Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Country Club Park and HPOZs
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to show property in Country Club Park, a lovely area that I had never explored before. Where’s that? It’s just off of Wilshire and Olympic in mid-central L.A. That’s an area, or at least an intersection, that most of us have all been in before. However, like much of Los Angeles, residential neighborhoods can be dramatically different from the commercial parts of the nearby main roads. (BTW, the house pictured above and below is the Milbank Estate. That wasn't the property I showed, unfortunately.)
Country Club Park was once the western edge of the city. In the 1920’s, large homes were built that reflected the popular architectural styles of the times: craftsman, Tudor Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Mediterranean Revival. Of course, land was relatively easy to come by then, so big lots, broad lawns, and mature foliage are characteristic of this neighborhood.
Country Club Park is also designated an HPOZ, or historic preservation overlay zone. This zone preserves the distinct architectural character of the neighborhood houses, provided that they conform to the style and period being preserved. If you are a homeowner in a HPOZ, and you want to change the exterior of your historic home, you’ll need to get permission from the 5-member HPOZ board. Minor repairs are easy to approve, of course, but if you want to substantially change the outside, it will take longer and may not be approved. Of course, you can change the inside without the board’s permission. L.A. City’s Office of Historic Planning provides a guide to maintaining your historic home.
Here’s another benefit to owning a historic home in a HPOZ: you may qualify for tax savings through the Mills act. Qualifying owners can receive a potential property tax reduction and use the savings to help rehabilitate, restore and maintain their historic homes.
For more info on HPOZs and the Mills Act, please visit preservation.lacity.org.