Undertaking a survey to identify historic resources acknowledges that these resources have value to ourselves and future generations. Historic resources provide character, continuity and a sense of uniqueness to the community. Survey is fundamental to historic preservation because it results in the identification of historic resources and helps determine which of those resources should be preserved. The purpose of completing a local survey is to gather the information needed to plan for the wise use of a community's resources.

A historic resource survey may also result in:

  • Stimulation of interest in and increased public awareness of a community's historic resources;
  • Production of information useful to local units of government or planning agencies, which in some cases may lead to attainment by a community of Certified Local Government
  • Creation of an information base to be utilized by community action programs for either housing or commercial rehabilitation and neighborhood improvement;
  • Identification of individual or historic districts to be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, or commemorated with historical markers;
  • Definition of areas to be designated as local historic districts under local ordinances, and preparation of historic district study committee reports in accordance with the specifications of Michigan's Local Historic Districts Act, Public Act 169 of 1970, as amended;
  • Identification of historic resources in anticipation of projects that may involve building demolition and land disturbance;
  • Information that is used to meet specific environmental review requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended; and
  • Research on properties representing a style, period, construction type or historic theme.