You Needed a Letter from Your Pastor to Move in to this Michigan Neighborhood…Until Now
Petoskey's Bay View Neighborhood Association has erased a requirement that new residents have a letter of recommendation from clergy before moving in.
It is not a secluded monastery high on a cliff, but a collection of houses overlooking picturesque Little Traverse Bay in Northern Michigan. The setting is glorious and, until now, you had to believe that God created it to move in. You needed not just the lender’s approval, but the Lord’s blessing. Petoskey's Bay View Neighborhood Association has just amended a prerequisite that potential residents had to submit a letter from their pastor before being accepted into the community.
Established in 1875 by a group of Methodists, Wikipedia cites very strict limitations on membership in the 1940s,
"No person shall be accepted as a member of this association or be allowed to rent or lease property or a room, for longer than a period of one day, unless such person is of the white race and a Christian who must provide acceptable and good recommendations. This resolution does not apply to servants within a household or to employes[sic]".
Bylaws were slowly relaxed over the years yet hotly debated in the community. In 2013, a motion to accept non-Christian neighbors failed. A Federal lawsuit filed in 2017 is still in court as UpNorthLive reports that the believers have now dropped the declaration of faith and proof from a pastor to move in to the Bay View resort community.