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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


2023 (FY 2022)
Grant Applications Available
CLG Grant Instructions & Application
(PDF Format)

Note: Form data cannot be saved online; Please download and complete in Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader.

Applications should be submitted via email as per HPO's Email Submittal Form process.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Natural & Historic Resources, Historic Preservation Office (HPO) offers CLG Historic Preservation Fund grants for eligible historic preservation activities. The goals for the Historic Preservation Fund grant projects are:
  • to identify all buildings, sites, structures, objects and districts which are significant in American historic, architecture, archaeology and engineering, and which meet the criteria for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places;
  • to design and implement planning tools for the protection of these resources.
Typical grant projects include:

Annually, CLG communities may submit one (1) application for funding either for an eligible individual activity or multiple activities as defined in the Grant Application. If you are not sure if an activity is eligible to receive funding, please contact the HPO for guidance before completing any application forms.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the HPO recommends electronic submission of your application using HPO's Email Submittal Form process. Please direct any questions to the New Jersey CLG Staff, Andrea Tingey at andrea.tingey@dep.nj.gov or Lindsay Thivierge at lindsay.thivierge@dep.nj.gov.

CLG communities are afforded the opportunity to apply for grant assistance up to 10% of 
New Jersey's annual Historic Preservation Fund appropriation from the National Park Service. Matching requirements will vary from year to year based on funding levels and HPO overmatch.

Additional information and application procedures are available in the CLG Grant Application. Contact the HPO for additional assistance.

Upcoming Workshops and Training


To be announced.


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