A Local Historic District is an entity that protects the integrity of a historic resource or group of resources. A Historic District Commission is selected to implement the ordinance, and provide support to each resource.
In 1970, the state of Michigan passed the Local Historic Districts Act, PA 169, which safeguards a community’s heritage by allowing local governments to adopt an ordinance that contains design review guidelines based on national standards. The Washtenaw County Historic District Commission (WCHDC) was created in 1974 and currently oversees fifteen Local Historic Districts. Its mission is to protect the historic buildings, sites, objects, and landscapes of Washtenaw County and to promote a culture of historic preservation.
The primary functions of the Washtenaw County Historic District Commission are to:
- Identify, document and inventory historic county resources
- Foster protection of historic resources by the establishment and maintenance of historic districts
- Provide educational programs and information regarding Washtenaw County history and historic preservation issues
- Recognize significant heritage sites through a program of historic markers
- Support local and state historic preservation organizations