Bipartisan bills would require more involvement from State Historic Preservation Office

LANSING, Mich. — Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D–Taylor) and Senator Wayne A. Schmidt (R–Traverse City) introduced legislation that would help protect historic sites throughout the state.

Senate Bills 250 and 251 would require the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to review any planned changes to the exterior of historic sites owned or financed by a Downtown Development Authority (DDA), and that are not under the jurisdiction of a local historic commission.

This legislation was drafted after a historic site in Sen. Hopgood’s previous district was demolished.

“Preserving our local historical sites not only keeps cultural artifacts alive, but also provides an economic boost to local communities,” Sen. Hopgood said. “Historic preservation projects create jobs, increase property values and revitalize neighborhoods.”

“Making sure Michigan’s downtowns remain strong and economically vibrant are key to our state’s turnaround,” Sen. Schmidt said. “Protecting historic structures helps maintain a sense of place and creates a base of support for downtowns.”

After consulting with the Attorney General’s office and SHPO, Sen. Hopgood and Sen. Schmidt determined that provisions in current state law regarding historic sites located within a DDA were not consistent with those for other historic sites.

These measures have received support from the Historic Preservation Network.