Posts Tagged ‘Leimert Park’

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Time Capsule: Crenshaw Square Celebrates Obama’s Inauguration

March 19, 2009

Crenshaw is Obama Country

Crenshaw is Obama Country

As on Tuesday, we’re revisiting a few stories I’ve previously written for USC classes. Below, we’ll sit down for some soul food to watch Obama’s inauguration.

From grits to sushi, the Crenshaw Square Shopping Center offered South Los Angeles residents plenty of culinary options with which to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States.

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Leimert Park Faces Long Wait for City Historic Zone Approval

February 23, 2009
Note the HPOZ sign

Note the HPOZ sign

The short-staffed Los Angeles Department of City Planning faces such a backlog of proposed historic residential zones that some communities will wait years for a chance to qualify for the program, which helps preserve historic neighborhoods and offers considerable property tax reductions.

The city’s planning department oversees 24 Historic Preservation Overlay Zones, or HPOZs, whose residents have agreed to preserve their home’s historic charm. Since 1998, the program has tripled; the latest HPOZ, Wilshire Park, was adopted in November 2008. Homeowners in historic zones can benefit from property tax cuts of up to 80 percent, according to Ken Bernstein, manager of the Office of Historic Resources within the planning department.

With California’s $42 billion budget crisis, however, the department’s staff has shrunk by 80 people, leaving fewer people to manage existing historic zones and conduct preliminary surveys of a proposed HPOZ.

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Leimert Park HPOZ Story Preview 3/3

February 18, 2009

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This boldly styled multi-family home is situated on a street across from the other two homes we’ve seen this week. “YES HPOZ” signs still sit on the lawns of a few nearby houses. Clearly, there is still support for making parts of Leimert Park an HPOZ, but even if residents sustain community interest, they face a wait of at least 2-3 years before the city has time to inspect the architectural significance of the properties. For more on Leimert Park and how the HPOZ program has been affected by California’s serious budget issues, read the story here.

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Leimert Park HPOZ Story Preview Part 2/3

February 17, 2009

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Here we have another Leimert Park house that does not appear significantly changed since it was originally built — as far as the L.A. Department of Planning is concerned, that’s a good thing. After an area is established as an HPOZ, homeowners can enter into a Mills Act contract, which provides property tax reductions of up to 80 percent according to Ken Bernstein of the Office of Historic Resources.

Not every HPOZ homeowner applies for a Mills Act contract, however. The city requires rehabilitation and maintenance of the inside AND outside of a home with a Mills Act contract. A homeowner not entered into a Mills Act contract must keep up the historic appearance of the property’s exterior but can go wild with shag carpets and mirrors on the ceiling inside.

Tomorrow we’ll see an example of a Leimert Park home that might not make it past an HPOZ inspection and, eventually, I’ll direct you to the story tying together all three houses.

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This entry is one in a series of photo assignments for my online journalism class.

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Leimert Park HPOZ Story Preview Part 1/3

February 17, 2009

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It’s coming…my story on Leimert Park, Historic Preservation Overlay Zones and why it’ll be a while before the area has a chance to argue its case before the Office of Historic Resources (part of the L.A. Department of City Planning). HPOZs must be visually cohesive and have some architectural significance. The white and green sign in front of this house says “YES HPOZ.”

Today and tomorrow you’ll see houses that might work within the city’s HPOZ guidelines and, on Wednesday, a — shall we say — “nonconformist” property that would most likely not be considered a contributing feature in an HPOZ.

Wait for it…

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This entry is one in a series of photo assignments for my online journalism class.

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