In 2004 the DDA/TIF (Downtown Development Area/Tax Increment Financing) agreement was put into place and Highland’s DDA was created. The DDA  is a designated area that allows a “capture” of tax dollars to finance projects that encourage economic development. The “capture” of DDA tax dollars is the difference between the 2004 “base” value and today’s “taxable” value.  Only the increase - or decrease is “captured” thus encouraging a motivated DDA board.  This does not increase taxes.  In Highland the DDA “captures” Oakland County and OCC tax dollars that would otherwise go into Oakland county and OCC budgets.  The DDA also “captures” from Highland General, Fire, Police and Library tax dollars.

Some projects financed by the DDA include lamp posts, sidewalks, road paving, signage, business, building facade improvements and community events such as concerts and the December tree lighting.

There is not a township wide millage for the DDA.  Millages are taxed over the entire township.  The DDA capture only affects the parcels within the DDA.  DDA boundaries are up & down Milford Road starting at Wardlow to the North and ending just before Rowe to the South. It also includes the Library to Save- A-Lot along M 59 and on Livingston from the railroad tracks to the Fire Hall.

The goal of a DDA is to encourage economic growth in a designated area resulting in increased value  – hopefully affecting surrounding areas too.

Hdda District Map


Who we are & what we do: The Highland Downtown Development Authority (HDDA) is dedicated to the promotion of economic growth and historic preservation in Highland Station and surrounding business districts.


What we see for the future: Our vision for the Highland Station district is to return Highland Station to its place as the center of our community and a destination within the region. One Where attractive historical homes, vibrant small businesses, and healthy lifestyle amenities appeal to people of all ages.


Highland was named a Main Street Oakland County (MSOC) community on September 21, 2005.  MSOC is an economic development program, specifically targeted to provide downtown management training and technical assistance to the 30 traditional downtowns in the County. Their mission is "to maximize the economic potential and to preserve the heritage and sense of place of Oakland County's historic commercial districts by encouraging and facilitating the use of the Main Street Four Point Approach which emphasizes economic development within the context of historic preservation." The National Trust Main Street Center offers a comprehensive commercial district revitalization strategy that has been widely successful in towns and cities nationwide.

We believe that the Main Street structure is worth adopting! The structure of the governing board (the HDDA) and four subcommittees not only divides the workload and clearly delineates responsibilities, but also builds consensus and cooperation among the various stakeholders. Coincidentally, the four points of the Main Street approach correspond with the four forces of real estate value, which are social, political, physical, and economic.

The HDDA Board is made up of residents, business owners & operators, township officials and staff.  Our HDDA Board meets once per month, on the third Wednesday at 6:15 p.m.

HDDA Board

Rick Hamill (Township Supervisor)
Roscoe Smith – HDDA Chairperson
Michael Zurek – HDDA Vice-Chair
Christina Hamill – Treasurer
Matt Barnes
Cassie Blascyk
Taylor Dehaan
Dale Feigley
Jennifer Frederick
Andy West
Michael Zeolla

Melissa Dashevich – Executive Director
Cathy Tiderington– Recording Secretary

Contact Information:
Melissa K. Dashevich "Missy"
Highland DDA
205 W. Livingston Road
Highland, MI 48357

248  887 7200

HDDA Board Meeting Schedule

All Meetings are held at 6:15 p.m.


Highland Station House
205 W. Livingston Road, Highland, MI 48357

Meeting Dates

January 17, 2024

February 21, 2024

March 20, 2024

April 17, 2024

April 18, 2024 Joint Board Meeting with Planning Commission at 205 N. John Street at 7:30p.m.

May 15, 2024

June 19, 2024

July 17, 2024

August 21, 2024

September 18, 2024

October 16, 2024

November 20, 2024

December 18, 2024  - Tenative

Meeting Documents

Click on the arrow to find the year's and month's documents.


Business Roundtable-February

Volunteer Open House - March

Ladies Day Out - April

Founds Day Parade and Festival - May

Window Restoration Workshop-May

Farmers Market- June thru October

DIA-Inside/Out Program- June

Red White and Blues Festival - June

Sidewalk Sales and Sidewalk Chalk Contest- July

Sounds Like Summer Concert Series - July through August

Investigate and Apply for Movies in the Park-POP Grant- August

Enhancement and Maintenance of Landscaping- Adopt a Garden Program

Downtown Days Food Fest-September

Haunted Highland-October

Participate and Promote Small Business Saturday with Oakland County - November

Holiday Ladies Night Out - November

Festival of Trees- Month of December

Tree Lighting and Kris Kringle Market - December

Façade and Signage grants - Year Round

Rental Subsidy Grant - Year Round

Live Highland Shop Highland Campaign

Research and consider classes for businesses in the the district.

Partner with Oakland County for Business stabilization teams for small businesses.

Continue Wayfinding Program-Focus on Pedestrian Signage

Mural on Train Bridge-Research and Grant Writing

New Banners along South Milford Road

Colasantis Boardwalk-Engineering Study and Investigation



Wayfinding Signage Installation along Milford Road

Milford and Livingston Road Gardens- Adopt a Garden program with local volunteers including, maintenance and planting.

Highland Farmers' Market

Sounds Like Summer Concert Series (Partnered with the Highland Township Public Library to bring a classical concert to series)

Summer Side Walk Sales and Sidewalk Chalk Contest

Partnered with Township regarding the Founders Day Parade & Festival and the Red, White and Blues Festival by marketing and sponsoring activities.

Partnered with Oakland County for Shop Small Saturday, marketing, promoting & participation.

Spring Ladies Day Out

Holiday Ladies Night Out (Partnered with W.O.T.A. and the H.W.L.B.A)

Holiday Photo Spots around town

Tree Lighting and Kris Kringle Market

Festival of Trees

Social Media Video Grants

Publication and Distribution of Shopping and Dining Guide

Awarded 2 Façade and 2 Signage Grants to local businesses

Launched Downtown Days Food Fest event

Lights on Livingston-Awarded Placemaking Grant from MSOC

Haunted Highland-Awarded Placemaking Grant from MSOC

Investigate Boardwalk Replacement-Sidewalk Connectivity


Continue ongoing projects

Murals and Art Installations

Streetscape Improvements


What does each committee do? Take a look at the annual work plans to find out. Each committee has its own work plan that helps the members stay focused and communicate its activities to the community.  All committees are looking for new members. Below are descriptions of each of the four committees.  If you are interested in this opportunity to participate in the creation of your community, please call the HDDA office at 248.887.7200 or send an email to



This committee clarifies the mission, does strategic planning, defines goals & objectives and manages volunteer force.


This committee identifies & defines architectural character, creates design standards and architectural guidelines, supports design, wayfinding & infrastructure improvement programs. Please call if you wish to attend this committee, meeting times vary.


This committee prepares market analyses, manages public relations, creates a visual identity/logo, and builds advertising/media/publicity campaigns.

Economic Restructuring

This committee works to create a broad mix of retail, service and housing, strives for healthy competition among businesses, recruits businesses, identifies opportunities for rehabilitation and/or development.