Skip to main content
The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Local Governments

The legal power to protect historic properties rests primarily with local governments, not state or federal governments. SC Code of Laws Section 6-29-870, as amended allows communities to pass zoning ordinances to protect historic and architecturally valuable districts and neighborhoods by restricting or placing conditions on exterior alterations, additions, demolitions, or relocations of structures in those areas. Thus, the decisions and actions of local governments and individuals often decide the fate of the irreplaceable historic and prehistoric properties that give South Carolina communities their special character and make them better places to live and visit.

The SHPO provides access to information and training to assist local governments in the administration of their programs, but does not review or comment on individual projects. 

Setting Up a Local Preservation Program (PDF)

SC's Sample Preservation Ordinance (PDF)

Design Guidelines (PDF)

Certified Local Government Program

Historic Districts are Good for Your Pocket Book (PDF) 

Preservation Hotline #10:  Frequently Asked Questions about Local Historic Districts (PDF)

Preservation Hotline #2:  National Register Listing/Local Designation (PDF)

Additional Resources

For an overview of local historic districts, visit the National Park Service website Working on the Past in Local Historic Districts.

The National Alliance of Preservation Commissions is another source of information for local preservation programs.

For more information contact Brad Sauls, 803-896-6172.