2012-12-15 / Letters

Support Formation Of Historic Districts

To the Editor:

I strongly urge the Mackinac Island City Council to support the creation of two new historic districts in the City of Mackinac Island downtown area. As I mentioned in my letter to the city dated June 26, 2012, I believe that Mackinac has a unique quality in its combination of natural beauty and historic significance that we have a responsibility to protect. Mackinac is cherished not just by our residents, but by people all over Michigan and far beyond. Effective stewardship of these historic treasures is essential.

In addition, it is important to keep Mackinac Island authentic in an increasingly artificial world. Local businesses currently have a unique competitive advantage against cookie-cutter tourist destinations. We want to ensure an ongoing value for future generations of business owners. In short, Mackinac Island is an authentic village, not a reconstructed one, and maintaining this integrity is good for business.

With respect to prices and property values, the rising tide created by historic districts allows business and property owners alike to reap greater economic benefit. Historic district guidelines would also bring a consistency to the process of considering issues of development.

Finally, we must take seriously the threat of losing our National Historic Landmark status granted over 50 years ago and create these historic districts before it’s too late.

Please vote to support the formation of the historic districts and win back the trust of the public who believe it is the responsibility of the City of Mackinac Island to value its historic heritage.

Marta Olson

Mackinac Island

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