This information is provided by Adams-Normandie Historic Preservation Overlay Zone and the larger West Adams neighborhood by the Van Buren Place Community Restoration Association HPOZ en Espanol
1] Q: WHAT IS AN HISTORIC PRESERVATION OVERLAY ZONE (HPOZ)?
A: When a neighborhood and the City of Los Angeles believe that a specific area of that community is worthy of preservation, the City offers protection through the designation of an HPOZ. The area must have historic, architectural, cultural or aesthetic significance. The
preservation concept must be widely supported by the residents and property owners of the designated area. The purpose of the HPOZ is to protect and enhance areas representative of the City’s cultural and architectural history which are unique and irreplaceable assets. The HPOZ establishes a preservation association which is governed by a voluntary five member board. At least three members must be owners or renters who live within the HPOZ area. Two members are appointed by the City. The board members shall have demonstrated knowledge and interest in the culture, historic structures and architectural features of the HPOZ area.
2] Q: WILL IT AFFECT THE ZONING OF MY PROPERTY?
A: The existing zone is not affected. The HPOZ is added onto the existing zoning.
3] Q: WILL MY PROPERTY VALUES BE AFFECTED?
A: According to a study by the National Trust for Historical Preservation, homes and structures within historic zones experience greater property value increases than do similar structures not protected by the historic zone. Historic preservation is a good investment.
4] Q: WILL THE HPOZ REQUIRE A LOT OF MY TIME?
A: The HPOZ is governed by a voluntary five person association board. There will be public meetings and hearings that you will be invited to and hopefully will attend, but your involvement will be as much or as little as you desire.
5] Q: WILL I BE REQUIRED TO SPEND MONEY FIXING UP MY HOUSE?
A: An HPOZ does not require anyone to “fix-up” their property. An HPOZ tends to create pride within the community which acts as an incentive for improvements.
6] Q: WILL THE HPOZ AFFECT THE SALE OF MY HOUSE?
A: It has often been found that houses protected by historic zones have greater market value than similar homes outside the historic zone.
7] Q: WHAT IF MY HOME BURNS DOWN, WOULD I BE REQUIRED TO REPLACE IT EXACTLY AS BEFORE?
A: If your home were destroyed by fire, earthquake, etc. you would be required to duplicate as much as possible the character and style of the previously existing structure. The new structure would require approval of the HPOZ Association Board prior to the City issuing a building permit.
8] Q: WHAT IF I WANT TO DO AN ADDITION TO MY HOUSE?
A: Your addition would require the approval of the HPOZ Board prior to the City issuing a building permit. The Board will want to see that the addition fits the character and style of the existing residence.
9] Q: CAN I REMODEL MY KITCHEN?
A: The HPOZ will not regulate what you do to the interior of your home. They would, however, be available for give you assistance and advice.
10] Q: CAN I PAINT MY HOME ANY COLOR I WANT?
A: The idea behind an HPOZ is to create continuity in the neighborhood. The color of the building is probably the single most effective way to achieve a sense of unity. It is hoped that you would desire to maintain the historical setting of the neighborhood and choose paint colors that are appropriate and in character.
11] Q: WILL AN HPOZ COST ME ANYTHING?
A: There are no initial fees or annual dues for property owners or residents in an HPOZ. However, when a property owner applies to the City of Los Angeles for a building permit for additions, repairs, etc. the City requires an additional fee for a Certificate of Appropriateness issued by the Association.
12] Q: WILL AN HPOZ AFFECT CRIME?
A: Studies have shown that historical areas have less crime than adjacent areas. An HPOZ creates a sense of community which proves effective in reducing crime.
13] Q: DOES THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES HAVE HPOZs ALREADY IN EFFECT?
A: There are currently eight HPOZ’s in effect, with more proposed every day. We have spoken to people associated with these HPOZ’s and they are glad to be participants. The historical zones have been very effective in preserving their neighborhoods and creating a strong sense of community.
14] Q: WHAT IF I AM A RENTER IN AN HPOZ AREA?
A: Renters are voting members of the HPOZ and may be represented on the Association Board. You must be a renter within the HPOZ area for a minimum of three years to quality as an HPOZ resident.
15] Q: WHAT DO I NEED TO DO IF I AM INTERESTED IN THE HPOZ?
A: Community participation in the HPOZ is vital for establishing and maintaining the HPOZ. Please plan to attend any future meetings. If you have further questions regarding the HPOZ, please contact the Harvard Heights HPOZ at 323-731-6784. Leave your name and number and your call will be returned.