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Historic Preservation Overlay Zone

Carthay Circle HPOZ sign

Visit the city of Los Angeles Website for HPOZs:


Westside HPOZ’s

Los Angeles HPOZ Map

HPOZ stands for Historic Preservation Overlay Zone. An HPOZ is a city-designated historic district. HPOZs were created to preserve/protect the architecture of these historic LA neighborhoods.

HPOZs have stricter than normal zoning laws.  HPOZ Owners must follow the design guidelines of their community. As a general rule, any alterations that would be visible to a by-standard standing on the street must be approved by a design review committee. Examples of work that requires design board review: Landscaping (Fences, walls, driveways, and walks), Windows (HPOZ’s wont allow cheap ~$300 vinyl windows, they require custom ~$800 wood windows  and only if the original windows must be replaced), Front Doors, Porches, Roof, and Exterior cladding.

There are two types of houses in HPOZs: Contributing and Non-Contributing.

from tear-downs and remodels which are out of scale with the neighborhood. the ordinance will cover most anything visible from the street, except paint colors and landscaping

What does it mean to own a home in an HPOZ?

Residents and property owners are not required to improve or “fix up” their property or pay membership fees. However the HPOZ set strict guidelines for construction.  Basically anything that can be seen from the street the HPOZ is very picky about. These building guidelines are overseen by the HPOZ board.

For some, living in an HPOZ means assurance that the character of their neighborhood will be preserved. The appearance and building size within the neighborhood will be protected from significant change. For others, HPOZ status brings higher property values and the enhanced sense of community.

The HPOZ Board is a five-member elected citizen board, that must include an architect, and at least one member with real estate or construction experience. The Mayor, the local City Council representative, and the Cultural Heritage Commission, appoint four of themembers of the Board, and three of the five must beresidents of the HPOZ.

Only exterior alterations tostructures within the district are subject to review bythe board to insure that the changes are in keeping with the historic character of the neighborhood. A Preservation Plan, a set of design guidelines specific to the needs of their neighborhood, created in cooperation with the residents and propertyowners in the HPOZ, guides each HPOZ board in its decision-making process.As areas with historic and aesthetic significance, representative of the city’s cultural and architectural history, these districts are unique and irreplaceable assets. The destruction of communities such as Bunker Hill and Chavez Ravine, and the fragmentation of neighborhoods like Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights, provide cautionary tales about the potential for the loss of our city’s historic communities.

Click Here to see a Map of all HPOZ’s in LA:

See Also: Mills Act




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