top of page

HPOZ and ADUS In Los Angeles

Updated: Feb 15, 2023


Due to residents of Los Angeles being upset that their historic neighborhoods were being uprooted. As the city recognized the importance of preserving the architectural and cultural legacy of its neighborhoods, the City adopted the HPOZ Ordinance A Historic Preservation Overlay Zone, or HPOZ, is a zoning tool that protects and preserves neighborhoods composed of architecturally and historically significant structures. A type of historic district, HPOZs primarily protect single-family residential neighborhoods. In 1983, Angelino Heights was the city’s first HPOZ neighborhood.

The first step to designating an HPOZ is to prepare an historic context statement and survey, which outlines the historic, architectural, and cultural significance of a neighborhood and identifies contributing and non-contributing structures. Generally speaking, contributing structures date to the period of significance of the neighborhood and do not feature major alterations and additions that compromise the historic integrity. Conversely, non-contributing structures may have been heavily altered and/or constructed outside the period of significance. Now is a better time than ever to build an ADU in an HPOZ.

According to the state of California, an ADU is defined as, “An accessory dwelling unit with complete independent living facilities for one or more persons and has a few variations.” What exactly does that mean? It means that ADU’s are made for independent tenants that may vary in terms of size, design, bedrooms, bathrooms, and more. ADU’s can be custom built to any homeowner’s specifications while still following all regulations that the state of California hands down to builders. ADU’s go by a few different names. Some people call them granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages, secondary units and more. No matter what you call them, ADUs are an innovative, affordable, effective option for adding much-needed housing in California.

California has an affordable housing problem. As rent prices skyrocket through the city, people are having trouble finding affordable places to live. By building an ADU, you are giving your future tenant a chance to have their own independent dwelling without paying the price of their own full sized home. ADU’s come in 1-3 bedrooms so even a whole family could rent one out. ADUs provide benefits for both society and individuals. ADU’s provide livable spaces but with lower costs and quicker permitting processes than for larger, multi-family buildings. Because ADUs tend to be smaller than full size homes, and their amenities are more inexpensive. They provide more affordable housing options. Oftentimes, these units are the only rental housing available in older, predominantly single-family neighborhoods, making it possible for people from all walks of life to live in the area.



bottom of page