Until 1989, a local preservation commission could deny a certificate of appropriateness for the demolition of a locally designated landmark or property within a locally designated historic district for a maximum of one year. If no preservation solution for the property was negotiated within that time frame, the applicant could proceed with the demolition.
In 1989, G.S. 160A-400.14 was amended with the addition of paragraph (c), which reads,
“An application for a certificate of appropriateness authorizing the demolition or destruction of a building, site, or structure determined by the State Historic Preservation Officer [SHPO] as having statewide significance as defined in the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places may be denied except where the commission finds that the owner would suffer extreme hardship or be permanently deprived of all beneficial use or return by virtue of the denial.”
This simple law requires a complex set of procedures to ensure that it is administered in a fair and timely manner and that the SHPO's determinations of the level of significance of a property are fully justified based on clearly delineated criteria. An application to the SHPO for a determination of a property’s statewide significance may be prepared by any interested party but must be submitted to the SHPO by the local historic preservation commission that oversees the locally designated landmark or the local historic district in which the property is located.
Statewide Significance: Authority, Guidelines, Policies, and Procedures for Determining "Statewide Significance" of Historic Properties Under G.S. 160A-400.14(c) (PDF)
Application for a Determination of Statewide Significance Pursuant to G.S. 160A-400.14 (c) (PDF)
MS Word Form version (.doc) of the above.
Preparing an Application for a Determination of Statewide Significance. (PDF) Guidance for applicants.
List of locally designated landmarks in North Carolina that are individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places at the state or national level of significance. (PDF) A property's listing in the National Register at the state or national level of significance is generally a good indicator that it would be determined to be of statewide significance under G.S. 160A-400.14(c). However, the SHPO will review applications to determine whether new information or changes in the property subsequent to its listing in the National Register might affect its level of significance.
List of properties individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places at the state or national level of significance that are also located within locally designated historic districts. (PDF) As above, a property's National Register listing at the state or national level of significance suggests but does not guarantee that it would be determined to have statewide significance under G.S. 160A-400.14(c).