Program


CLG Community Links
Map of current CLG's and links to municipal websites.

The Certified Local Government (CLG) program offers municipalities the opportunity to participate more directly in state and federal historic preservation programs. Participation in the CLG program requires that a municipality have a historic preservation ordinance and a historic preservation commission conforming to the specifications of both the Municipal Land Use Law and the National Park Service approved New Jersey Certified Local Government Guidelines. As a CLG, the community is eligible to apply for Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grants for a variety of local preservation activities.
The level of funding is contingent upon the annual appropriation from the National Park Service. Grant applications are available from the HPO annually.

Communities interested in becoming CLG's should review the documents available below and contact the HPO to discuss the application and designation process.

HPF Fund CLG Grant Program


2024 (FFY 2023)
Grant Round Opens October 2022

CLG Grants Now Administered Through SAGE

Recorded CLG
Grant Training:
DEP YouTube channel

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Community Investment and Economic Revitalization, Historic Preservation Office (HPO), offers grants to Certified Local Governments for eligible historic preservation activities.

The Historic Preservation Office is required to regrant 10% of the state's allocation of federal historic preservation funds for pass-through as sub-grants to Certified Local Governments (CLG). The total amount of available funding varies each year with the federal allocation. These funds are awarded on a competitive basis and applications are evaluated and ranked according to the established criteria available in the grant application. Matching requirements vary from year to year based on funding levels.

Goals for Historic Preservation Fund grant projects:

  • To identify buildings, sites, structures, objects and districts which are significant in the areas of history, architecture, archaeology and engineering, and which meet the criteria for inclusion in the New Jersey and National Register of Historic Places; and
  • To design and implement planning tools for the protection of historic resources.

Typical grant projects include:

If you are not sure if an activity is eligible to receive funding, please contact the Certified Local Government Coordinator for guidance before completing any application forms. Please direct any questions to Lindsay Thivierge, Certified Local Government Coordinator:

  • 609-292-4091
  • Lindsay.Thivierge@dep.nj.gov.

How to submit:

Certified Local Government grants are now managed through the System for Administering Grants Electronically (SAGE). The 2024 (FFY2023) Certified Local Government grant round will open in October of 2022.

Please note: In order to submit an application for CLG funds the Certified Local Government must be in good standing and have a current annual report on file with the HPO.

SAGE Training (Mandatory for Applicants):

  • Thursday,September 8, 2022
  • 10:00am - 11:30am

HPO staff held a mandatory training for Certified Local Government communities who may wish to apply for the 2024 (FFY2023) CLG grant round. The training was recorded and is available on DEP's YouTube channel if you were unable to attend the live presentation.

This training is intended to familiarize CLG communities including municipal staff and historic preservation commission members with using the SAGE system to submit a grant application.


Please direct any questions to Lindsay Thivierge, Certified Local Government Coordinator:

  • 609-292-4091
  • Lindsay.Thivierge@dep.nj.gov.

Forms and Publications:

Useful Links:

  1. National Park Service - Certified Local Government Program (NPS Website)
  2. National Alliance of Preservation Commissions
  3. Other Links

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: October 22, 2019