The Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC) is a five-member, mayoral-appointed commission that considers nominations of sites as City Historic-Cultural Monuments (designated City landmarks) and reviews proposed project work affecting more than 900 existing Historic-Cultural Monuments.
The Commission also serves as the city’s primary forum for the discussion of historic preservation policy. Recommendations of the Cultural Heritage Commission are forwarded to the City Council for their final action. The Cultural Heritage Ordinance also gives the Commission the authority to temporarily delay alteration or demolition of historically significant structures until a proper review can be completed.
The Commission is also charged with the following additional duties:
- Review and approval of historic resources surveys conducted for proposed Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (historic districts)
- Appointment of two of the five members of each Historic Preservation Overlay Zone Board, including the Board architect
- Oversight of the Mills Act Historical Property Contract Program and approval of exemptions from the City’s valuation limits for the Mills Act
- Comment on behalf of the City, as a Certified Local Government for historic preservation, on nominations of sites to the National Register of Historic Places
The CHC meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, starting at 10:00 a.m., usually in Room 1010 of City Hall. Serving on the Cultural Heritage Commission represents a significant commitment for these volunteer citizens.
After the conclusion of its regular agenda, the CHC typically sets out on an afternoon inspection tour, taking the Commission to every corner of the city, to evaluate sites that will be undergoing final consideration for Historic-Cultural Monument status at a future meeting.