Historic District Commission

Commission Overview

The Canton Township Historic District Commission, made up of seven commissioners appointed by the Canton Supervisor, was formed by township ordinance, Chapter 90, Sections 90-1 through 90-97. The Commission is tasked to preserve historically significant areas of the Township which are designated by the Township Board of Trustees Local Historic Districts. The Commission is responsible for reviewing any proposed changes to the exterior of structures listed as local historic districts, to preserve important historic characteristics and ensure that all work conforms to "The Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings."

View our Mission Statement and Description of Duties Here.

National Register of Historic Places/Locations in Canton


The Commission meets monthly at The Cherry Hill School 50440 Cherry Hill Road, Canton, MI 48187

The Meeting Schedule for 2024 is as follows:

  • Wednesday, February 7 at 7 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, April 3 at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 5 at 7 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, August 7 at 7 p.m. (Meeting room C, Canton Admin Building)
  • Wednesday, October 2 at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 4 at 7 p.m. 

Agendas and Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.

Most Recent Agenda (PDF) | View All Agendas and Minutes

Commission Members

The commission is made up of seven Canton residents who are appointed by the Township Supervisor subject to the approval of the Board. Volunteers serve 3-year terms.

  • Bill Tesen - Chair 
  • Kathy Martin - Vice Chair 
  • Karen Krepps - Secretary 
  • Joann Dionne
  • David Curtis 
  • Phylis Redfern
  • Ellen Thomas

Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)

This is done through the township building permit process. When a proposed change to the exterior of a property is submitted to the township’s Building and Inspection Division, it is referred to the commission for a Certificate of Appropriateness (PDF). The commission’s approval of the Certificate of Appropriateness allows the Building and Inspection Division to proceed with a review of the permit. For more information, please visit the Certificate of Appropriateness Application Information page.

Secretary of the Interior: Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties (PDF)

National Trust for Historic Preservation: New Construction in Historic Districts (PDF)

State Law Reference:

Local Historic Districts Act MCL169 of 1970 (PDF)

The Historic District Commission Purpose: Historic preservation is declared to be a public purpose, and it is hereby determined to be in the best interest of the township to regulate the construction, addition, alteration, repair, moving, excavation, and demolition of resources in historic districts. The purpose of this chapter shall be to do one or more of the following:

(1) Safeguard the heritage of the township by preserving one or more historic districts in the township that reflect elements of its history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture.

(2) Stabilize and improve property values in each district and the surrounding areas.

(3) Foster civic beauty.

(4) Strengthen the local economy.

(5) Promote the use of historic districts for the education, pleasure, and welfare of the citizens of the township and state.

Membership Criteria:

The Canton Historic District Commission works very closely with the Canton Historical Society on a number of events and historic preservation efforts throughout the year. Residents who have an interest in Canton’s history and its’ preservation are encouraged to contact the Canton Historical Society to explore the opportunities which exist that can offer them the ability to become involved in Canton’s historic preservation activities. When vacancies occur on the Canton Historic District Commission the commission has in the past looked to the Society for commissioner replacement candidates. As stated in the Historic District Ordinance the commission is looking for those individuals with a demonstrated interest in historic preservation, a competence in historic preservation and those who have a knowledge of historic preservation. Specifically, individuals with backgrounds in architecture, history, architectural history, planning, archeology, urban planning, American Studies, American Civilization, cultural geography, cultural anthropology and other historic related fields are encouraged to join the Society and ultimately apply for Historic District Commissioner vacancies as they occur. Individuals with backgrounds in law, banking, business, government, and community organizations are usually complimentary to the Commission as well.

Ordinance Membership Wording:

 The commission consists of 7 members who are residents of the township. The term of office is 3 years and the terms shall be staggered. Appointments shall be made by the supervisor subject to the approval of the township board. At least 2 of the members shall be appointed from a list of citizens submitted by one or more duly organized local historic preservation organizations. A member shall hold office until a successor is appointed. A member may be reappointed. Terms shall expire on March 31. A vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term by the supervisor, subject to township board approval within 60 days of the vacancy. Members of the commission serve without compensation, and shall be removable for cause by the township board. A majority of the members shall have a clearly demonstrated interest in or knowledge of historic preservation. At least one member, if available, shall be a graduate of an accredited school of architecture who has 2 years of architectural experience or who is an architect registered in this state. At least one member shall be a historian or architectural historian, if available. To the extend possible the remaining members shall have experience in the disciplines of architecture, history, architectural history, planning, archeology, urban planning, American studies, American civilization, cultural geography, cultural anthropology, and other historic preservation related disciplines. If there are additional vacancies on the commission after appointing persons with such experience, appointments shall be made from among persons who have backgrounds in development, law, business, real estate, government, banking, finance, and community organization, or who simply have the demonstrated interest, competence, or knowledge in historic preservation that is required.

Interested parties should submit a Letter of Intent to:
Staff Liaison
Historic District Commission
1150 S. Canton Center Road
Canton, MI 48188