Holmby-Westwood Neighborhood HPOZ Effort
In September 2016, the City of Los Angeles halted work on the proposed Holmby-Westwood Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) following vocal opposition from a portion of property owners. Support from the Council District was unexpectedly withdrawn late in the approval process, and the HPOZ is no longer advancing toward adoption.
Holmby-Westwood is one of the City’s premier historic neighborhoods, an early residential suburb, and well known for its period revival architectural styles and homes dating from the 1920s through the 1950s. It is extraordinary for its collection of residential architecture and early Los Angeles history.
Efforts to make Holmby-Westwood an HPOZ were underway for several years, mainly in response to increasing pressures of incompatible new development often associated with the teardown and mansionization trends.
Following several years of outreach and discussions with the preservation community, the homeowners association commissioned a survey of the neighborhood in 2011 to determine its eligibility for designation. With teardown trends continuing to rise, Holmby-Westwood was one of six neighborhoods to receive protection under a 2015 Interim Control Ordinance, which created a two-year cooling-off period while the City worked with residents to prepare the HPOZ plan.
Without the protections afforded by the HPOZ status, the Holmby-Westwood neighborhood will continue to be threatened by out-of-scale new development.
Currently, Los Angeles has 35 HPOZs throughout the City. In the Conservancy’s long history and experience, HPOZs have become the single best tool available for ensuring neighborhood character is protected through a neighborhood conservation strategy. It is the reason why so many neighborhoods are pressing the City right now to become an HPOZ, in large part due to the enormous success of the existing HPOZs and overall program.
The purpose of an HPOZ and the way it operates is not always immediately understood by residents. Myths and misconceptions, and sometimes incorrect information, can cause concerns. In part, we believe this played a role in the unsuccessful campaign to adopt an HPOZ for Holmby-Westwood.
HPOZs do not stop growth or freeze a neighborhood in time, but, rather, offer a better way to manage and guide change over time. Learn more about HPOZs and local designation.
While there are many, some of the primary benefits of becoming an HPOZ include:
- Providing a neighborhood-based tool to manage change better and encourage high-quality design;
- Protecting the authentic, unique character of a neighborhood, and giving residents assurances that their home will not be adversely impacted by inappropriate development;
- Enhancing property values and protecting homeowner investment; and
- Offering real estate tax savings for property owners.