East Lansing is Over Regulated

edited January 2007 in East Lansing
I wanted to start I thread to see if I am the only one with concerns over how East Lansing treats their residents and the students that give this town such a vibrant spirit (I am not a student by the way)

My cousin recently replaced original windows in her 1910s home located in the EL historic district. Many of the original windows were cracked, broken, or had entire sashes missing. The lead based paint that was used when the windows were originally installed meant that her children had to be tested regularaly for contaimination. In addition, several of the windows did not open causing her concern about a possible fire hazard. Her understanding was that any replacements or improvements in this area were to keep the same historic character that existed in the past. With this in mind she and her husband opted to spend extra money to install historically accurate grills in the repalcement windows.

The city has now cited the family for violating the conditions of the historic district. My question to you...when does the city cross the line? Has anyone else had similar experiences? Has the city lost sight of its duty to protect the health and safety of its citizens?


  • edited January 2007
    I can definitely see when regulation goes too far, but when you buy a home in an historic district, you need to be aware of the rules. Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought these historic districts make it quite clear what can and can not be used for replacement. Is this the case?

    I guess I can see what you're saying, but cities can (and do) have much worse problems than this.
  • What is it that they were actually cited for? Did they simply not appear before the historic commission before they did the work? It sounds like they bought the historic windows, so maybe it was a technicality.

    I think the city does cross the line when a property is obviously blighted past recovery, yet the city still expects the owner to improve the home back to it's original condition.
  • In having sold many of the homes in the historical neighborhoods of East Lansing a few years back, they can be specific as to what you can and can't do. But the burden does seem to lay on their owner to be knowledgeable and financially capable of adhering to their rules. I can understand the motivation and purpose to a point, but when you have crappy run down homes and someone can only afford to put in vinyl windows for energy savings, that's just the way things go. People who care so much about what their neighbors do should move to a subdivision with an actual entrance and homeowners associations that prevent you from keeping your garage door open if you want, or parking your boat in the driveway for an afternoon!
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