The Attorney General's Opinions Regarding Local Preservation

Michigan's Attorney General has issued the following opinions regarding historic preservation and local historic districts. The full text of the opinions can be obtained by accessing the Michigan Attorney General's website.

Opinion No. 7105 City councilperson serving as a member on a city historic district commission (issued April 17, 2002)
Under the Incompatible Public Offices Act, the office of city councilperson is incompatible with the office of historic district commissioner. Notwithstanding this incompatibility, the Incompatible Public Offices Act contains an exception that permits the governing body of a municipality having a population less than 25,000 to authorize a public officer or public employee to hold such dual public positions.
Opinion No. 6957 Construction and remodeling of school buildings in historic districts (issued September 30, 1997)
A local school district is not required to obtain a permit under the Local Historic Districts Act before commencing work affecting the exterior appearance of a school building located within a local historic district. The state, through enactment of the school building construction act and the Revised School Code, has exempted from local regulation the construction and remodeling of school buildings by local school districts.
Opinion No. 6952 Opinion establishing contiguous historic district (issued September 9, 1997)
Section 3(3)(b) of the Local Historic Districts Act does not require approval by petition of property owners before a local unit of government may, by ordinance, establish a contiguous historic district. If a petition is filed by a majority of the property owners in a proposed contiguous historic district, section 3(3)(b) of the Local Historic Districts Act imposes a mandatory 60-day period following the filing of the petition before a local unit of government may pass an ordinance establishing a contiguous district.
Opinion No. 6919 Placing property in a local historic district (issued October 10, 1996)
Under the Local Historic Districts Act, 1970 PA 169, a local unit of government may not enact an ordinance that restricts that unit from placing property in a local historic district without the consent of the property owner.
Opinion No. 5514 Jurisdiction of a county historic district commission over unincorporated areas of townships (issued July 16, 1979)
The jurisdiction of a county historic district commission is limited to portions of the county outside the limits of incorporated cities, villages or townships wherein the ordinance has been enacted by the local governmental unit which would conflict with the powers of the historic district commission. If a township enacts an ordinance pursuant to the Township Rural Zoning Act, any county enactment in conflict therewith is ineffective in such township.

For information about any of the programs described on this site, write the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, 702 W. Kalamazoo St., P.O. Box 30740, Lansing, MI 48909-8240, or contact us at 517-373-1630 or