Holmby Hills ICO and mansionization update May 2016

Although the funds necessary to employ 2 city positions needed to maintain the efforts to establish HPOZ’s that have been  underway were almost halted this month(April 20 2016),( http://therealdeal.com/la/2016/04/29/critics-chide-garcetti-for-neighborhood-conservation-budget-allocation/) Paul Koretz stepped in at the April 28 meeting of the City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee, and introduced an amendment to restore funding for the two existing Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) planner positions to the City budget, and all council members voted in support.

All of the proposed HPOZs are expected to go before the City Planning Commission this fall and then to City Council in the beginning of 2017. The new districts are intended to go into effect prior to the March 2017 expiration City’s Interim Control Ordinance (ICO) for these neighborhoods. Holmby Hills is currently working on the draft of the proposed HPOZ. A committee was formed and they are hard at work writing the proposal. A meeting will be held in June for homeowners to review at a public meeting to be announced at a future date.

At the Homeowners meeting for Holmby Hills on  May 10, 2016 ,a presentation was made by Mary Pickhardt, Architect and HPOZ expert for Windsor Park area. She demonstrated with slides how the regulations within their board have maintained the architectural style of the previous and historic homes in the neighborhood. This is a neighborhood with very historic homes. Holmby Westwood has a mixture of many styles of homes. It was an excellent presentation with slides reviewing the changes made to homes to maintain the quality of the neighborhood. 
As a realtor I pointed out in the meeting that some of the homes that have been built from tearing down homes in Holmby Hills prior to the moratorium have contributed to the increase in value in the neighborhood.

I am also well aware of the work the Association has done to make sure changes are monitored and within the context of the neighborhood wherever possible. The homes that were built before the moratorium have been done in very good taste and have assimilated nicely in the neighborhood. Although they are grand and large and new, through wonderful landscaping and sensitivity to design they demonstrate that new home and revised footprints can mix carefully within the neighborhood and be a real asset. It is important for neighborhood residents to be involved in the regulations the HPOZ would impose.
The Windsor Park area board discussed that there are no tear downs, and renovations and remodels are closely monitored.
Although the Holmby Westwood neighborhood currently does not dictate landscape or paint colors, this is something that Mary Pickhardt felt would help regulate and standardize the scope the HPOZ’s should have on the neighborhoods. One resident asked for an explanation regarding the difference between a HPOZ and baseline mansionization ordinance?,(see below) Little Holmby is seeing some home values increase to the 4 and 5 million range due to superb interiors, landscaping, introduction of indoor and outdoor flowing entertainment spaces, all systems updated, sleek wood floors, renovated kitchens and bathrooms etc.

In some cases these are remodels . In some cases they are due to homes that are brand new or have been renovated or gutted homes. It was noted that in Windsor Square some developers had attempted to lift homes to create homes with subterranean garage parking, home theaters etc. which added allowable square footage but this is not something that is  to be allowed with their present restrictions. In Holmby Hills, in some cases this has enhanced value.
Having a HPOZ can preserve the character of a neighborhood and regulate builders and residents from creating eye sore homes and homes that are out of context in style and scale. WE have so many beautiful neighborhoods that it is important to  maintain standards and guidelines but the danger is that the regulation goes too far and is hard to undo.No one wants a home that totally looms over a smaller home .
For this reason residents are being encouraged to get involved . Many residents don’t understand the implications to the neighborhood without active involvement. The positive impact of  a HPOZ  is very important. The negitive, that regulation can go too far and some residents in the audience asked about having their right to choose what they want their garden to look like or the color of their homes dictated might be too much for them.

It is a ongoing discussion and issue for the neighborhoods. Regulation can be a good thing, it just requires many voices and members who decide and stay involved.

 

http://zimas.lacity.org/zoneinfo/ZI2391.pdf  

Other interesting articles include: http://la.curbed.com/2016/4/28/11531060/los-angeles-mcmansion

http://la.curbed.com/2015/3/18/9979420/anti-mansion-rules-la-neighborhoods

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-hpoz-historic-preservation-moratorium-20140513-story.html

https://www.laconservancy.org/issues/funding-neighborhood-preservation

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