Some Nitty Gritty Detail About Land Use Regulation in West L.A
We are thinking about investing in a nearby piece of real estate. Ownership does not convey unlimited property rights. The local Home owner's association has some real power. All of the details are described here. Here are some good quotes form the piece: (HPOZ = HISTORICAL PRESERVATION OVERLAY ZONE )
"Why do communities want to become a HPOZ? Here are the reasons and the upsides:
•Bad architectural design happens everywhere – an HPOZ means neighbors won’t be able to do something to their property which would devalue surrounding properties or something that would be detrimental to other residents’ quality of life.
•When bad architectural change occurs, it negatively impacts the entire community and disrupts the flow of neighborhood character (Beverly Hills is a perfect example of how bad design change has affected the entire residential community).
•Demolition of homes with character which are replaced with mediocre “boxes” – an HPOZ means the community determines what is appropriate, and what is not appropriate and everyone plays by the same rules. Guidelines make it easy to understand what is expected within the district to gain plan approval.
•Mansionization, which reduces the value of adjacent homes – an HPOZ means scale and massing are important considerations for neighborhoods to maintain a positive image and remain desirable as a place to live."
Beverly Hills is mocked several times in this piece for being "tacky" with "Big Boxes" housing 7,000 sf structures. Here is an example:
"We are now seeing the oversized characterless “boxes” in Holmby-Westwood that appear in Beverly Hills and surrounding communities. "
I fully support having local rules that minimize cross-parcel negative spillover effects but the introduction of a zoning board puts uncertainty into our minds. It is difficult to bid for a parcel of land if you don't fully know what you are entitled to do with this parcel. I'm a risk averse guy and this makes me lower my bid sharply.