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Macomb Seeks Input About Historic District

Nov 18, 2012

A portion of Macomb's historic district
Credit Rich Egger

Those who own property in Macomb’s downtown historic district will be receiving a phone call from the city.

Hopefully we're going to find out whether we're doing this with them, for them, or to them.

Community Development Coordinator Ed Basch told aldermen the district has been in place for more than two years so he believes it’s time for some feedback from those most directly impacted.

Basch thinks a phone survey will result in more responses than a mailed or web-based questionnaire. He said it’s a short survey of five questions.

He said the city will ask building and/or business owners about the value of the historic district to their particular businesses and how they feel about the district’s architectural guidelines.

“How many people are aware of our forgivable grant program?” Basch said regarding another of the questions. “How many have heard of it but don’t know details? Well, I’d be happy to give them details.”

The survey also seeks feedback about the city’s attempt to win National Historic District designation for the downtown, and it asks whether the district should be dissolved, left alone, or kept with a few changes.

Basch said 98 people own buildings in the historic district. Seventh Ward Alderman Clay Hinderliter hoped to hear comments from most if not all of them.

“Hopefully we’re going to find out whether we’re doing this with them, for them, or to them,” said Hinderliter, who serves on the Community Development Committee, which came up with the idea for the survey.

Basch indicated the city might also talk to tenants to get their thoughts.

Fifth Ward Alderman Dave Dorsett said the results are non-binding. He said the city is simply seeking information.