The City of Monroe approved the first Historic Preservation Ordinance in 1989, defining the parameters to designate historic landmarks and criteria to create historic or architectural conservation districts consistent with Michigan's Public Act 169 (1970). Updated in 1995 and 2009, the ordinance defines the central elements and goals of its historic preservation program:

Goal #1: Enhance Monroe's quality of life by preserving, protecting, and utilizing the City's historic resources.

Goal #2: Promote Monroe's economic development through historic preservation.

Goal #3: Foster greater awareness, understanding and support for preserving Monroe's historic resources.

Goal #4: Safeguard the heritage of the City of Monroe by preserving districts and historic landmarks.

Monroe is one of thirty (as of January 2016) local Michigan governments awarded Certified Local Government (CLG) status for meeting high standards with its historic preservation program. This strategy is accomplished utilizing the following central elements for the protection and promotion of its historic resources: codes and ordinances; education and advocacy; influencing public perception; and addressing changes resulting from demographic, economic and environmental factors. These offer the greatest advantages to protect the historic character of the neighborhoods and the central district while preventing insensitive alterations and development on neighboring properties.

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