The Historic Preservation Commission was established in 2001 to preserve and raise awareness of structures that have local, state, or federal historical significance. Their work includes recommending areas to be designated as “historic districts,” or individual structures, buildings, sites, areas or objects to be designated as “landmarks.” The HPC also reviews proposals for alterations, demolition or new construction within the regulatory Downtown Historic District and educates our community on historic resources within Black Mountain.
In 2001-2004, the HPC worked to get Black Mountain’s downtown on the National Register and to develop design guidelines. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register of Historic Places is a national program to coordinate efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources. Owners of properties listed on the National Register, or contributing properties within an Historic District on the National Register, may be eligible for rehabilitation tax credits. Owners of private property on the National Register are free to maintain, manage, or dispose of their property as they choose provided that no Federal monies are involved and they are not part of the Downtown Historic District or are a designated landmark.
In 2004, the Town adopted the Downtown Historic District Guidelines as a zoning overlay to protect the architectural character of downtown. Prior to certain types of construction, renovation or sign permits, the HPC must review plans and issue a “Certification of Appropriateness.” The Conservation District provides a buffer around the Historic District to provide for consultation with the HPC but is non-binding. For more information on building downtown, please refer to the Downtown Historic District Guidelines and to Section 4.7.3 Historic District and Historic Conservation District Overlay in the Land Use Code.
In 2005, Black Mountain was recognized and designated as a “Certified Local Government” (CLG) program. The Certified Local Government Program is a preservation partnership between local, state and national governments focused on promoting historic preservation and is administered by the National Park Service and the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. When recognized as a CLG, the Town of Black Mountain became an active partner in the Federal and State Historic Preservation Program and can access grants and technical resources to promote historic preservation.
In 2006-2010, the HPC completed an inventory of residential structures which is now available through the NC State Archives and the Town Planning and development Services Department. From that research, the Thomas Chapel was successfully nominated to the National Register and the Town received a CLG grant to develop nominations for the South Montreat Road and Dougherty Heights Neighborhoods. If successful, these neighborhoods will also be added to the National Register of Historic Places.