SBs 21 and 22, bills dealing with historic preservation of DDA owned properties, passed out of committee last week. The bills require a DDA to submit proposed changes to the exterior of a DDA owned historic property that is on either the State Register of Historic Sites or the National Register of Historic Places to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for a review.
In cases that deal with proposed demolition of those properties, a requirement that the DDA seek a review and approval from SHPO. SHPO has 30 days to review and approve or deny the proposed demolition. If there is a denial, the DDA may appeal the decision of SHPO. If a DDA decides they are going to bypass this approval/denial process, there is a $30,000 civil fine attached. That fine goes into a fund for grants that the local municipality can turn to for historic preservation purposes.
There was concern that SHPO is short staffed as it is and they would not be able to keep up with this additional work load. Because of that, there is a 5 year sunset so it can be re-evaluated to see its effectiveness.
Both the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Michigan Historic Preservation Network are supportive of this legislation.
Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development legislation. She can be reached at email@example.com or 517-908-0305.