121-12.  North Carolina Historical Commission.

(a)        Protection of Properties on National Register. - It shall be the duty of the Historical Commission, meeting at such times and according to such procedures as it shall by rule prescribe, to provide an advisory and coordinative mechanism in and by which State undertakings of every kind that are potentially harmful to the cause of historic preservation within the State may be discussed, and where possible, resolved, giving due consideration to the competing public interests that may be involved. To this end, the head of any State agency having direct or indirect jurisdiction over a proposed State or state-assisted undertaking, or the head of any State department, board, commission, or independent agency having authority to build, construct, operate, license, authorize, assist, or approve any State or state-assisted undertaking, shall, prior to the approval of any State funds for the undertaking, or prior to any approval, license, or authorization, as the case may be, take into account the effect of the undertaking on any district, site, building, structure, or object that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places established pursuant to Public Law 89-665, 16 U.S.C. 470.

Where, in the judgment of the Commission, an undertaking will have an effect upon any listed district, site, building, structure, area, or object, the head of the appropriate State agency shall afford the Commission a reasonable opportunity to comment with regard to such undertaking.

The Historical Commission shall act with reasonable diligence to insure that all State departments, boards, commissions, or agencies potentially affected by the provisions of this section be kept currently informed with respect to the name, location, and other significant particulars of any district, site, building, structure, or object listed or placed upon the National Register of Historic Places. Each affected State department or agency shall furnish, either upon its own initiative or at the request of the Historical Commission such information as may reasonably be required by the Commission for the proper implementation of this section.

(b)        Criteria for State Historic Properties. - The Commission shall prepare and adopt criteria for the evaluation of State historic sites and all other real and personal property which it may consider to be of such historic, architectural, archaeological, or cultural importance as would justify the acquisition and ownership thereof by the State of North Carolina, or for the extension of any assistance or aid thereto by the State, acting by itself or in connection with any county, city, corporation, organization, or individual. The Commission shall cooperate to the fullest practical extent with any local historical organization and with any city or county historic district properties commission. In evaluating whether a building should be a State historic site, the Commission shall request and review plans for the use and maintenance of the building.

(c)        Criteria for State Aid to Historic Properties. - The Commission shall also prepare and adopt criteria for the evaluation of all properties of historic or archaeological importance owned by, under option to, or being considered for acquisition by a county, city, historic properties commission, or other organization or individual for which State aid or assistance is requested from the Department of Cultural Resources. The Commission shall investigate, evaluate, and prepare a written report on all historic or archaeological property for which State aid or appropriations to be administered by the Department of Cultural Resources are proposed. If the property is a building, the Commission shall request and review the plans for the use, maintenance, operation, and purpose of the building and shall comment on the feasibility of the plans in the written report. This report, which shall be filed as a matter of record in the custody of the Department of Cultural Resources, shall set forth the following opinions or recommendations of the Commission:

(1)        Whether the property is historically authentic;

(2)        Whether it is of such educational, historical, or cultural significance as to be essential to the development of a balanced State program of historic and archaeological sites and properties;

(3)        The estimated total cost of the project under consideration and the apportionment of said cost among State and nonstate sources;

(4)        Whether practical plans have been or can be developed for the funding of the nonstate portion of the costs;

(5)        Whether practical plans have been developed for the continued staffing, maintenance and operation of the property without State assistance; and

(6)        Such further comments and recommendations that the Commission may make.

(c1)      Criteria for State Aid to Historical Museums. - The Commission shall also prepare and adopt criteria for the evaluation of all interpretive, security or climate control programs or projects to be installed in nonprofit history museums for which State aid or assistance is requested from the Department of Cultural Resources. The Commission shall investigate, evaluate, and prepare a written report on all interpretive, security, or climate control programs or projects for which State appropriations to be administered by the Department of Cultural Resources are proposed. This report, which shall be filed as a matter of record in the custody of the Department of Cultural Resources, shall set forth the following opinions or recommendations of the Commission:

(1)        The statewide educational significance and the qualitative level of the program or project and whether the program or project is essential to the development of a State program of historical interpretation;

(2)        The local or regional need for such a program or project;

(3)        The estimated total cost of the program or project under consideration and the apportionment of said cost among State and nonstate sources;

(4)        Whether practical plans have been or can be developed for the funding of the nonstate portions of the costs;

(5)        Whether practical plans have been developed for the continued staffing, maintenance, and operating of the museum without State assistance; and

(6)        Such further comments and recommendations that the Commission may make.

(d)       Commission to Furnish Recommendations to Legislative Committees. - The Commission through the Department of Cultural Resources shall furnish as soon as practicable to the chairman of each legislative committee to which is referred any bill seeking an appropriation of State funds to the Department of Cultural Resources for the purpose of acquiring, preserving, restoring, or operating, or otherwise assisting, any property having historic, archaeological, architectural, or other cultural value or significance, and to the chairman of each legislative committee to which is referred any bill seeking an appropriation of State funds to the Department of Cultural Resources for the purpose of assisting a history museum, at least five copies of a report on the findings and recommendations of the Commission relating to such property. (1973, c. 476, s. 48; 1975, c. 19, s. 40; 1979, c. 861, ss. 3-5; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 1014, s. 171(b); 1995, c. 324, s. 12.)