Frequently Asked Questions

What is Vermont Knolls HPOZ Project?

Vermont Knolls HPOZ Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization started by the residents of the Vermont Knolls Historic Residential District. Its mission is to preserve and share the legacy of Vermont Knolls with the community-at-large and future generations by assisting the residents of Vermont Knolls through the process of adoption into the Historic Preservation Overlay ("HPOZ") program and inclusion into the National Register of Historic Places and educating the public on its historic legacy.

Who is funding Vermont Knolls HPOZ Project?

Currently, the Vermont Knolls HPOZ Project is being funded by donations from residents of Vermont Knolls.  Additional funding is also being sought through grant applications to various foundations, community and city councils, and the public.  


All donors can request a contributor's list and financial statements once per year for any reason.  Our books are open.   

Are Vermont Knolls HPOZ Project officers and members paid?

No.  The officers and members of Vermont Knolls HPOZ Project, Inc. are all volunteers dedicated to preserving and protecting Vermont Knolls.Historic Residential District. 

Where is my donation going?

We appreciate your support and every donation matters.   A breakdown of how each donation is used is as follows:


(85%) of all donations are used to conduct a historic resources survey of the Vermont Knolls Historic Residential District  and completion of the nomination application to the National Register of Historic Places.   Additionally, contributions will assist with community and public hearings and meetings to educated and provide updates and clarity on the HPOZ process and the nomination application.


(10%) of all donations are used for marketing and community outreach, such as printing, postage, supplies, flyers, and direct mailing communication.


(5%) of all donations are used for small website hosting and development, and meeting refreshments.

Who is Architectural Resources Group (ARG)?

ARG is an award-winning architectural and preservation planning firm that specializes in historic preservation projects. They have successfully achieved HPOZ status designation for several communities, including Jefferson Park, Miracle Mile, and Carthay Square to name a few.  They also assisted View Park residents with their successful admission into the National Register of Historic Places. 

How much will this cost me?

We appreciate the most generous gift you can give to help us reach our goal.  Your generous donation is welcomed and appreciated.


All donations to Vermont Knolls HPOZ Project, Inc. are tax deductible to extent allowed by law and will be acknowledged with a receipt. 

What is a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ)?

An HPOZ is a historic district – an area that has special character based on its historic value, notable architectural features, or the cultural heritage of the community. An HPOZ designation protects the historic character of the neighborhood by providing a way for projects to be reviewed prior to changes taking place. This helps to ensure that the design of alterations is in keeping with the original historic feel of the neighborhood. 

How are HPOZs governed? Who will be on our HPOZ Board?

Each HPOZ is overseen by City Planning Department staff and a local five-member HPOZ Board. At least three of the five members must be owners or renters who live within the HPOZ area. No single entity controls a majority of appointments to the Board, and local homeowners' associations do not appoint the Board. The Mayor, City Councilmember, and Cultural Heritage Commission each select members based on the Ordinance criteria, and the fifth member is chosen by a majority vote of the other four members. HPOZ Board members serve for a term of four years and may be re-appointed for an additional four-year term.  

What kind of projects are reviewed by the HPOZ?

Any work that affects the EXTERIOR of the home, accessory structure (i.e. garage), or significant landscaping features must go through the HPOZ review process. HPOZ review may be required for some projects that do not require regular building permits, but basic maintenance and repair work, as well as work that affects only interior features, are exempt from review.


Again, the INTERIOR of the property is exempt from HPOZ review.

Does inclusion in a HPOZ prevent me from making changes to my property?

No, an HPOZ does not prevent owners from making changes or additions to their properties. Instead it ensures that any changes do not detract from the architectural and historic qualities of the home and district. HPOZ guidelines place highest importance on visible, significant historic features. Replacement of original historic features is allowed when they cannot be reasonably repaired.  Overall, the HPOZ process represents a flexible framework for creative problem-solving, helping property owners achieve their goals while enhancing their historic neighborhood.

Is there a fee for HPOZ work?

There is currently no fee for minor work (aka "Conforming Work") that does not involve new construction, demolition or a larger addition.  For the few requests involving larger additions and major alterations, a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) or Certificate of Compatibility (CCMP) is required, which involve a fee of $708 to $1706 depending on the size of the project. 

What are the benefits of living in and/or near a HPOZ?

Community Pride:  Builds community pride and facilitates education in the history of the district, the architectural styles of the homes, and preservation techniques and resources for current and future generations, and property and business owners in surrounding communities


Property Value Increase:  Studies have proven that property values on average increase by 25-30% in historic districts than in non-historic districts.  Increasing property values within a historic district will expand to surrounding communities


Economic Vitality:   Spurs economic vitality of surrounding commercial properties by attracting better amenities and choices due to the presence of a historic district. This encourages residents to shop within the community boundaries providing reinvestment growth and economic development


Visibility:  Tourism and filming opportunities in and near a historic district increases visibility and stimulates transportation growth needs  


Potential for Lower Property Taxes:  Owners of certain qualified contributing historic homes are eligible for the Mills Act Program, which can result in a 20-60% property tax reduction


Partnership Development:  Creates a partnership between the Los Angeles Department of City Panning, other city agencies, and the residents and business and property owners in the surrounding communities giving them a voice during the development review process

What is the Mills Act Program?

The Mills Act Program is an economic incentive which provides a property tax reduction (20-60%) for owners of certain qualified historical properties. The Program allows property owners to enter into a revolving ten-year contract with the City of Los Angeles. Under these contracts, the property owner agrees to protect, maintain and if necessary rehab their historic homes (exterior and interior) in accordance with the specified historic preservation standards and conditions.

Click Here to Learn More About the Mills Act Program

What is the National Register of Historic Places?

The National Register of Historic Places is the United States official list of the historic places worthy of preservation. 

What are the benefits of selection to the National Register of Historic Places?

The benefits are similar to those listed above regarding living within a HPOZ.  Plus, the following:

Eligibility for Federal Grants:  Property owners are eligible to apply for federal grants for historic preservation of their home when funds are available


Certain Tax Credits:  Property owners may be eligible for a 20% investment tax credit for the certified rehabilitation of income-producing certified historic structures such as commercial, industrial, or rental residential buildings. This credit can be combined with a straight-line depreciation period of 27.5 years for residential property and 31.5 years for nonresidential property. Federal tax deductions are also available for charitable contributions for conservation purposes of partial interests in historically important land areas or structures


State Registry Listing:  Property listed in the National Register of Historic Places are automatically listed into the California Register of Historical Resources


Federal Consideration in Planning Projects:  Historic properties are consideration when planning federal funded projects affecting their area


Historic Plaque:  Properties listed are eligible to purchase a plaque distinguishing the property as listed in the National Register of Historic Places

What assistance is available to a historic property owner in case of a disaster?

Although there are no federal or state funds available to private owners specifically for historic properties impacted by disasters, historic properties may be entitled to additional consideration from private insurers and state and federal relief agencies (i.e., FEMA and other incentives).  Be sure to indicate on all claims or requests for assistance that your property is or may be historic.


Additionally, it is important to understand your property's character.   Have sufficient insurance coverage and a clear understanding of what your coverage pays for and what it does not.  Does your policy cover replacement in-kind or only pay for substitute materials and techniques?  Consult an insurance agent regarding insurance coverage for historic homes.  If you need a referral, we are happy to provide one.


Lastly, it is important to select the proper contractor to complete repairs on your home after a natural disaster.  Be selective. 

What are the boundaries of the Vermont Knolls Historic Residential District?

The historic district bounded by 79th Street to the north, Vermont Avenue to the east, 83rd Street to the south, and Normandie Avenue to the west.  

Are my donations tax deductible?

Yes.  All donations to Vermont Knolls HPOZ are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law and will be acknowledge with a receipt. 


Donors may audit the organization's financial records provided that such requests are made in writing and that a mutually agreed third-party CPA performs the audit at 100% of the donor's expense. 

Does inclusion into a HPOZ require me to make changes to my property?

No.  Currently changes or alterations on your home are grandfathered into the HPOZ.   However, changes made once the HPOZ is in effect will require Board Review.

Can I add a second-story to my Property in an HPOZ?

Yes.  Currently, Vermont Knolls has an R1R3 zone designation, which allows a second story addition at the rear of the property.  The R1R3 zoning allows for a one-story feel along the public right-of-way or street view.

Can I make improvements such as solar panels or drought-tolerant landscaping?

Yes.  Solar installations are exempt from HPOZ review under State laws.  Though many HPOZs do not approve installation of artificial turf, a wide array of options for natural, drought-tolerant grounds are typically approved.

Does inclusion into a HPOZ prevent me from making changes to my property?

No, an HPOZ does not prevent owners from making changes or additions to their properties. Instead it ensures that any changes do not detract from the architectural and historic qualities of the home and district. HPOZ guidelines place highest importance on visible, significant historic features. Replacement of original historic features is allowed when they cannot be reasonably repaired. Overall, the HPOZ process represents a flexible framework for creative problem-solving, helping property owners achieve their goals while enhancing their historic neighborhood.

Wait, I have more questions!

No problem, we are here to help.  Please contact us at any time with questions or concerns.  Call (323) 633-1730 and talk to a real person.

(Sources:  Los Angeles Department of City Planning, Office of Historic Resources, National Register of Historic Places, California Office of Historic Preservation & View Park Conservancy)