Chris Clark, Commissioner of Natural Resources, has announced that Chatham County recently became Georgia’s 77th Certified Local Government (CLG).
The National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior, has confirmed the determination.
Chatham County passed a historic preservation ordinance in 2005 and appointed citizens to serve as its historic preservation commission (HPC). The HPC has had a good relationship with the numerous communities, preservation organizations, and with the many preservationists throughout Chatham County. In addition, Chatham County has been working diligently for the past four years to incorporate historic preservation into their local planning process. The HPC and their staff have done much to educate the public on the numerous benefits of historic preservation planning.
Chatham County, one of Georgia’s largest in population, contains numerous local, regional and nationally significant historic properties. These diverse historic properties range from early 18th century houses to Post World War II American Small Houses that later developed in the greater area of Chatham County. With hundreds of properties, some contributing to National Register of Historic Places districts, Chatham County has contributed greatly to Georgia’s overall architectural treasures. Most recently, the James and Odessa Rourke, Jr., Raised Tybee Cottage on Tybee Island, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in September of 2009.
The CLG program extends the federal and state preservation program to the local level, expanding the scope of local responsibilities and opportunities for preservation. Participation requires the community to create a preservation ordinance that establishes a design review commission. Chatham County is now eligible for federal grants administered by the Historic Preservation Division, Department of Natural Resources. These grants may be used for a variety of preservation activities, including historic resource surveys and nominations, educational and promotional activities and publications, heritage tourism studies and predevelopment plans.