[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Board of Trustees of the Charter Township of Pittsfield as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building regulations — See Ch. 6.
[Adopted 2-25-2015 by Ord. No. 317 as Ch. 5, Art. I, of the 2015 Pittsfield Charter Township Code]
This article shall be known as the "Historic District Ordinance of Pittsfield Charter Township" (created under the Local Historic Districts Act, Public Act 169 of 1970, MCL 399.201 et seq.).
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Work that changes the detail of a resource but does not change its basic size or shape.
- CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
- The written approval of a permit application for work that is appropriate and does not adversely affect a resource.
- The Historic District Commission of the Township.
- The razing or destruction, whether entirely or in part, of a resource and includes, but is not limited to, demolition by neglect.
- DEMOLITION BY NEGLECT
- Neglect in maintaining, repairing, or securing a resource that results in deterioration of an exterior feature of the resource or the loss of structural integrity of the resource.
- The written rejection of a permit application for work that is inappropriate and that adversely affects a resource.
- FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
- A system designed to detect and annunciate the presence of fire or by-products of fire. Fire alarm system includes smoke alarms.
- HISTORIC DISTRICT
- An area, or group of areas, not necessarily having contiguous boundaries, that contains one resource or a group of resources that are related by history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture.
- HISTORIC PRESERVATION
- The identification, evaluation, establishment, and protection of resources significant in history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture of this state or a community within this state, or of the United States.
- HISTORIC RESOURCE
- A publicly or privately owned building, structure, site, object, feature or open space that is significant in the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture of the Township, the state, or the United States.
- NOTICE TO PROCEED
- The written permission to issue a permit for work that is inappropriate and that adversely affects a resource, pursuant to a finding under Section 399.205(6) of Public Act 169 of 1970, as amended [MCL 399.205(6)].
- OPEN SPACE
- Undeveloped land, a naturally landscaped area, or a formal or man-made landscaped area that provides a connective link or buffer between other resources.
- ORDINARY MAINTENANCE
- Keeping a resource unimpaired and in good condition through ongoing minor intervention, undertaken from time to time, in its exterior condition. Ordinary maintenance does not change the external appearance of the resource except through the elimination of the usual and expected effects of weathering. Ordinary maintenance does not constitute work for the purposes of this chapter.
- PROPOSED HISTORIC DISTRICT
- An area, or group of areas not necessarily having contiguous boundaries, that has delineated boundaries and that is under review by a committee or a standing committee for the purpose of making a recommendation as to whether it should be established as a historic district or added to an established historic district.
- To restore a decayed or damaged resource to good or sound condition by any process. A repair that changes the external appearance of a resource constitutes work for the purposes of this chapter.
- One or more publicly or privately owned historic or nonhistoric buildings, structures, sites, objects, features, or open spaces located within an historic district.
- Construction, addition, alteration, repair, moving, excavation, or demolition.
Historic preservation is declared to be a public purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to do one or more of the following:
Safeguard the heritage of the Township by preserving historic districts that reflect elements of its history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture.
Stabilize and improve property values in each district and surrounding areas.
Foster civic beauty.
Strengthen the local economy.
Promote the use of historic districts for the education, pleasure, and welfare of the citizens of the Township and of the state.
Promote Township identity through public awareness of the history of the Township; to effect a usable and maintainable archive of historic material; and to advance the historical interests of the Township.
At any time, the Township Board of Trustees may by ordinance establish additional historic districts, including proposed districts previously considered and rejected, may modify boundaries of an existing historic district, or may eliminate an existing historic district. The procedure for such action will be governed by Section 399.203(1 through 3) and Section 399.214 of Public Act 169 of 1970, as amended [MCL 399.203(1) through (3) and MCL 399.214, respectively].
The Township Historic District Commission is hereby established. The Commission shall consist of seven members appointed by the Township Board of Trustees. Each member of the Commission shall reside within the Township. A majority of the members shall have a clearly demonstrated interest in or knowledge of historic preservation. Two members shall be appointed from a list submitted by one or more duly organized local historic preservation organizations. If such a person is available for appointment, one member shall be a graduate of an accredited school of architecture who has two years of architectural experience or who is duly registered in the state.
Terms shall be three years, except the initial appointments of some members shall be for less than three years so that the initial appointments are staggered. Members shall be eligible for reappointment.
A Commission member may be removed by the Board of Trustees due to acts or omissions of that member on findings by the Board of Trustees that the acts or omissions are inconsistent with or harmful to the spirit of this chapter or to the interests of the Township.
Vacancies on the Commission shall be filled by the Board of Trustees within 60 days to complete the unexpired term.
The Historic District Commission shall meet at least quarterly or more frequently at the call of the Commission.
All meetings of the Commission will be open to the public. All meetings and notices of the meetings will conform to the Open Meetings Act, Public Act 267 of 1976, as amended. Public notice of the time, date, and place of the meeting shall be given in the manner required by the Open Meetings Act, 1976 PA 267, MCL 15.261 to 15.275. A meeting agenda shall be part of the notice and shall include a listing of each permit application to be reviewed or considered by the Commission.
The Commission shall keep a record of its resolutions, proceedings and actions. A writing prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by the Commission in the performance of an official function shall be made available to the public in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, 1976 PA 442 of 1976, MCL 15.231 to 15.246.
The Commission shall adopt its own rules of procedure in the form of written bylaws, and shall adopt design review standards and guidelines to carry out its duties under this chapter.
The Commission may delegate the issuance of certificates of appropriateness for specified minor classes of work to its staff, to the inspector of buildings, or to another delegated authority. The Commission shall provide to the delegated authority specific written standards for issuing certificates of appropriateness under this section. On at least a quarterly basis, the Commission shall review the certificates of appropriateness, if any, issued for work by its staff, the inspector, or another authority to determine whether or not the delegated responsibilities should be continued.
Ordinary maintenance or repair of a resource within an historic district is allowed. Work on any resource under a permit issued by the inspector of buildings or other delegated authority before the ordinance, from which this chapter is derived, was enacted may continue.
The Commission shall review and act upon exterior features of a resource only. Except for noting compliance with the requirement to install a fire alarm system or a smoke alarm, the Commission shall not review or act on interior work unless the Board of Trustees has specifically authorized the Commission to do so or unless the interior work will cause visible change to the exterior of the resource. The Commission will only consider the conditions in Subsection 399.205(3) of Public Act 169 of 1970 [MCL 399.205(3)], as amended.
When reviewing plans, the Commission shall follow the United States Secretary of Interior's standards for rehabilitation and guidelines for rehabilitating historic buildings as set forth in 36 CFR Part 67. The Commission may use other standards and guidelines that address special design characteristics of historic districts administered by the Commission if they are equivalent in guidance to the Secretary of Interior's standards and guidelines and are established or approved by the State Historic Preservation Office of the State Housing Development Authority.
In reviewing plans, the Commission shall also consider all of the following:
The historic or architectural value and significance of the resource and its relationship to the historic value of the surrounding area.
The relationship of any architectural features of the resource to the rest of the resource and to the surrounding area.
The general compatibility of the design, arrangement, texture, and materials proposed to be used.
Other factors, such as aesthetic value, that the Commission finds relevant.
Whether the applicant has certified in the application that the subject property where work will be undertaken has, or will have before the proposed project completion date, a fire alarm system or a smoke alarm complying with the requirements of the Stille-DeRossett-Hale Single State Construction Code Act, MCL 125.1501 to 125.1531.
A permit shall be obtained before any work affecting the exterior appearance of a resource is performed within an historic district. The person, individual, partnership, firm, corporation, organization, institution, or agency of government proposing to do that work shall file an application for a permit with the inspector of buildings. When the inspector receives a complete application, he/she shall immediately refer the complete application, along with all required supporting materials, to the Commission. A permit shall not be issued and proposed work shall not proceed until the Commission has issued a certificate of appropriateness or a notice to proceed as prescribed in this chapter.
A certificate of appropriateness shall not be issued unless the applicant has certified in the application that the subject property where work will be undertaken has, or will have before the proposed project completion date, a fire alarm system or a smoke alarm complying with the requirements of the Stille-DeRossett-Hale Single State Construction Code Act, MCL 125.1501 to 125.1531.
The Commission shall file certificates of appropriateness, notices to proceed, and denials of applications for permits with the inspector of buildings or other delegated authority.
If the proposed work will adversely affect the exterior of a resource the Commission considers valuable to the Township and the Commission determines that the alteration or loss of that resource will adversely affect the public purpose of the Township, state, or nation, the Commission shall attempt to establish with the owner of the resource an economically feasible plan for the preservation of the resource.
The failure of the Commission to act within 60 calendar days after the date a complete application is filed with the Commission, unless an extension is agreed upon in writing by the applicant and the Commission, shall be considered to constitute approval.
The Commission may charge a reasonable fee to process a permit application.
If a permit application is denied, the decision shall be binding on the inspector or other authority. A denial shall be accompanied with a written explanation by the Commission stating the reasons for denial and, if appropriate, a notice that an application may be resubmitted for Commission review when suggested changes have been made. The denial shall also include notification of the applicant's rights of appeal to the State Historic Preservation Review Board and to the Circuit Court.
Work within an historic district shall be permitted by issuing a notice to proceed by the Commission if any of the following conditions prevail and if the proposed work can be demonstrated by a finding of the Commission to be necessary to substantially improve or correct any of the following conditions:
The resource constitutes a hazard to the safety of the public or to the structure's occupants.
The resource is a deterrent to a major improvement program that will be of substantial benefit to the community, and the applicant proposing the work has obtained all necessary planning and zoning approvals, financing, and environmental clearances.
Retaining the resource will cause undue financial hardship to the owner when a governmental action, an act of God, or other events beyond the owner's control created the hardship, and all feasible alternatives to eliminate the financial hardship, which may include offering the resource for sale at its fair market value or moving the resource to a vacant site within the historic district, have been attempted and exhausted by the owner.
Retaining the resource is not in the interest of the majority of the community.
An applicant aggrieved by a decision of the Commission concerning a permit application may file an appeal with the State Historic Preservation Review Board. The appeal shall be filed within 60 days after the decision is furnished to the applicant. The appellant may submit all or part of the appellant's evidence and arguments in written form. A permit applicant aggrieved by the decision of the State Historic Preservation Review Board may appeal the decision to the county circuit court.
Any citizen or duly organized historic preservation organization in the Township, as well as resource property owners, jointly or severally aggrieved by a decision of the Historic District Commission, may appeal the decision to the circuit court, except that a permit applicant aggrieved by a decision rendered under this chapter may not appeal to the court without first exhausting the right to appeal to the State Historic Preservation Review Board.
When work has been done upon a resource without a permit, and the Commission finds that the work does not qualify for a certificate of appropriateness, the Commission may require an owner to restore the resource to the condition that the resource was in before the inappropriate work or to modify the work so that it qualifies for a certificate of appropriateness. If the owner does not comply with the restoration or modification requirement within a reasonable time, the Commission may seek an order from the circuit court to require the owner to restore the resource to its former condition or to modify the work so that it qualifies for a certificate of appropriateness. If the owner does not comply or cannot comply with the order of the court, the Commission or its agents may enter the property and conduct work necessary to comply with the court's order. The costs of the work shall be charged to the owner, and may be levied by the Township as a special assessment against the property. When acting under an order of the circuit court, the Commission or its agents may enter a property for purposes of this section.
Upon a finding by the Commission that an historic resource within an historic district or a proposed historic district subject to its review and approval is threatened with demolition by neglect, the Commission may do either of the following:
Require the owner of the resource to repair all conditions contributing to demolition by neglect.
If the owner does not make repairs within a reasonable time, the Commission or its agents may enter the property and make such repairs as necessary to prevent demolition by neglect. The costs of the work shall be charged to the owner, and may be levied by the Township as a special assessment against the property. The Commission or its agents may enter the property for purposes of this section upon obtaining an order from the circuit court.
If the Board of Trustees receives substantial evidence showing the presence of historic, architectural, archaeological, engineering, or cultural significance of a proposed historic district, it may, at its discretion, adopt a resolution requiring that all applications for permits within the proposed historic district be referred to the Commission as prescribed in § 5-11. The Commission shall review permit applications with the same powers that would apply if the proposed historic district was an established district. The review may continue in the proposed historic district for not more than one year, or until such time as the Board of Trustees approves or rejects the establishment of the historic district by ordinance, whichever occurs first.
If the Board of Trustees determines that pending work will cause irreparable harm to resources located within an established or proposed historic district, the Board of Trustees may by resolution declare an emergency moratorium on all such work for a period not to exceed six months. The Board of Trustees may extend the emergency moratorium for an additional period not to exceed six months, upon finding that the threat of irreparable harm to resources is still present. Any pending permit application concerning a resource subject to an emergency moratorium may be summarily denied.
The Board of Trustees may accept state or federal grants for historic preservation purposes, may participate in state and federal programs that benefit historic preservation, and may accept public or private gifts for historic preservation purposes. The Board of Trustees may make the Historic District Commission, a standing committee, or other agency its duly appointed agent to accept and administer grants, gifts, and program responsibilities.
If all efforts by the Commission to preserve a resource fail, or if it is determined by the Board of Trustees that public ownership is most suitable, the Board of Trustees, if considered to be in the public interest, may acquire the resource using public funds, public or private gifts, grants, or proceeds from the issuance of revenue bonds. The acquisition will be based on the recommendation of the Historic District Commission. The Historic District Commission is responsible for maintaining publicly owned resources using its own funds, if not specifically designated for other purposes, or public funds committed for that use by the Board of Trustees. Upon recommendation of the Historic District Commission, the Township may sell resources acquired under this section with protective easements included in the property transfer documents, if appropriate.
The Commission shall have all the powers and duties vested in or permitted to be vested in a Historical Commission by Public Act No. 88 of 1976 (MCL 399.171 et seq.).
[Adopted 2-25-2015 by Ord. No. 317 as Ch. 5, Art. II, of the 2015 Pittsfield Charter Township Code]
The following area within the Township is hereby designated an historic district and shall be subject to the terms, conditions and requirements of this chapter.
The property commonly known as the "Sutherland-Wilson [Farm]" and more precisely described as:
Commencing from the Northeast 1/4 corner of said Section 29, thence S 88 degrees 22’ 18” W 508.21 feet to the point of beginning; thence S 01 degree 37’42” E 415.32 feet; thence N 88 degrees 22’18” E 125.00 feet, S 01 degree 37’42” E 151.33 feet; thence S 88 degrees 22’ 18” W 483.42 feet; thence N 05 degrees 47’ 58” E 571.44 feet; thence N 88 degrees 22’18” E 284.55 feet to the point of beginning, containing 4.616 acres more or less,
[Added 1-13-2016 by Ord. No. 320]
The following area within Pittsfield Charter Township is hereby designated an historic district and shall be subject to the terms, conditions and requirements of Article I, Historic District Commission; Regulations, of this chapter.
The property commonly known as the Harwood Heritage Farm, 6356 E. Michigan Ave., Saline, Michigan 48176, and more precisely described as:
Parcel Number: L-12-27-200-023--COM AT INTERSECTION OF C/L CAMPBELL ROAD AND MICHIGAN AVE, TH ELY 487 FT IN C/L MICHIGAN AVE FOR POB, TH NLY PARALLEL TO CAMPBELL RD 890 FT, TH DEF 90 RT 495 FT, TH DEF 90 RT 890 FT, TH SWLY IN C/L MICHIGAN AVE TO POB, BEING PART OF NW ¼ SEC 27, T3S R6E, 10.10 AC and