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Hpoz Zones In Northeast Los Angeles

By Expert Author: Tracy King

Los Angeles is a large megalopolis with a variety of unique neighborhoods. Los Angeles is home to a handful of intact historic neighborhoods that Los Angeles is striving to protect. These neighborhoods have unique cultural and architectural aspects, which earn them the title of historic districts. Los Angeles has developed a project called the Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZs). HPOZ is a collection of historic and unique resources that is recognized by the Los Angeles City Planning Department and the City Council and granted HPOZ status. There are currently 29 official HPOZs in Los Angeles.

In Northeast Los Angeles alone, HPOZs are located primarily in Angelino Heights, Lincoln Heights and Highland Park, all of which are some of LA’s oldest neighborhoods.

Once an area is granted HPOZ status, they have an HPOZ area added to their zoning and must obey specific regulations under the Los Angeles Municipal Code. Each area with HPOZ status has a board of five members who monitor the projects of the area and keep it historically preserved. Any types of changes or alterations in properties within a HPOZ require an official approval from the Planning Department.

There are many advantages to living in a HPOZ. The board must approve any type of construction or remodeling in a HPOZ. This prevents any unnecessary changes to the neighborhood and keeps the area charming and unique. All homes in a HPOZ have increased property values and make the residents eligible for property tax reductions. Citizens in HPOZ zones are offered advice and guidance from the council on how to effectively maintain the character of their homes at a cost efficient price. Neighborhoods in HPOZ areas have a heightened since of community because they are all working towards the same common goal of preserving their neighborhood.

There are some disadvantages to living in a HPOZ area. Property owners are subject to a review process from the Council where they may need to make a presentation to their board about their property. All projects in their home need to be approved by the board. Many projects are either rejected by the board or take up to 75 days to be granted approval. HPOZ areas are best suited for communities that have a specific historic character and wish to work together in order to maintain their historical features.

Angelino Heights was the first HPOZ area granted in Los Angeles. It is a hilltop community found between Silver Lake and Echo Park. Angelino Heights is stock full of Victorian style architecture, which was widely popular in the late 19th century.

Lincoln Heights was one of Los Angeles’ first suburbs. It is located east of downtown Los Angeles adjacent to Montecito Heights, another older neighborhood. Lincoln Heights has a wide variety of historic architecture ranging from the Victorian era, to the Arts and Crafts movement, and the Period Revival styles. Many families in Lincoln Heights are middle-class families that work hard to keep their homes intact. Homes in Montecito Heights and Lincoln Heights have enjoyed a spike in real estate values in recent years.

Highland Park-Garvanza is also located northeast of downtown Los Angeles in the Arroyo Seco. This is a scenic community that contains around 4,000 historical structures. The popular architecture found in this area is from the 1880s-1940s and is Craftsman, Mission Revival, Tudor Revival, and the Arts and Crafts movement. The residents of these communities work with their own specific HPOZ board to keep their areas historically accurate. Homes in Highland Park, CA have also seen their property values increase dramatically as the neighborhood has become gentrified and new residents have funneled money into restoring these old classic homes.

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