City of Ypsilanti, Michigan

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Historic District Commission

The Historic District Commission (HDC) guides development and renovation in the Historic District in order to safeguard Ypsilanti's built resources, according to the provisions of the Historic District Ordinance. Any proposed work done on the exterior of a structure within the District must be reviewed by the HDC. This includes new construction, reconstruction, renovation, restoration, or painting of any property or historic landmark within the Historic District, as well as work on site features such as driveways, retaining walls, and fences.

The Commission bases its decisions on criteria defined in the city's Historic District Ordinance, including the US Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Rehabilitation. See the HDC FAQ (pdf) for answers to frequently asked questions on the HDC process. The HDC has also created a series of fact sheets to provide general guidelines on common projects.

The Historic District boundaries are shown generally in the following map (download a printable (pdf) version.). 401 and 407 S. Adams, 601 W. Forest, and the Ypsilanti Water Tower are additionally part of the Historic District; the Starkweather Historic District is located at 1266 Huron River Drive.


Applying to the Historic District Commission

The HDC meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers. Historic District Work Permit applications are due by noon on the Wednesday preceding the meeting, at the Building Department front counter, on the third floor of City Hall. A sample application is available to demonstrate the type of information the Commission requests. Applicants should attend the HDC's meeting to discuss their proposals and answer questions.

Informal study review of proposed projects is provided by the Commission prior to building permit application and is encouraged. Study items presented to the HDC do not require a fee, but the Commission cannot provide work authorization until a full proposal is presented for their consideration.

Contact the Planning and Development Department with questions at 734-483-9646, or e-mail