LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Economic and International Investment Committee met today and heard testimony on a bill sponsored by Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D–Taylor) that would help protect historic sites throughout the state.

Senate Bill 250 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.”

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

“It is critical that we allow for the redevelopment of outmoded properties and preservation of our heritage,” said Nancy Finegood, executive director of the Michigan Historic Preservation Network. “This bill is important for community preservation and economic revitalization, and strikes the appropriate balance.”

These measures have received support from the Historic Preservation Network.