October 8, 2015: The HPOZ and ICO in Holmby Hills is causing a stir among some residents. The meeting of the members of Holmby Westwood Property Owners Association and neighbors on October 8,2015 was held to begin discussing the prospective HPOZ for the Holmby Westwood neighborhood. The meeting was presented with the City Historic Preservation Committee in a community outreach meeting.
A presentation by the City was given to outline the future meetings that will be held to discuss more specific regulations that would govern a HPOZ should neighbors decide to approve a HPOZ. The City gave some examples of other areas of the city that have adopted a HPOZ and typical restrictions that could be imposed. There was discussion about some of the current restrictions imposed and the process of getting permitted to make changes to your property that are in effect. The initiators of the HPOZ felt that the community has been informed about the prospective HPOZ for a long time. The hope is that the HPOZ and ICO in Holmby Hills will curb mansionization that is occurring in many Los Angeles neighborhoods where some builders are creating oversize homes that do not fit the character of the neighborhood. Some Attendee’s felt the turnout for the meeting was not representative of many of the neighbors in the neighborhoods that would be affected. Those in attendance were learning about the HPOZ for the first time and the IOC that is in effect in Holmby Hills. There was heated discussion about the effect that the HPOZ will have on property values in the neighborhood and who will be deciding what specific guidelines could be adopted. Some felt it would have a positive impact, some felt it would have a negative impact, and suggestions were made that the neighbors need to be more involved to have imput in what the rules within a HPOZ might look like.
Currently Holmby hills has a INTERIM CONTROL ORDINANCE that restricts remodels and stops the tearing down of homes in the neighborhood for the next few years. The intent was to curb new construction while some more specific guidelines could be created to help avoid homes being torn down with little regard for the neighboring homes and character of the neighborhood. The ICO (http://zimas.lacity.org/documents/zoneinfo/ZI2443.pdf) has been in effect for several months. Residents spoke up stating that many residents are just learning about it. They felt it was not a highly publicized initiative. Members of the Board stated that the ordinance and HPOZ have been discussed for a long time. One family expressed their concerns about having a one story home and their hope to add a second story or a future family having an interest in buying their home with the potential to add a second story. They have concerns If there are restrictions placed on adding a second story in the future which they hoped would increase property value. They are residents of the neighborhood for a long time and had looked forward to future appreciation for families that may want to buy homes in the neighborhood. The City stated they did not encourage adding a second story but that future and further discussions would be held about adding second stories to homes. Leaders from the City tried to express their intent to preserve the historic value of the homes in the neighborhood.contact Kimberly Henry, Planning Assistant ,who represents the city, gave an example of current restrictions regarding replacing windows and most older homes have wooden windows so they would encourage the use of wood windows for replacement. Other residents expressed that new building materials for windows may in some cases have better thermal properties ,cost, etc. Some attendee’s said the specifics have not been addressed and on some level they agreed with having a HPOZ but this evenings discussion gave them concern for the rules that may be made. They felt that if more people learn about it, they will understand how it affects their property and should be involved in the process. Many residents complained that they felt other people should not dictate what they can do and can’t to their homes. Other residents spoke up and said there will be more meetings to express their views.Those supporting the HPOZ reiterated that it will be good for the preservation of the neighborhood. Most agreed that they were in favor of preserving the character of the neighborhood, but not if they don’t have a say in the specific rules that will affect them.There were comments that the residents in general in Holmby Hills were not informed about many details. It was suggested that it is important to read the IOC, inform more residents, and get involved in further discussions about future restrictions in the neighborhood or select few will be deciding the future of Holmby Hills. The City announced they plan to hold more meetings between now and December to move the process forward. Some in the audience felt there were few residents informed about the meeting and therefore very few residents were present at the meetings. After much heated discussion, it was suggested that through involvement and information, hopefully more residents would get involved in the future meetings. Holmby Westwood residential Historic District paperwork presented at the Outreach Meeting. Holmby Westwood Historic additional pages from the meeting for residents to review.
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“As a resident and realtor in Holmby Hills, having a realtor who is following the events in the neighborhood is important if you decide to sell or buy a home in the area. ” Caron Schwartz. For more about HPOZ and ICO in Holmby Hills