Best-Practices for HPOZ & Design Review Boards: a roundtable discussion
When
Where
March 22, 6:00-8:00PM
CO ARCHITECTS - 5055 Wilshire Boulevard, 9th Floor Los Angeles, California 90036
aia

AIA|LA presents….

HPOZS; AN EFFECTIVE NEIGHBORHOOD DESIGN TOOL OR MISCONCEIVED MEANS TO PROMOTE AND REGULATE BAD DESIGN?

Wednesday, March 22 (6pm - 8pm)

CO ARCHITECTS

5055 Wilshire Boulevard, 9th Floor

Los Angeles, California 90036

 

RSVP to Will@aialosangeles.org // Limited Capacity = 30 people - Refreshments provided by CO ARCHITECTS

HPOZS; AN EFFECTIVE NEIGHBORHOOD DESIGN TOOL OR MISCONCEIVED MEANS TO PROMOTE AND REGULATE BAD DESIGN?

In Los Angeles, the Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) is a means for residential neighborhoods to regulate and provide oversight of construction for both single and multi-family residences, new construction as well as additions. While many HPOZ’s are a response to historic buildings and neighborhoods, increasingly HPOZs are used as a community response to mansionization. While the City of Los Angeles is considering adoption of a new Baseline Mansionization Ordinance (see attached), residential neighborhoods are nevertheless moving forward with multiple new HPOZs.

Design guidelines are an integral part of each HPOZ preservation plan. In many cases they are a combination of the highly prescriptive as well as the vague. Multi-family as well as single-family guidelines do not acknowledge new lifestyles, sustainability, standard parking requirements, and other contemporary factors. Several draft HPOZ preservation plans have in excess of 225 design guidelines. They often are interpreted to encourage referential architecture and discourage innovative and contemporary design. Owners and architects are additionally required in many circumstances to submit their projects to an HPOZ review board of five individuals, only one of which is a design professional. Many applicants complain that the end result is architectural mediocrity.

What role should design professionals have in engaging this flourishing process? Should architects be active in re-writing these guidelines? Should architects have greater engagement in HPOZ formation and review to make sure thoughtful and innovative design is promoted? Are there other tools other than HPOZs that architects should promote to encourage and support better neighborhood zoning and design standards?

Most importantly, the City of Los Angeles has rich history of design innovation in residential architecture. Shouldn’t architects demand that this tradition be embedded in our historic codes as our city evolves?