160A-400.7. Historic Preservation Commission.

Before it may designate one or more landmarks or historic districts, a municipality shall establish or designate a historic preservation commission. The municipal governing board shall determine the number of the members of the commission, which shall be at least three, and the length of their terms, which shall be no greater than four years. A majority of the members of such a commission shall have demonstrated special interest, experience, or education in history, architecture, archaeology, or related fields. All the members shall reside within the territorial jurisdiction of the municipality as established pursuant to G.S. 160A-360. The commission may appoint advisory bodies and committees as appropriate.

In lieu of establishing a historic preservation commission, a municipality may designate as its historic preservation commission, (i) a separate historic districts commission or a separate historic landmarks commission established pursuant to this Part to deal only with historic districts or landmarks respectively, (ii) a planning board established pursuant to this Article, or (iii) a community appearance commission established pursuant to Part 7 of this Article. In order for a commission or board other than the preservation commission to be designated, at least three of its members shall have demonstrated special interest, experience, or education in history, architecture, or related fields. At the discretion of the municipality the ordinance may also provide that the preservation commission may exercise within a historic district any or all of the powers of a planning board or a community appearance commission.

A county and one or more cities in the county may establish or designate a joint preservation commission. If a joint commission is established or designated, the county and cities involved shall determine the residence requirements of members of the joint preservation commission. (1989, c. 706, s. 2; 2005-418, s. 12.)