State law reference: Local Historic Districts Act, MCL 339.201 et seq.
Heritage neighborhoods may be designated by resolution of the Township Board, provided each of the following criteria is met:
Petition. A proposed heritage neighborhood may be designated only pursuant to a written request, by petition, of owners of at least 51% of the land area within the proposed heritage neighborhood boundaries. Such petition shall include a map showing the boundaries of the proposed heritage neighborhood, and the names of the residents or nonresident property owners who shall serve as the interim heritage neighborhood committee.
Boundaries. A heritage neighborhood shall consist of a subdivision, or two or more closely related subdivisions, together with any closely associated or unplatted areas and public rights-of-way which form a coherent neighborhood unit. A heritage neighborhood may include or consist solely of a portion of a platted subdivision only if the division represents an abrupt break in neighborhood identity, character or land use; a major street; a zoning boundary; or a previously established heritage neighborhood boundary. No property may be included in more than one heritage neighborhood.
Age. At least one-third of the residential buildings in a proposed heritage neighborhood must be at least 40 years old at the time of designation.
History. A written report on the history of the neighborhood shall be filed and approved by the Township Board prior to designation. The Township Board may set guidelines as to the length and contents of such reports, and may designate Township staff to assist in preparation of the reports. The report shall demonstrate that the neighborhood meets the requirement of subsection (3) of this section. Copies of completed reports shall be transmitted to the Okemos Public Library, the Haslett Public Library, the Library of Michigan, and the Bureau of History, Michigan Department of State.
Boundary revision. Any changes to heritage neighborhood boundaries shall require the approval of the Township Board.
[Code 1974, § 106-2]
Number of members. Each designated heritage neighborhood shall have and be represented by a committee of at least five members.
Interim committee. An interim committee shall be identified in the petition for heritage neighborhood designation. The interim heritage neighborhood committee shall adopt guidelines for the election of the permanent heritage neighborhood committee.
Election of the heritage neighborhood committee. Election of committee members shall be held at least every two years. An elected heritage neighborhood committee shall be in place within six months of the Township Board's designation of the heritage neighborhood.
Contact person. A contact person shall be designated to receive all correspondence between the heritage neighborhood committee and any Township Board, commission or official. The initial contact person shall be designated by the interim heritage neighborhood committee at the time the petition is submitted to the Township Board.
Verification. The heritage neighborhood committee shall notify the planning division staff within 30 days of any change in the designated contact person or composition of the heritage neighborhood committee through election or resignation and replacement.
[Code 1974, § 106-3]
A heritage neighborhood committee shall be notified through the designated contact person of Township Board, Planning Commission, or Zoning Board of Appeals deliberations regarding rezonings, special use permits, plats, or variances within the heritage neighborhood or immediately adjacent to it and may make recommendations to the appropriate body.
[Code 1974, § 106-4]
Upon designation as a heritage neighborhood, the Township shall provide identifying street signage for the heritage neighborhood. The heritage neighborhood committee may make recommendations to the Township on sign placement and design. The Township shall be responsible for installation, replacement or maintenance of such signs.
[Code 1974, § 106-5]
No additional zoning, building, or use permits or restrictions shall be required or apply to the ownership, transfer, or use of any real or personal property or structures in any heritage neighborhood by reason of this article. Nothing in this article shall make any property within a designated heritage neighborhood exempt from any other Township ordinance.