Historic preservation is one area of Michigan law where there were very valid original goals and policies behind adoption of the laws (based on federal law). But the actual real-world application of the law often becomes overreaching. Clients have come to TAUBMAN LAW for assistance when a local Historic District Commission has refused to approve reasonable requests for very minor modifications of buildings which would not impact their historic significance. Other times, I have helped a client when the HDC has decided that a building must not be altered at all even though its authenticity as a historic structure is highly questionable.
I have come across instances in which property owners have been ticketed for perceived infractions simply because they did not first seek permission from the HDC. While historic preservation can benefit a community, the commissions that govern it can sometimes take their responsibilities too far.
If you have questions or concerns about your rights as a homeowner in an historic district, feel free to call me so we can discuss your unique situation.
State of Michigan - Frequently Asked Questions About Local Historic Districts
State of Michigan - Manual about Historic Districts
State of Michigan - Appealing a decision made by an Historic District Commission