Month: August 2015

An HPOZ For Brookside

An HPOZ For Brookside

Brookside is one of the last neighborhoods in the area that does not have an HPOZ (Historic Preservation Overlay Zone) to protect against homes being torn down and characterless boxes being built in their place Developers are just now starting to purchase homes in Brookside for demolition and development. What are being built in their place are homes that are too large for the lot and out of proportion to every other house on the block. They frequently lack certain visible features that add character to the appearance, and which are typical of homes on our streets built back in the early 1920s. These kinds of over-built homes in a neighborhood like ours ultimately lower the value of the homes around it. Experience throughout Los Angeles over the past decade repeatedly demonstrates an HPOZ will enhance the value of our homes more than neighborhoods without one.

There is no “one size fits all” HPOZ. Brookside residents will need to determine the specific restrictions and requirements of the HPOZ we want, within certain broad parameters established by the L.A. Dept. of City Planning. Before we can get to the point where it makes sense to draft what our HPOZ will look like, there are several steps we must take.

First, we need to take time to identify the specific issues we want to address and then carefully consider all options available to us, and determine which one(s) will most effectively address those issues. Then we will need to demonstrate significant initial neighborhood support for our chosen remedy to our Councilman David Ryu and the City’s Planning and Land Use Management Dept. Typically, this support is expressed in the form of signed letters of interest by homeowners.

If we decide to pursue an HPOZ, each property in Brookside will need to be evaluated by an independent historical architecture expert approved by the City to determine if a sufficient number of homes in Brookside contribute to what makes our neighborhood historically unique and worth preserving. This step in the process costs a lot of money to perform. One estimate received so far is for $20,000 which would be raised through contributions solicited from supporting neighbors.

Assuming our neighborhood has sufficient contributing structures, lots of meetings will be held where residents will discuss and determine the specific restrictions and requirements of our HPOZ. Once that’s done, we’ll have a neighborhood vote to approve the draft HPOZ. If a significant majority of Brookside homes approve, PLUM will review and give it’s recommendation to the L.A. City Council, which will vote to approve or deny the HPOZ request.

For an HPOZ, the entire process takes between 18 – 24 months. There are multiple points throughout the process to provide input and become involved. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.