In 2005, to promote the preservation of historic buildings and help protect the heritage of the City's built environment, the City adopted a historic preservation ordinance and formed a Historic District Commission (HDC). The HDC's authority is derived from PA 169 of 1970 as amended. The HDC is empowered to hold public meetings for the purpose of reviewing architectural and design elements for buildings in the Historic District and granting certificates of approval in accordance with the City's Historic Preservation Ordinance, Chapter 64.
The HDC members volunteer to serve and are appointed by the City Commission. The HDC reviews work in the City's historic district to carry out the procedures set forth in Bay City's historic preservation ordinance in conjunction with the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.