In 1996, Congress passed the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) which continues to be the basic framework for preservation law. In 1980 the NHPA was amended to create the Certified Local Government (CLG) program. The CLG initiative was designed to encourage local governments to undertake historic preservation activities.
The city of St. Joseph obtained its CLG status in 1986 and is one of 59 Missouri CLG communities. CLG cities have access to technical assistance from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and under the law, 10% of the Historic Preservation Fund Grants administered by SHPO must go to CLG cities.
A Certified Local Government must meet, at least, these requirements:
Establish a qualified historic preservation commission. For St. Joseph, this is the Landmark Commission.
Implement and enforce legislation for the designation and protection of historic structures. Most often, as in St. Joseph, this is done with a local ordinance.
Maintain a system for survey and inventory of local historic resources.
Work to facilitate participation by the public in local preservation efforts. This includes, but is not limited to, participation in the listing of structures and districts on the National Register of Historic Places.