Get answers to your questions and concerns by reviewing our most frequently asked questions below. If you don't see your question, click here to send us an email or just give us a call at (323) 825-9651.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is View Park Conservancy?
View Park Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization started by View Park residents with a mission to preserve the unique history and legacy of View Park. We have one goal: to get View Park listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Who is funding View Park Conservancy?
View Park Conservancy and the current historic initiative are funded 100% by donations from View Park residents like you. All donors can request a contributor’s list and financial statement once per year for any reason. Our books are open.
Who is leading View Park Conservancy?
View Park Conservancy is led by a team of community advisors that includes residents Andre Gaines (resident since 2009), Ben Kahle (resident since 2012), Tony Nicholas (resident since 1981), Cookie Parker (resident since 1974), James Smith (resident since 1976), Vanita Nicholas (resident since 1981); and ViewPark.org team members, Pernell Cox (resident since 2011), Sovonto Green (resident since 2003) and Jeff Haber (resident since 2009).
Do View Park Conservancy Advisors get paid?
No. View Park Conservancy is a 100% volunteer organization. Please contact us if you'd like to get involved.
Where is my donation going?
We appreciate your support, and every donation matters. Here is a breakdown of how each donation is used.
(80%) of all donations are used to conduct a historic resources survey of the View Park neighborhood, which will be used to create a National Register notation for a View Park Historic District. Architectural Resources Group (ARG), a historic preservation consulting firm, is completing the survey and nomination.
(15%) of all donations are used for marketing and community outreach, such as printing, postage, supplies and direct mail communication.
(5%) of all donations are used for small website hosting and development.
Is this an HPOZ (Historic Preservation Overlay Zone)?
No. Only neighborhoods that are part of the City of Los Angeles qualify to become an HPOZ. View Park is in the County of Los Angeles (not the City) and therefore does not qualify to become an HPOZ. Listing on the National Register of Historic Places comes with the perks of a historic district without the restrictions of an HPOZ. For more on HPOZs, click here.
Why does my address look different?
A year ago, many residents approached View Park Conservancy with an overwhelming desire to retain the neighborhood's unique identity and set it apart from the rest of Los Angeles. After months of research, and support from residents like you, we managed to get the address of our great neighborhood officially changed to "View Park, CA." You can still use "Los Angeles, CA" if you wish, but there is history and legacy in the name "View Park, CA," and we encourage everyone to update your records to reflect our identity.
Who is ARG?
ARG is the acronym for Architectural Resources Group, Inc. ARG is an award-winning architecture and preservation planning firm that specializes in historic preservation projects, such as National Register nominations. ARG was founded in 1980 and has offices in Pasadena, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon.
ARG will be completing the National Historic Register application for View Park. Many neighborhoods across Los Angeles spent years trying to complete the process themselves, only to have their applications denied by State and Federal officals. By using ARG, we will do it right the first time.
What are the restrictions, rules, and regulations for historic property owners?
There are NONE. A property owner can do whatever they want with their property. Listing on the National Register alone does not place restrictions on the property owner, nor does it necessarily preserve a property in the future. Listing will not restrict the rights of private property owners in the use, development, or sale of their property, nor will it lead automatically to the creation of a regulated local historic district in Los Angeles County. This is NOT AN HPOZ.
What are the benefits of getting on the National Register of Historic Places?
There are many, but here is a list of the most important.
–Community Pride: The National Register is a federal list of the nation's most significant historical buildings, districts and sites. Documenting View Park's history in a National Register nomination helps build pride in the history of our community and archives this history for generations to come.
–Higher Property Values: Several studies have proven that property values in historic zones are on average 30% higher than property values in non-historic zones.
–Lower Property Taxes: Owners of contributing historic homes will be eligible for a Mills Act Property Tax Abatement Program contract, which can result in a 20 - 60% reduction in property taxes (more below).
–Economic Vitality: Higher property values increase the demand for historic districts and spurs the economic vitality of surrounding commercial property. Thus, historic districts attract better amenities such as grocery stores (i.e. Trader Joe’s), better shopping choices, fine restaurants and eateries, and a variety of options. For View Park residents, this also means that the money we spend in other communities in our everyday lives now stays in View Park.
–Federal Funding Priorities: Landmark properties, such as those on the National Register of Historic Places, get top funding priority in a Presidential declared disaster. This includes natural disasters (such as earthquake, flood, and fire) and civil unrest. After the 1994 Northridge earthquake, two local National Historic Landmarks received these funds: Watts Tower $2,000,000 and the Coliseum $96,000,000. Properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places have a strong advantage in gaining competitive grants, loans, and financial incentives.
–Stewardship: Most important, owners of National Historic Landmarks have the opportunity to serve as stewards of the nation's most important historic and cultural assets. This participation will benefit current and future generations, both on local and national levels.
If my property is listed, future owners have to preserve it, right?
Unfortunately, no. Listing on the National Register is an honorific and does not impose restrictions on a property owner nor does it mandate the preservation of that property in the future. While listing to the National Register speaks to the importance of the property, if the property’s history and attributes are not valued by its current owner the listing will not stop insensitive changes or demolition.
Will this protect View Park from new developments of “McMansions” or the destruction of our old homes?
No, but it will serve as a major deterrent. To effectively protect the homes in View Park from being torn down to make way for new developments, we need to pursue LOCAL historic designation, similar to an HPOZ. While local designation will protect our homes, it will also come with exterior home restrictions.
What are the boundaries / Is my home included?
At this time, ARG is undertaking a survey to identify the appropriate historic district boundary for View Park based on historic significance and integrity. The study area that ARG is considering is View Park as a whole, which includes nearly 2,000 properties, but the actual historic district boundary is TBD.
How much will this cost me?
$150 per home. This is a one-time contribution. Donors who contribute a minimum of $150 annually enjoy premium donor benefits, such as discounts at local Preferred Businesses and complimentary concessions at neighborhood Movie Nights and Jazz Concerts. We appreciate the most generous gift you can give (i.e. $1,000, $2,500, $5,000) to help move this process along, but $150 is the minimum we need. All donations to View Park Conservancy are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law and will be acknowledged with receipt.
How do I get my taxes reduced?
One of the best financial incentives offered to owners of historic homes in California is the Mills Act Property Tax Abatement Program. Everyone whose house is identified as a contributor to the View Park Historic District will be eligible.
Property owners who enter into a Mills Act contract with the County of Los Angeles see a reduction in their property taxes from 20 - 60%, in exchange for appropriately maintaining and rehabilitating their home.
A homeowner may apply for a Mills Act contract only if they choose to do so. For those property owners who wish to participate in the program, there is a separate application process, which you can read more about here - http://planning.lacounty.gov/preservation/program
How do I know if my home is a contributing historic home?
Surveys determine which homes "contribute" to the district and which do not. View Park is incredibly unique in that most of the homes retain their original architectural integrity. Contributing homes (i.e. Contributors) are generally identified using the following standards:
1.) It must have been built within the historic district's "period of significance," which was preliminarily identified as 1923-1965 (and will be confirmed by ARG as part of their study).
2.) It must related to the overall significance of the neighborhood.
3.) It must be mostly intact, which means it must be mostly unaltered.
Each home in the study area is surveyed by Architectural Resources Group (ARG) in order to determine if it is a Contributor or a Non-Contributor.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Contributing or Non-Contributing status is based solely on what can be seen from the public right-of-way. In other words, if you’ve made changes or additions to the back of your home or inside your home, or even adjacent to your home, and these changes are not visible from the street, YOU MAY STILL QUALIFY.
What if my home is not a contributing historic home?
Even if your home is considered a Non-Contributing home, you will still benefit from everything listed above under benefits. Unfortunately, you will not be eligible for a Mills Act contract.
How long will this process take?
During the process, the entire View Park neighborhood and all of its homes will be surveyed and reviewed for historical significance. This is done by undertaking research about the neighborhood in order to understand its history and significance, and taking photos of the area as a whole and each property from the public right-of-way. Homeowners are never disturbed or inconvenienced. Once the application is completed, it may take from 6 to 9 months for the State to review and accept. So if everyone helps with a small donation, as little as $150 per household, then we can get this done in less than a year and a half.
Are my donations tax deductible?
Yes. All donations to View Park Conservancy are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law and will be acknowledged with receipt. All donors to the View Park Legacy Fund may audit the organization's financial records, provided that such request is made with thirty (30) days notice and that a mutual agreed third-party CPA performs the audit at 100% of donor's expense.
How do I get a plaque?
Many sites listed in the National Register arrange for a commemorative plaque. The National Register of Historic Places does not issue plaques as a result of listing; but rather they leave it up to the individual owners if they are interested in having one. Contact View Park Conservancy to arrange how to get yours.
What about Windsor Hills?
Currently, View Park Conservancy is focused on historical designation for the original development of View Park as established by the Los Angeles Investment Company only. However, View Park Conservancy will happily assist residents of Windsor Hills in pursuing their own National Register listing. If you are interested in volunteering for this type of work for the Windsor Hills area, please contact us.
Wait, I have more questions!
No problem! Feel free to contact us anytime. We’re your neighbors and we’re here to help each other. Call (323) 825-9651 and talk to a real person.