Certified Local Government

U.S. Department of the InteriorOn January 10, 2007, the City of Waukegan, through the assistance of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, was designated as a Certified Local Government (CLG) by the United States Department of the Interior. The City of Waukegan's Historic Preservation Commission is a powerful player in historic preservation, and the Certified Local Government program supports the Historic Preservation Commission's work by providing technical assistance, awarding grants, and coordinating a network of participating communities.

The Certified Local Government Program, which was established by the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980, is administered jointly by the National Park Service and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. The program gives the City of Waukegan's Historic Preservation Commission the opportunity to participate as partners in state and federal preservation activities. To become certified, the City of Waukegan had to enact a historic preservation ordinance, establish a preservation review commission, have an active local survey program to identify historic resources, and provide for public participation. There are eighty-one Certified Local Governments in Illinois (as of March 2019).

The City of Waukegan's Historic Preservation Commission plays an active role in the National Register of Historic Places review process. All nominations for places within the City of Waukegan are first submitted to the Historic Preservation Commission and the City Council for their review and comment. If both the Historic Preservation Commission and the City Council object to the nomination, it cannot move forward in the review process without an appeal to the Preservation Services Division.

As a Certified Local Government, the City of Waukegan is also eligible for matching grant funds to assist in the implementation of local preservation programs. At least ten percent (10%) of the federal Historic Preservation Fund is set aside specifically for Certified Local Governments. The funds can be used for a variety of projects, including surveys, preservation plans, staff support, and public education.

To maintain CLG status, the City of Waukegan must maintain an adequate and qualified historic preservation commission. In addition, an annual report must be prepared and submitted to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. This annual report includes information on landmark designations, Certificates of Appropriateness, Certificates of Economic Hardship, landmark amendments, landmark rescissions, survey activities, National Register activities, monitoring of historic properties, activities of the preservation commission, historic property acquisition and disposition by the City, historic preservation programs operated by the City, educational meetings and information provided by City staff or commission members, meeting attendance and resumes of commission members. Each annual report is filed with the Waukegan Historical Society Library and can be accessed via this page's subpages.