It is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination:
(a) That the State of West Virginia is richly endowed with numerous historic buildings, structures, sites and districts which represent the historical, architectural and cultural heritage of this state;
(b) That West Virginia heritage, represented by such historic buildings, structures, sites and districts can best be identified, studied, preserved and protected for the general welfare of residents of this state and this nation by authorizing and empowering action for this purpose at the local level;
(c) That the preservation and protection of such historic buildings, structures, sites and districts aid economic development through revitalization of this state's central business districts, improvement of property values and enhancement of this state's historic attractions to tourists and visitors; and aid the development of education of this state by preservation of such heritage for future generations;
(d) That the preservation of this heritage is essential to the promotion of the prosperity, education and general welfare of the people; and
(e) That the Legislature hereby finds that it is the public policy and the public interest of this state to engage in a comprehensive program of historic preservation, undertaken at all levels of government, along with the private sector, to promote the use and preservation of such heritage for the education and general welfare of the people of this state; and, accordingly, this article shall be broadly construed in order to accomplish the purposes herein set forth.