Substitute HB 5232 Bills to Weaken Historic Districts Not Necessary

A Main Street boardwalk view of Portland, Michigan.

Historic main street, boardwalk view, Portland, Michigan.

Earlier, PHAHPA posted an alert from the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, asking those of us who favor historic preservation in Michigan to write our representatives, voicing our opposition to House Bill 5232 and its senate twin SB 720.  The house bill had gone to the Local Governments Committee, where a substitute bill was adopted (on February 24th).  In the meantime, the representative who introduced the original bill, Afendoulis, wrote a substitute bill as well; it was not introduced to the Local Governments Committee before they went on spring break (which lasts until April 11th), however.  While some of the changes in the substitute bills make the proposed changes to the original historic district law (PA 169 of 1970) less severe, they would nevertheless weaken that law and are simply unnecessary.  Why this is even an issue is quite disturbing, and can be read about in Affluent Suburb Behind Push to Dismantle Michigan Historic Districts.

This is what our tax dollars are spent on in Lansing . . .to make our local communities less self-governing.

“The beauty of this system is that its a democracy,” Ligibel says. “Because it’s so local, each community decides for itself, and things change over time.”  Burg 3/9/16

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In Detroit: “Injecting Old Spaces with New Ideas.” Love it!

Please enjoy the awesome 4+ minute video below that excites as it informs:  Vacant not Blighted: Revitalizing Detroit (by MHPN).  Detroit’s historic assets are being creatively reused, and many await a loving rebirth.  I’m not from Detroit, but almost . . . geographically.  We lived in the suburbs (a poor one, not the kind with paved streets and horses), and while my dad worked in Detroit, we otherwise avoided that city like the plague.  Probably the race riots of 1967 (which I lived through) had something to do with it.  No doubt my dad experienced a great deal of the tension building up to those riots where he worked (a large retail company’s warehouse).

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