What is the Adoption Process for a New HPOZ?
The process typically begins informally, at a grass-roots level, with a local neighborhood group organizing community meetings to explain to residents how the HPOZ process works and to gauge possible interest in creating an HPOZ. Community members often ask their City Council members for assistance, and most HPOZs are formally initiated by the City Council through a motion by the Councilmember of the district. Under the HPOZ Ordinance, the Director of the Planning, the Cultural Heritage Commission, or the City Planning Commission may also initiate an HPOZ. An HPOZ may also be initiated through a formal application by owners or renters within the district; in these cases only, the ordinance requires that signatures of at least 75% of owners or lessees be obtained.
Before an HPOZ may move into the formal adoption process, an historic resources survey of the proposed district must be prepared. The survey details the historic and architectural significance of the neighborhood and identifies structures and features as either “contributing” or “non-contributing” to the district. A contributing structure is a building that was constructed during the predominant period of development in the neighborhood and that has retained most of its historic features. A non-contributing structure is one that was either constructed after the major period of the neighborhood’s development, or has been so significantly altered that it no longer conveys its historic character.
Once the historic resources survey is completed, it is reviewed by Department of City Planning staff for completeness and accuracy. The Department of City Planning also holds public workshops and hearings in the community before taking the HPOZ through the adoption process. An HPOZ becomes effective only after the completed Historic Resources Survey is certified by the Cultural Heritage Commission. Because the HPOZ includes changes to zoning within the proposed area, it must be adopted as an ordinance by the City Planning Commission and the full City Council, following full public hearings.