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The Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission will meet to review the National Register nominations and additional documentation on Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 at 7PM in the second floor community room at City Hall, 241 West South Street. This will be an open meeting with the public invited to attend and comment.

The city of Kalamazoo is a Certified Local Government, part of a preservation partnership between local, state and national governments focused on promoting historic preservation at the grass roots level. The program is jointly administered by the National Park Service (NPS) and the State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) in each state, with each local community working through a certification process to become recognized as a Certified Local Government (CLG). A CLG is an active partner in the Federal Historic Preservation Program and the opportunities it provides.

Kalamazoo is one of over 30 cities in Michigan that qualify as a Certified Local Government. One of the responsibilities of a CLG is to review National Register nominations for their community. This review has been delegated to the Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission with a charge to solicit public comment (see the document on this page pdf Michigan Certified Local Government Program 4-B (131 KB) ).

The commission will review the three documents specified below:

  1. Fountain of the Pioneers, Bronson Park (National Register nomination)
  2. Western State Normal School Historic District (Additional Documentation)
  3. Administration Building (NameChange/Boundary Decrease/Additional Documentation for East Hall)

As required in our CLG Agreement, the documentation for each project will be reviewed to determine which of the applicable National Register criteria have been met and if the property meets the National Register Standards of Integrity in location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling and association. (National Register Bulletin 15 How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Integrity)

If you are thinking of attending the meeting to comment on the National Register projects, please consider bringing a written comment to submit. Your comments can also be sent in advance of the meeting to the preservation coordinator at ferraros@kalamazoocity.org, as a fax to 269-337-8513 or in a letter mailed to the address below. All comments should be received by Thursday April 21 at 5PM. The full set of comments will be transmitted to the State Historic Preservation Office on the 22nd.

If you would like to send your comments directly to the State Historic Preservation Office, to be transmitted to the State Historic Preservation Review Board for consideration at their meeting on May 6, 2016 please mail to:

Robert O. Christensen

State Historic Preservation Office

702 W. Kalamazoo St.

PO Box 30740

Lansing, MI 48909-8240

Non-Motorized Transportation

The City of Kalamazoo is committed to integrating pedestrians, cyclists, and all other non-motorized users into our transportation network. Our goal is to create a non-motorized network that is safe and comfortable for users, and integrated with other transportation options in the area. 

Non-motorized transportation provides a number of benefits to our community:

  • Providing connections between homes, schools, offices, parks, public transportation, and retail destinations.
  • Improving pedestrian and cyclist safety by reducing potential accidents between motorized and non-motorized users
  • Encouraging walking and bicycling, with corresponding health and fitness benefits
  • Easing transportation problems by increasing the network's overall capacity and reducing congestion
  • Providing options to make fewer driving trips, resulting in savings on operation and maintenance of motor vehicles
  • Supporting sustainability goals and objectives by advocating a reduction in fuel use and a corresponding reduction in air pollution and carbon emissions.
  • Increasing economic vitality (Pedestrian and bike-friendly downtowns provide economic benefits)

Throughout 2015, City Planning staff are working to update the Non-Motorized Transportation Plan (NMP), which was last updated in 1998. In May, a series of workshops were held to obtain input from non-motorized users in the city. 

pdf 2015 Non-Motorized Transportation Map (1.44 MB)

icon May 2015 - Non-Motorized Plan Update Press Release

icon May 2015 Workshop Plan

icon May 2015 Public Comments

icon 1999 Non-Motorized Plan Goals

icon 1999 Non-Motorized Plan Vision

Cyclists say: Give us a lane, Mark Wedel, Second Wave Media, May 21 2015


Pop-Up Bike Lane Demonstration Project June 16-19

A new pop up bikeway project was launched yesterday, connecting the Edison and Vine neighborhoods by way of Upjohn Park and the Kalamazoo Farmers' Market. The project was time to coincide with National Dump the Pump Day, which encourages the use of public transportation and other options besides personal vehicles. 

In light of the tragic accident that took place in Cooper Township on June 7, the need for safe non-motorized transportation options and greater consideration of cyclists and pedestrians has been highlighted for much of the nation. Pop up bike way projects are meant to serve as a practical demonstration of which routes work best and demonstrate the positive impact of “complete streets”. A similar project was held last June to explore a downtown connection for the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, which is scheduled to begin construction this Fall.

This pop up bike way will be up through Sunday, June 19. Afterwards, City staff will survey cyclists and local property owners to evaluate the potential route.

 2016 popuplane route

Please be aware of our new hours!

Changing hours

Planning the Project

Before buying materials, beginning the work or applying for a building permit (if needed), contact to the Historic Preservation Coordinator at 269-337-8804. Describe your project in as much detail as possible. Provide drawings, photographs and measurements if available.

The Historic Preservation Coordinator can approve some types of work, if it falls within the commission's standards for administrative approval. Four out of five projects are approved administratively. These standards cover common repairs such as a new roof, rebuilding steps, installing storm windows and doors, some fencing projects and satellite dish installation. Administrative approval eliminates the need for the property owner to attend a Commission meeting. Projects which also require a building permit will be charged an additional historic review fee for the permit.

If the proposed work falls outside of the standards, or if it falls within the categories that require HDC approval (i.e., signage or demolition) attendance at an HDC meeting is necessary. The HDC has established guidelines that are used to evaluate the appropriateness or impact of an alteration. A hearing fee is charged for all projects that go to the Historic District Commission.

Applications are available on-line, can be picked up at the Community Planning & Development Department, or can be mailed, faxed, or emailed by the Coordinator. The Coordinator may request to meet and review your application. The coordinator will also take photographs of the structure and proposed work area, which will be used at the HDC meeting.

While filling out the application, it is important to include all relevant support materials, sketches of the proposed work, measurements and other specifications. Complete materials and a clear submission are vital to a quick review. Be as specific as possible. You may provide your own, additional photographs - either current or historic, if available. The application and support materials are due to the office at least one week prior to the scheduled HDC meeting - by 5:00 pm on the second Tuesday. Your materials will be provided to the HDC in advance of the meeting. HDC members are encouraged to visit all the structures on the meeting agenda, so it is common to see them at the site in advance of the meeting.

You will receive written notification that your application will be reviewed at the HDC meeting, including a copy of the agenda with the approximate time of the hearing for your structure, a copy of your application, and any additional information that the Coordinator has added. The agenda is divided into 15 minute sections, with each hearing schedule at a specific time. It is recommended to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled hearing. If you are unable to attend the meeting, it is suggested that your contractor, architect, or another representative attend in your place. This representative must be able to make a binding decision on your behalf. This assures all participants that questions can be answered, additional information provided, or modifications made as necessary, and that unnecessary delays are avoided. In the event that no representative attends and the HDC is left without needed information, the application will be postponed until the next regularly scheduled meeting.

The Commission and Hearing

Applications are reviewed individually at the meeting.

  1. The Historic Preservation Coordinator presents information about the project. A staff report on the project is included in the meeting packet mailed in advance to the commissioners and to the applicant. The coordinator also presents photographs and images of the project, the project site and the plans using a media projector.
  2. The applicant or their representative is invited to address the Commission adding any relevant details. The commissioners may have questions for the applicant and owner. A discussion then takes place with the Commissioners who question the Coordinator and the Applicant in attempt to reach a full understanding of the project and its impact on the historic property.
  3. At this point the hearing is closed to discussion and the commission begins deliberation using Roberts Rules of Order.
  4. A commissioner will propose a motion, possibly based on motions in the staff report.
  5. Further discussion may continue and eventually a vote is taken following Robert's Rules of Order. A motion requires a quorum of the appointed members (four or more) to pass. A quorum of members present is sufficient for administrative decisions.
  6. If the application is approved or approved with conditions, the applicant will receive a Certificate of Appropriateness within ten days - more commonly by the end of the week after the meeting.
  7. A decision on the application may be postponed for more information. The letter to the applicant will specify the additional materials or information required before the commission will place the application back on the agenda.
  8. If the application is denied, the applicable Secretary of Interior's Standard is cited. In the letter of denial, the applicant will receive information on alternate work plans for the project, which may be acceptable to the commission. The letter will also include information on how the denial can be appealed to the State Historic Preservation Review Board as required by city ordinance and PA 169.

Administrative approval 

The Historic Preservation Coordinator can approve many common projects, usually within 24 hours. Projects can be presented to the Coordinator by calling 337-8804 or sending an email. Approvals can frequently be made by phone or email, including:

  • Re-roofing - dark 3-in-1 or architectural asphalt shingles, dark drip edge.
  • Gutters - half round or K-style metal.
  • Porch repairs - railing and steps, handrail to approved design in cedar or redwood.
  • Storm windows - wood or color finished combination storms mounted on the blind stop.
  • Fencing - several types approved, wood at front half of house, other styles at rear.
  • Repairs that do not change the historic character of the building.

Proposed work must conform exactly to the City's Historic District Standards and Guidelines for Rehabilitation standards to qualify for administrative approval.

Commission Review

More complex projects are reviewed at the monthly meeting of the Historic District Commission (3rd Tuesday, 5PM, City Hall Commission Chambers). These are projects that will change the building by addition or demolition or replacement:

  • Restoration of a missing porch or parts of a porch
  • Enclosing a porch with screens
  • Roofing besides asphalt such as slate, cement tile or metal
  • Windows - moving, replacing, adding or removing
  • Doors - replacement or removal
  • Decks - added in the rear only
  • Uncommon fencing - brick or stone walls, iron, other wooden designs
  • Trim - repairing and replacing ornamental trims
  • Satellite dishes - placement
  • Demolition of a structure
  • Moving a structure
  • New construction, such as houses, outbuildings, garages and additions
  • Signs
  • Many other projects

Project Description

The City of Kalamazoo has initiated a study of the Portage Creek Corridor. The study, which was completed in late fall 2008, will produce a reuse plan for the corridor, including conceptual future uses for the former Allied Paper site. The Portage Creek Corridor Reuse Plan is important to the City of Kalamazoo, the residents of the Milwood and Edison neighborhoods, and to those in the region who may benefit from new jobs, housing, or recreational opportunities in the Portage Creek Corridor.

It is important to note that as this Portage Creek Corridor Reuse Plan is being conducted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is conducting a separate and concurrent Feasibility Study to come up with future uses for the Allied Paper site. The preliminary findings of that study, which will be concluded sometime in 2009, will be reflected in this Reuse Plan.

To conduct the plan, the City has hired a national planning consultant – The Corradino Group. The firm’s work approach is based on the following tasks:

Task 1: Determine Environmental Feasibility;
Task 2: Perform Generalized Market Analysis;
Task 3: Conduct Public and Stakeholder Involvement; and,
Task 4: Develop Portage Creek Corridor Reuse Plan.

To see the final copy of the plan:

Current & Recent Studies

The Planning Division is currently at work on the following plans:

Historic District Standards and Guidelines for Rehabilitation

pdf  Porches and Decks (14.41 MB)  

Definition:
Steps, Decking
Rails, Handrails, Skirts
Screening, skirting, repair, handrails, balustrades
Woodwork & ornament
Decks
Barrier Free Ramps

pdf  Doors (1.11 MB)

Storm doors

pdf  Windows (2.24 MB)

Storm Windows
Skylights (see Roofs)

pdf  Roofs (1.05 MB)

Permits and Applications
Approved Materials
Approved Colors
Approved INSTALLATION
Decking, drip edge, venting, flashing, crown mould
Eaves Troughs
Skylights
Shingle materials - Wood, cement asbestos, tile, slate, metal, Art-Loc
Chimneys
Metal Cresting

pdf  Residing and Trim Cladding (78.06 kB)  

All residing and trim cladding applications must include the three page Historic District Application for Residing.

pdf  Fences (2.25 MB)  

Masonry & stone
Retaining Walls

pdf  Signs and Awnings (79.17 kB)

pdf  Satellite Dishes and Antennas (68.35 kB)

pdf  New Construction (1.11 MB)

Additions
Garages
Outbuildings
New Construction

pdf  Demolition Historic (48.7 kB)

pdf  Moving (29.91 kB)

 

HDC Definitions

The following definitions are useful for the purpose of completing an application to the Historic District Commission. Questions about application content can be directed to the Historic Preservation Coordinator at 337-8804 or email.

Alteration: work that changes the details of a structure but retains its basic shape or size.

Certificate of appropriateness: the written approval of a project application for work that is appropriate and that does not adversely affect a structure. An applicant will need to have this certificate BEFORE applying for any necessary building permits. The certificate may be approved with specific conditions.

Demolition: 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 external feature of the structure or the loss of structural integrity.

Denial: the written rejection of a project application for work that is inappropriate and will adversely affect a structure.

Notice to Proceed: written permission to issue a permit for work that is inappropriate and adversely affects a structure.

Ordinary maintenance or maintenance: keeping a structure unimpaired and in good repair through ongoing minor intervention, undertaken from time to time, in its exterior condition. Ordinary maintenance does not change the external appearance of the structure except through the elimination of the usual and expected effects of weathering. Ordinary maintenance does not constitute "work".

Repair: to restore a damaged or decayed resource to good and sound condition by any process. A repair that changes the external appearance of a resource constitutes "work".

Structure: any human made structure including houses, garages, carriage barns, gazebos, fences, commercial buildings, storage sheds

Work: means construction, addition, alteration, repair, moving, excavation or demolition

Downtown Design Review District

The City of Kalamazoo's pdf  Downtown Design Review Standards and Guidelines  are intended to function as a tool for architects, developers, and property owners planning building projects within the downtown. The city of Kalamazoo encourages creativity and inventiveness in building reuse and new construction, as well as in the preservation of key architectural features that help define our downtown. All projects in the Downtown Design Review District must be reviewed by the Downtown Design Review Committee for compliance with the Guidelines. The Downtown Design Review Standards and Guidelines are also available at the Community Planning & Development Department at 415 Stockbridge. The following is a complete list by street address of those properties included in the Downtown Design Review District:

(Some of these buildings and sites are in local historic districts* and are also subject to Historic District Commission review.)

 Street  House Numbers
   
 Academy  to 753*
 Bates Alley  All
 Burdick, N.  to 459*
 Burdick, S.  to 440 + 525
 Cedar, W.  to 306
 Church, N.  to 400
 Church, S.  All
 Cooley  200 block
 Edwards, N.  to 201
 Edwards, S.  All*
 Eleanor  to 452
 Farmers Alley  All
 Gladys  All
 Henrietta  All
 Jasper  All
 John  to 500
 Kalamazoo Mall, N.  All
 Kalamazoo Mall, S.  All
 Kook  All
 Lovell, E.  to 357
 Lovell, W.  to 450
 Michigan, E.  to 618*
 Michigan, W.  to 729
 Also odd 739-763
 Also 762 only
 Park, N.  to 436
 Park, S.  to 347*
 Pitcher, N.  to 201
 Pitcher, S.  to 583
 Portage  to 439*
 Reese  All
 Rochester Ave.  All
 Rose, N.  to 459
 Rose, S.  to 340
 South, E.  to 431
 South, W.  to 400
 Saint Johns Place  All
 Walnut, E.  All
 Walnut, W.  even only to 125
 Water, E.  All
 Water, W.  All
 Westnedge, N.  to 440
 Westnedge, S.  to 343
 Willard, E.  145, 167, 205, 261

Site Plan Review

With the exception of single family homes and duplexes, projects in the city that include construction of a new building, a building addition, or a change in use of an existing building to a more intensive use must go through the site plan review and approval process. A completed Site Plan Review Application form and either a Sketch Site Plan or Full Site Plan for the project need to be submitted to the Community Planning and Development Department prior to obtaining building permits or beginning the work. Sketch Site Plans are required for smaller building additions and change of use projects, and Full Site Plans are required for larger additions and new buildings. The Site Plan Review Committee reviews site plans over a two-week period, followed by a meeting of the Committee with the applicant. Once the site plan is approved by the Committee, applicants can submit building plans and apply for building permits for their project.

The following Site Plan Review forms and information should be reviewed when preparing a plan for the Site Plan Review Committee. Contact the Planning Division at (269) 337-8044 for more information.


1.  pdf  Title Page
2.  pdf  General Information & FAQ's
3.  pdf  Required Plan Review By Project Type
4.  pdf  List of Applicable Site Development Ordinances
5.  pdf  Contact List
6.  pdf  Full Site Plan Submittal Checklist
7.  pdf  Sketch Site Plan Submittal Checklist
8.  pdf  Landscape Requirements
9.  pdf  Site Plan Review Application and Questionnaire

This spreadsheet Site Plan List (70 KB)  is the current list of site plan projects in the city.

Downtown Design Guidelines

The Downtown Design Review Committee (DDRC) is made up of city staff, staff from Downtown Kalamazoo, Inc., downtown residents, and downtown business owners. The DDRC uses the pdf  Downtown Design Review Standards and Guidelines  to shape new construction, rehabilitation, and other changes in the downtown area to maintain Kalamazoo's unique architectural style and history.

DOWNTOWN DESIGN REVIEW STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES

The pdf  DOWNTOWN DESIGN REVIEW STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES  are available as a single pdf document of 67 pages including new construction, existing buildings and streetscape projects. These sections are also available as separate documents.

  •   pdf  EXISTING BUILDINGS STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES  - Rehabilitation, restoration and additions of an existing building. Signs, canopies, awnings and street furniture as needed for the new building are covered separately in the pdf  STREETSCAPE STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES . This section also covers information on the Haymarket Historic District and other designated historic sites in the downtown including a comprehensive list of designated historic buildings by street address. Applications for Existing Buildings are here.
  •   pdf  STREETSCAPE STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES  - Streetscape elements are non-structural for the new or existing building. Signs, awnings, canopies, street furniture, sidewalk cafes, streetscape planting, paving and light fixtures are all discussed. Sidewalk cafes, sidewalk signs, overhanging signs, street furniture, awnings and canopies may also require an encroachment agreement from the city for the private use of the Public Right of Way. Applications for Streetscape are here.

Applications, Forms & Permits for New Construction, Existing Buildings and Streetscape are available at this site. Properties included in the Downtown Design Review District addresses are listed here as well. Downtown Design Review applies to new construction, changes or additions to existing buildings and streetscape projects.

Historic District Violations

Within Kalamazoo's historic districts, any exterior work, except paint, paving or plantings requires review and approval of the Historic District Commission or the Historic Preservation Coordinator. Exterior projects completed without approval or with approval but not in compliance with the specified conditions are considered to be a violation of the pdf  Housing Code  of the City of Kalamazoo Code of Ordinances.

When unapproved work is discovered, the Coordinator sends a letter to the property owner which cites the work in question, states why it is inappropriate, and proposes a remedy There is no fee for this letter and any follow-up site visits or consultations.

If there is no response from the owner (or in the case of a rental property, the rental agent), a second letter is sent. The second letter carries with it an automatic charge of $70.

If there is no response from the owner or agent after the first two violation letters, an appearance ticket will be issued to the owner by the City Attorney's Office and the matter will move into the court system. Ultimately, the owner is the responsible party. Under extreme circumstances the court could order the unapproved work to be removed from the structure and the work redone at the owner 's expense with a potential fine of up to $5000. (Michigan PA 169).


Questions about violations can be directed to the Coordinator at 337-8804 or email.

Local Historic Districts

Local Historic Districts must meet the same standards for historic integrity as National Register Historic Districts, but add an extra layer of locally enforced design review. The Kalamazoo Historic District Commission (HDC) is made up of seven volunteer citizens with an expertise in historic preservation or historic architecture. Established under the authority of Michigan Public Act 169, the HDC makes quasi-judiciary decisions on design review for proposed exterior work in a designated Local Historic District. Work must conform to the Kalamazoo HDC Standards and Guidelines for Rehabilitation and the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Essentially this means that any work should not alter the historic character of the building. Parts of the building should be repaired rather than replaced. If replacement is absolutely necessary, the replacement should match the original in shape, size, proportion and material. HDC decisions carry the weight of law and may be appealed to the State Historic Preservation Review Board. Projects can be submitted for review by the HDC by completing the appropriate Applications, Forms & Permits.

The HDC receives over 400 applications for exterior work each year. The Historic Preservation Coordinator approves more than 80% of the applications immediately, and the rest are sent on to the HDC for review at their monthly meeting. Overall, the HDC approves 95% of the projects presented, matching the national average for historic design review commissions.

The process of submitting your project for review is simple. Here are the pdf  basics  of the process.

Who is affected by the historic districts?

Anyone who owns or manages properties of any kind in the historic districts is affected. This includes owner occupied homes as well as landlords. Contractors who work on buildings in the historic districts also have some restrictions placed on their work. Even non-historic buildings inside the historic district boundaries are reviewed for the impact the work will have on adjacent historic properties.

The Historic District Commission

The Historic District Commission (HDC) is comprised of seven volunteers appointed to three-year terms by the Kalamazoo City Commission. The seven-member HDC must include a graduate of an accredited school of architecture with two years of experience, or an architect who is registered in this state. All members must demonstrate an interest in and knowledge of historic preservation and historic building styles. All must be residents of the City of Kalamazoo. Typically, most of the Commissioners live or own property within the local historic districts.

The HDC meets the third Tuesday of every month at the Kalamazoo City Hall, 241 West South Street starting at 5:00 p.m. The application deadline is the second Tuesday.

The Historic Preservation Coordinator

The Coordinator is a City employee whose expertise is in the field of historic preservation. The Coordinator consults with various departments of the City on a wide variety of projects, and provides advice and guidance to property owners within the historic districts. The Coordinator can approve many project applications administratively, and provides staff support to the HDC.

Additional information about applying to the HDC

Learn more about applying to the HDC, such as:

  • The application process click here
  • Useful HDC definitions click here

Kalamazoo has five local historic districts including 2075 properties:

EMERGENCY REPAIRS

If damage occurs to a structure in a historic district that requires emergency repairs, measures may be taken to secure the structure without approval of the Historic District Commission (HDC) or the Historic Preservation Coordinator. Examples include damage caused by a traffic accident, storm, or vandalism. In an emergency, materials may be put in place to cover damaged windows, doors, walls, or roofing. Tarpaulins may be put in place to prevent further damage. Temporary supports may be put in place, and dangling or loose elements may be removed, marked and stored.

The Historic Preservation Coordinator should be notified of damage to the structure on the first weekday following the damage. The Coordinator will visit the structure and arrange a site visit by HDC members to approve repairs if necessary. This will be done as quickly as possible in order to facilitate timely repairs of the structure. The Coordinator can be reached at any time by calling 337-8804 or sending an email. You will receive a prompt reply.

HDC Violations

Within Kalamazoo's historic districts, any exterior work, except paint, paving or plantings requires review and approval of the Historic District Commission or the Historic Preservation Coordinator. Exterior projects completed without approval or with approval but not in compliance with the specified conditions are considered to be a violation of the housing code of the City of Kalamazoo Code of Ordinances.

When unapproved work is discovered, the Coordinator sends a letter to the property owner which cites the work in question, states why it is inappropriate, and proposes a remedy. There is no fee for this letter and any follow-up site visits or consultations.

If there is no response from the owner (or in the case of a rental property, the rental agent), a second letter is sent. The second letter carries with it an automatic charge of $70.

If there is no response from the owner or agent after the first two violation letters, an appearance ticket will be issued to the owner by the City Attorney's Office and the matter will move into the court system. Ultimately, the owner is the responsible party. Under extreme circumstances the court could order the unapproved work to be removed from the structure and the work redone at the owner's expense with a potential fine of up to $5000. (Michigan PA 169).

Questions about violations can be directed to the Coordinator at 337-8804 or email.

National Register Sites

A National Register Historic District is honorary; it engages a review of effect on projects utilizing federal funds and it makes income-producing properties eligible for a special tax credit.

Honorary - A building or collection of buildings must retain their historic character and be representative of a specific event or pattern of history on a local, state or national level in order to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Review of Effect - When structures and sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places may be effected by a project utilizing Federal funds, or requiring Federal permitting or licensing an additional review is required to determine whether or not the project will have an adverse effect. Called the Section 106 Review process, this regulation mandates review of the potential adverse impact of a federally funded undertaking on a listed structure or site. The review process does not prevent the work from happening, it only requires review of the impact the project will have and a mitigation of adverse effects.

Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit - the Historic Preservation Tax Credit - Income producing properties, which are part of a National Register Historic District, may be eligible for a Federal Income Tax credit. Buildings undergoing a "substantial rehabilitation" may be eligible for the credit and the proposed work on both the exterior and interior must be reviewed for appropriateness before it begins. Contact the Historic Preservation Coordinator (269-337-8804) for more information.

More information on National Register historic districts and individually listed properties is available at State Historic Preservation Office.

Kalamazoo has eight historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

  • Bronson Park - all the historic buildings facing the park plus the Federal Building, Ladies Library building and St. Luke's Church.
  • Haymarket - downtown on East Michigan
  • Henderson Park and West Main Hill
  • Rose Place - a small court on South Rose in the Vine Neighborhood
  • South Street - Full of grand, upper income homes
  • Stuart Area - Stuart neighborhood
  • Vine Area - part of the Vine Area local Historic District
  • Western State Normal School - East campus of Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo has seventeen sites listed on the National Register of historic places outside historic districts:

  • Isaac Brown House at 427 South Burdick
  • Engine House #3 at 607 Charlotte
  • Fire House #4 at 526 North Burdick
  • John Gibbs House at 3403 Parkview
  • Henry Gilbert House at 415 West Lovell
  • Kalamazoo State Hospital Water Tower
  • Kalamazoo State Hospital Gatehouse
  • Kalamazoo State Asylum for the Insane
  • Lawrence and Chapin Building at 201 North Rose
  • David Lilienfeld House at 447 West South Street
  • Marlborough apartments at 471 West South Street
  • Masonic Temple at 309 North Rose
  • Henry Montague House at 814 Oakland
  • Portage Street Fire Station at 1249 Portage
  • Rickman Hotel at 345 North Burdick
  • Enoch Schafer House at 1437 Douglas
  • Andrew Jackson Stevens House at 4024 Oakland Drive

GRANT ELIGIBLE NEIGHBORHOODS

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allows federal grant monies to be spent in Census tracts where at least 51 percent of the households are low- to moderate-income. HUD defines low- to moderate-income as 80 percent or less of the area medium income. Currently, these Census tracts and there corresponding neighborhoods are:

Central Business District - Census tract 2.01
Douglas - Census tract 5.00
Eastside - Census tract 1.00
Edison - Census tract 9.00 and 10.00
Northside - Census tract 2.02 and 3.00
Oakwood - Census tract 16.03
Southside - Census tract 11.00
Stuart - Census tract 5.00
Vine - Census tract 6.00

 

The Kalamazoo City Commission has prioritized utilizing federal resources in these neighborhoods. A map of the grant-eligible Census tracts can be found pdf  CDBG Census Tracts Map (671.46 kB) .

Contact Information

Eastside Neighborhood Association
1301 East Main Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49048
269-381-0700
www.facebook.com/kzooeastside

Edison Neighborhood Association
816 Washington Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
269-382-0916
www.edisonneighborhood.com

Northside Association for Community
Development
612 North Park Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
269-344-5490
 
Oakwood Neighborhood Association
3320 Laird Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
 

Stuart Area Restoration Association
530 Douglas Avenue
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49001
www.stuartneighborhood.org

Vine Neighborhood Association
511 West Vine Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
269-349-8463
www.vineneighborhood.org

EMERGENCY SOLUTIONS GRANT (ESG)

The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to housing Act of 2009 (HEARTH Act) amended the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, revising the Emergency Shelter Grants Program to the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program. The complete regulations governing the ESG program are found at the Code of Federal Regulations, 24 CFR Part 576.

The ESG program provides funding to:

  • Engage homeless individuals and families living on the street;
  • Improve the number and quality of emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families;
  • Help operate these shelters;
  • Provide essential services to shelter residents;
  • Rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families; and
  • Prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless.

The City distributes the ESG funds to the Kalamazoo County Continuum of Care who conducts a competitive application process which includes other sources of federal and state funding. The activities selected for funding are designed to accomplish the community goals as identified in the City's current Consolidated Plan. See the Continuum of Care webpage for more information.

For an ESG Fact Sheet click document  ESG Fact Sheet .

HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM (HOME)

The HOME program was established by the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990, and its complete regulations can be found at the Code of Federal Regulations, 24 CFR Part 92. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awards HOME funding to the City of Kalamazoo for the purposes of providing decent affordable housing to low-income households. This can be accomplished through the development of new housing units, rehabilitated housing units, capacity building of nonprofit housing partners, and leveraging private sector participation.

The City distributes the majority of the HOME funds to our community partners through a yearly competitive application process. The activities selected for funding are designed to accomplish the community goals as identified in the City's current Consolidated Plan. See the Grants page for more information on the application process.

For a HOME Fact Sheet click document  Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME) .

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG)

As an entitlement community to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the City of Kalamazoo receives an annual allocation of CDBG funding. Authorized by Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, CDBG funds are used to address a wide range of housing and community development activities.

The CDBG program assists with the development of viable communities by providing decent housing, a suitable living environment and expanding economic opportunities principally for persons of low income. The complete regulations governing the CDBG program are found at the Code of Federal Regulations, 24 CFR 570.

CDBG funds may be used to address one of the three national objectives of the program:

  • Benefit low and moderate-income persons;
  • Prevent or eliminate slums and blighted conditions;
  • Meet an urgent need.

The City distributes a portion of these funds to our community partners through a yearly competitive application process. The activities selected for funding are designed to accomplish the community goals as identified in the City's current Consolidated Plan. See the Grants page for more information on the application process.

For a CDBG Fact Sheet click pdf  CDBG R Fact Sheet .

GRANTS

Entitlement Grants:

The City of Kalamazoo receives annual funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under three programs:

Please click on the grant program link to learn more. A helpful glossary of HUD terms can be found here.

To receive these funds, the City must have a Consolidated Plan and annual Action Plan approved by HUD. Please click on the Plans link to view the most current documents. The Consolidated Plan covers a five-year period and provides the foundation and strategy for use of HUD dollars. The Action Plan details how the HUD funds will be spent each year consistent with the Consolidated Plan.

The City distributes a portion of the HUD funding to our community partners through a yearly competitive application process that is managed by City staff and the Community Development Act Advisory Committee (CDAAC). The grant cycle generally occurs as follows:

  • August - Mandatory pre-application submission training;
  • September - Applications made available;
  • October - Applications due;
  • October through December - Review by the CDAAC;
  • January - Draft recommendations approved by CDAAC;
  • February - 30-day comment period on draft recommendations;
  • March - CDAAC public hearing;
  • April - City Commission public hearing;
  • May - Action Plan sent to HUD.

CDAAC is a 13-member board with neighborhood representatives and at-large members. The Committee typically meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm in Community Room at City Hall. 

At the conclusion of each grant year, the City prepares the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER). The report details the outcomes achieved during the grant year and how the utilization of the funds was consistent to the Action Plan. To view the most recent CAPER click  pdf  2013 CAPER (3.71 MB) . document

Other Grants:

Demolition Grant

The City of Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo County Land Bank Authority were awarded just under one million in a blight elimination grant to demolish blighted structures in Kalamazoo County. The award is from a $15 million pool made available for communities outside of Detroit as a result of the state attorney general's settlement with mortgage companies over inappropriate mortgage practices.

The City and the Land Bank will use the funds to demolish about 83 blighted residential and commercial structures. The blight elimination program is designed to help local communities address the destabilizing effects of blight and property abandonment. The goal is to stabilize property values, promote future development and enhance public safety.

Historic Preservation

Kalamazoo is the smallest of four cities in Michigan to employ a full time Historic Preservation Coordinator to advise and assist in a wide variety of projects from neighborhood planning to regulation of projects in the historic districts to helping property owners locate available tax credits and assistance. Kalamazoo is also one of twenty-three certified local governments in the state of Michigan. This designation makes the city eligible for grants that assist historic preservation related planning activities.  The Historic Preservation Coordinator supports the city of Kalamazoo's Historic Preservation Commission and Historic District Commission, as well as the Downtown Design Review Committee.


What's New:

The Historic Preservation Commission will be meeting on April 12, 2016 to talk about Western Michigan University's East Campus.  See more information here.

How to Reach Us:

Community Planning & Development Department
City of Kalamazoo
415 Stockbridge Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49001

(269)337-8044

Links to Important Pages and Documents:

Historic Preservation Staff:

Community Development

What's New:

 

What We Do:

The Community Development Division invests federal, state and local funds in programs and services that benefit targeted neighborhoods, business development, low-income households and more. These investments address the critical needs of our community through partnerships with neighborhood associations, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and others.

See the following links to learn more:

Grants

Grant Eligible Neighborhoods

  • Grant Eligible Neighborhoods
  • Neighborhood Contact Information

Plans

  • Consolidated Plan
  • Action Plan
  • Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report

Forms

  • Monthly Reimbursement Requests
  • Bi-Annual Reporting
  • Accomplishment Reports

How to Reach Us:

415 Stockbridge Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
269-337-8044

Who We Are:

Laura Lam, Director of Community Planning and Development
laml@kalamazoocity.org

Dorla Bonner, Community Development Manager
bonnerd@kalamazoocity.org
 
Venessa Collins-Smith, Compliance Specialist II
 
Gracia Mason, Senior Programs Specialist
masong@kalamazoocity.org

Marcy Dix, Grants Finance Officer
dixm@kalamazoocity.org

Amanda Coeur, Community Development Secretary
coeura@kalamazoocity.org