South Carthay Neighborhood Association

HPOZ Information

HPOZ Background

Have you noticed those cream-colored signs that proclaim South Carthay a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone? Although the signs went up only a few years ago, South Carthay has been a specially-designated, and specially-regulated, part of Los Angeles for over 15 years. In 1984, Los Angeles' City Council created the South Carthay HPOZ -- one of the first in the city! -- declaring it "a positive historical asset to the City of Los Angeles" because of its "unique concentration of mid 1930's residential housing, which is both intact and creates a powerful sense of time and place." In deciding to preserve the character of South Carthay, the City praised the neighborhood for the "best concentration of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture in Los Angeles," and cited the quality construction, skilled craftsmanship, and individuality in each of the houses. It also praised South Carthay's harmonious mixture of houses, small duplexes and apartment buildings in other architectural styles.

Living in an HPOZ gives both property owners and tenants certain benefits: enhanced property values; confidence that the area will be able to remain a "neighborhood" and resist the type of neighborhood-destroying development that has afflicted some other areas; and the ability of the neighborhood association to persuade businesses located on the periphery to maintain compatible architectural appearances, to name a few. But it also imposes certain restrictions and additional responsibilities.

The HPOZ ordinance, which regulates construction, alterations, and development in the neighborhood, has as its main purpose the protection, preservation, and enhancement of the structures, features, and environment in the HPOZ. Under the ordinance, all proposed exterior work on property located within the HPOZ boundaries -- Olympic on the north, La Cienega on the west, Pico on the south, and Crescent Heights on the east -- must be submitted to the HPOZ Board (in addition to obtaining the "normal" Zoning and Building & Safety permits) for a special review process. And when the ordinance says "all," it means "all!" The law specifically notes that even projects that don't require a permit, such as changing exterior paint color, removal or changing of significant trees or landscaping, installation or removal of fencing, or window and door replacements, must be pre-approved by the appointed HPOZ Board.

Therefore, before you begin any exterior work to your property, you are required -- by City ordinance -- to seek approval from the South Carthay HPOZ Board. If you want to replace a termite-infested window or garage door (even with the same kind of window or door!), you need to request approval from the HPOZ Board before you begin work. The same applies for additions of new features (e.g., a new flower box, ornamental trim) or changes to exterior features (e.g., changing the style of an exterior door).

Although the ordinance provides for significant penalties for unapproved changes to your property, the real goal is voluntary compliance. After all, it was South Carthay's character and "eye appeal" that attracted you to the neighborhood in the first place. So do your part to preserve, protect, and restore the neighborhood.

The HPOZ Board is available at regularly scheduled Board meetings for informal consultations to discuss what you want to do, and how to do it so that it will meet the review standards. Or you can call any Board member, or Dwayne Wyatt from the City of Los Angeles Community Planning Bureau (213-473-3933), for background and informal "how-to" information, getting applications and being included on the mailing list.

We want to be able to approve, with minimal fuss, projects that are presented to the Board. Help preserve and restore South Carthay by consulting with the Board well ahead of time.

HPOZ Contacts

Michael Olecki (Chair) 310-274-7100
Marcus de Laat 323-782-0734
Raun Thorp (Treasurer) 310-358-8444
Bruce Rosky 213-891-2261
William Bell 310-855-0100

Posted by southcarthay on 06/27/2001
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