Michigan GOP Lawmakers Introduce Bill Attacking Historic Resources with Less Than 36 Hours Notice For House Public Testimony
You may have already heard that Rep. Chris Afendoulis, R-Grand Rapids, and Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, are introducing legislation into the Michigan House and Senate that could seriously weaken the protections afforded to Michigan’s historic districts under PA 169 of 1970, the Historic Districts Act. This follows legislation introduced in Wisconsin recently that would also have decimated their local historic districts act.
Michigan House Bill HB5232, introduced apparently modeled after a Wisconsin Bill that created a public outcry, has huge implications for our historic resources, including potentially DISSOLVING EVERY HISTORIC DISTRICT IN THE STATE. (The amendment says they will ALL be automatically dissolved after 10 years unless they are voted on in a regular election. So in 2026, if this passes, the city of Detroit election ballot would have over 100 proposals to renew historic districts on it.)(1/26) and
Only 1 day after HB5232 was introduced, the Local Government Committee of the House of Representatives will be hearing testimony , 1/27, , Room 307, at the House Office Building, 124 North Capitol Avenue, in Lansing.
It is critical to have as many people speak out against the Bill by writing legislators, emailing, sharing on social media, or just show up and fill the room with preservation supporters (fill out a card against the Bill).
Here are ways to speak out against this bill:
Local historic preservation ordinances are the only tool available to Michigan communities to protect their historic places. Proposed changes place the long-term protection of community heritage in the hands of short-term owners.
Historic preservation is an important component of economic development.
The "owner consent" provisions of AB-5232 rescind a constitutional power from Michigan municipalities and give it to property owners. It's like making local signage zoning rules, or setback rules, or fence rules optional.
Historic Preservation is a long game. Owner consent provisions are short-sighted.
Talking points from from "What AB-568 Means to Wisconsin's Historic Communities". Thanks Wisconsin Trust for Historic Preservation!