Archive for February, 2014

Development Services Reform Reports

February 26th, 2014

Per your request, for those of you interested in following “Development Services Reform”, see reports uploaded on the City Clerk’s website dated 2-20-14.

Joint City Administrative Officer/Chief Legislative Analyst Report dated 2-20-14 (1 of 2)

Attachment to Report dated 2-20-14 (2 of 2)

If the above links do not work do the following:

1) go to
2) search by council file: CF-13-0046

PLUM Agenda coming soon, the item is tentatively set for PLUM on March 4th; the PLUM Agenda is normally released on Fridays before end of business day.

Update on the LADBS & City Planning

February 19th, 2014

Garcetti Cuts Red Tape

By Staff Report Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday ordered the city’s planning and building and safety departments to consolidate key functions and take other steps to cut red tape for developers.

When he took office last summer, Garcetti halted a merger of the planning and building and safety departments, saying he wanted to take a closer look at the issue.

“We took a deep look at both departments and now we’re moving forward with reform that makes sense instead of just combining departments for the sake of combining departments,” Garcetti said in Tuesday’s announcement.

Garcetti ordered the two departments to co-locate staff in “development service centers” at city offices downtown and in Van Nuys, with the option of opening similar service centers in South Los Angeles and West Los Angeles. He also ordered the streamlining of processing and timelines for some permit applications.

Later this week, Matrix Consulting Group is expected to release a report commissioned by the city with recommendations for further streamlining of the permitting process in these two departments, as well as for development-related permits considered by the transportation, public works and fire departments.

This will be the latest in a long line of proposals to streamline the city’s cumbersome permit approval process, which developers and business advocates see as a block to job creation and building more housing in the city.

PlanCheckNC Meeting Notes for 2-8-14

February 16th, 2014

PlanCheckNC – Los Angeles

Notes from Feb. 8, 2014

Guest speaker: Alan Bell, Deputy Director, Planning Dept.

Budget: Requested increase for 40 new staff. Current staff is 300, which is down from 450 in 2009, when offers of early retirement were given to reduce staff as part of recession (lost 1/3 of staff).

10% is funded by General Fund (request to double it), 90% is funded from fees and grants.

Establish Environmental Policy Unit: Prepare climate action plan, CEQA, urban sustainability. Would replace Environmental Affairs Dept, which was disbanded as part of budget reductions.

Data Analysis Unit: Use SCAG, census data, track SB1818 units to see if the ordinance is working correctly. Part of Mayor’s desire for metrics.

Small Lot Subdivision: Revised ordinance and guidelines issued Jan. 2014, with goal of integrating new projects into existing neighborhood character. Previous version did not do this. New projects must comply with the letter or the spirit, not suggestions. Director has authority to deny projects if not comply. Addresses massing, setbacks, screening trash, landscaping. Rear setbacks of 5 ft. are still allowed. Not by-right projects, it’s a discretionary approval with a public hearing (notice to NCs and appealable to APC).

Consolidation of Planning & Building & Safety Dept.: Apr. 2013 Council voted to merge departments, and a consultant (Matrix) was hired to issue a report in March with recommendations. NCs should lobby CDs to support.

Code Compliance Unit: 2 motions are at Council. Mike Bonin’s motion is favorable to stakeholders (14-0122).

Pot Shops: Limited to 137. LAPD and City Attorney enforce it, not Planning (because not a listed land use in code). Is there a list of the 137 that are allowed?

Affordable housing: Many in Boyle Heights and Silverlake criticized Councilmembers for supporting.

General Plan: Three new long-range planning initiatives being revised – Mobility, Health and Re-code (Zoning).

Claire Bowin, Planning Dept.

Two General Plan elements in process – Mobility, Health.

Target year for plans is 2035 (same as SCAG reports).

Will post by Feb. 13 and start 90-day comment period and schedule 7 regional public forums with input by May 2014.

Health and Wellness: crime, obesity, food, medicine, parks, pollution.

Mobility: Bad roads, sidewalks, air and water pollution, car speeds and crashes, traffic.

6 goals for Healthy L.A. – city built for health.

1. Resources available in all neighborhoods (especially low-income areas) – use schools as centers (parks), ADA/seniors who age in place.

2. Parks and open space (equitable distribution).

3. Food – local food, more in poor areas.

4. Environment – air and water pollution, brownfield sites. Risks of climate change and earthquakes.

5. Education – youth employment, libraries.

6. Safe and just neighborhoods – safe passages in crime areas, community policing.


Six goals for Mobility 2035.

1. Safety – complete streets (children, seniors, ADA, bikes), safe routes to school, driver education, maintenance/ potholes, infrastructure, more transit (on-time and frequent), bikes (cycle tracks), loading zones, access and routes to transit stations (1st mile/ last mile), jitneys, taxis.

2. Coordination and informed choices – digital schedules, coordinate DOT & MTA, maps and signs.

3. Green streets – stormwater cleaning.

4. Smart collaboration – best return on money, departments pool money.

Tom Rothmann, Code Studies Section

Re:code L.A: Re-write of the 1946 code.

1990s General Plan Framework – calls for regional centers, transit links, locates low-density neighborhoods.

Planners need a new zoning code to implement these new policies.

Started in 2012 with a consultant (Code Studios), 2013 focus groups and listening sessions, completion in 2018.

Will include a unique code for Downtown (Central City and Central City North Community Plan areas).

Needs an implementation team with stakeholder input/monitoring to ensure that staff is assigned to make this happen.

Needs a 2nd phase of meetings for stakeholders to review the first proposal.

“Transit occupancy structures” / short-term home rentals (AirBNB): City is starting to review, current rentals in homes must be minimum of 30 days in R1, RA and R2 zones not adjacent to commercial (not daily / weekly rentals).


  1. Congress of NCs will be Sat., Sept. 20. Planning Cmte. is beginning work.
  2. Planning training for NCs: Contact Challis MacPherson (Venice).
  3. Mar Vista lobbied City Attorney to oppose 7,500-sf pot shop near residences, and got permanent injunction signed by owner, broker and lessee/operator.
  4. Citizens for L.A. Wildlife – rat poison ban to protect coyotes, wildlife corridors, medical care for wildlife (
  5. Social media for neighborhood clusters.


7 Community Planning Forums – Give Feedback!

February 14th, 2014

Picture 34PlanningForumFlyer

PlanCheckNC Meeting 2-8-14 at 10 a.m.

February 4th, 2014


February 8, 2014 at 10 a.m.

Hollenbeck Police Station – Community Room

2111 E. 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Map link:


City Planning Updates will be provided by:

Alan Bell, Deputy Director of Planning

Claire Bowin, Senior City Planner: Mobility and Health

Tom Rothmann, Senior City Planner: Re:CodeLA


Land Use Committee Outreach

A Panel of Neighborhood Council Land Use Committee members will share what their communities are doing to weigh in on Land Use & Planning issues in their community.


Networking with Citywide Neighborhood Council and Community Representatives”

Draft CEQA Appeals Ordinance from City Attorney

February 3rd, 2014

The City Attorney has released their DRAFT Appeals Ordinance.  Review and comment encouraged.

Demystifying the Conditional Use Permit Clearance Process-Feb 27

February 2nd, 2014
De-Mystifying the Conditional Use Permit Compliance Process

De-Mystifying the Conditional Use Permit Compliance Process