Los Angeles is notorious for having few ordinances that make property owners keep their property in decent condition, and the City is lax in enforcing the rules it does have. If you are lucky enough to live in a neighborhood with lots of old houses--like West Adams--however, there is an organizational form that can give some power back to the community to set standards. This is the Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ).
Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZs)
The 2600 block of Van Buren Place was established as a national historic district in 1996. A few years later it became the core of an expanded City of Los Angeles Historic Preservation Overlay Zone, the city's designation of a historic area. The boundaries of the Adams-Normandie HPOZ are the 10 Freeway on the north, 29th Street on the south (both sides of the street), Vermont Ave. on the east, and Normandie Ave. on the west.
Here is a link to the city's website section on the Adams-Normandie HPOZ http://www.preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/la/adams-normandie
It contains background on the Adams-Normandie area, and links to the detailed HPOZ preservation plan, the survey map of the HPOZ, the citywide HPOZ ordinance, and contact information for the city planner responsible for the HPOZ review board's agenda and work with residents on issues in historic building repair and restoration.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION OVERLAY ZONE
Provided for the benefit of the West Adams neighborhood by Van Buren Place Community Restoration Association and the Van Buren Place Historic Preservation Overlay Zone
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.
HISTORICO LA CONSERVACION RECAME ZONIFIQUE
1] P: ¿ QUE SE RECAMA UNA CONSERVACION HISTORICA ZONA (HPOZ)?
R: Cuando un barrio y la Ciudad de Los Angeles cree que un área específica de que comunidad es digno de conservación, la protección Urbana de ofertas mediante la designación de un HPOZ. El área debe tener importancia histórica, arquitectónica, cultural o estética. El concepto de conservación debe ser ampliamente apoyado por los propietarios de propiedad y residentes del área designada. El propósito del HPOZ está proteger y mejorar el representante de áreas de la historia cultural y arquitectónica de Ciudad que son único y no reempiazable nada el activo. El HPOZ establece una asociación de conservación que es regida por una cinco la voluntaria placa de miembro. Por lo menos tres de miembros deben ser los propietarios o alquiladors quien vivos dentro de el HPOZ de área. Dos de miembros son nombrados por la Ciudad. Los miembros de placa habrán demostrado conocimiento e interesado en la cultura, estructuras históricas y aspectos arquitectónicos del HPOZ de área.
No less than six of the city's 29 historic districts are in West Adams. The map above shows 8, with the Windsor Village and Country Club HPOZs immediately adjacent to West Adams.
There is a seventh historic area within West Adams, North University Park, oddly just south of the University Park HPOZ. North University Park Specific Plan is bounded by Adams Boulevard on the north, Menlo Avenue on the west, Hoover Street on the east, and 30th Street on the south. It was created in 1983 as a Specific Plan, a form that predated the HPOZ designation. The city has many Specific Plans, detailed rules for certain city neighborhoods. The North University Park Specific Plan is particularly focused on historic preservation and in fact incorporates the HPOZ ordinance among its other rules, with the provision that in case of a conflict between the HPOZ ordinance and the NUP Specific Plan the Specific Plan has precedence.
Some city documents state that the NUP Specific Plan is "the functional equivalent of an HPOZ," but the formal designation has never been assigned and NUP does not appear in the city's listings of HPOZs. NUP does have its own Design Review Board for historic issues. It contains two National Register Historic Districts, North University Park National Register Historic District, bounded by Magnolia, Hoover, Adams, and 27th Street (and two properties on 28th Street). Declared in 2004. The second, the Menlo Avenue-West 29th Street National Register Historic District, overlaps the North University Park Specific Plan area. It is bounded by Adams Blvd., West 29thy Street, and Menlo Avenue. It was listed in 1987.
The Standards that follow were originally published in 1977 and revised in 1990 as part of Department of the Interior regulations (36 CFR Part 67, Historic Preservation Certifications). They pertain to historic buildings of all materials, construction types, sizes, and occupancy, and encompass the exterior and the interior of historic buildings. The Standards also encompass related landscape features and the building’s site and environment as well as attached, adjacent, or related new construction.
If your home is a contributing structure of one of the city's Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (or is a Historic Cultural Monument) you are eligible for a 10-year renewable historic house contract with the city that can cut your property taxes by 50%.
HERE IS A LINK to the City website explaining the program.