An important note, the land use Appeal fee increase from August 2009 did not go into effect since a Brown Act Cure and Correct letter was sent in. If this new proposal fails, then the original fee structure (pre-August 2009) will be in effect.
* Link to Supplemental Council Agenda (Look for Item 23): http://ens.lacity.org/clk/councilagendas/clkcouncilagendas363120_10202009.pdf
* Link to Report on this Item [See PDF page Nos. 4 & 5 for fee information]: http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=09-0600-S50
Summary of Issues:
This is an urgent item and it is important to submit objections to this and if possible show up in person to oppose Supplemental Agenda Item No. 23 for the LA City Council October 20, 2009.
An increase in fee structure including a tiered system (within short noticing distances) puts an increased price on the average citizens ability to petition their government on land use decisions.
1. Dramatic INCREASE in fees to COMMUNITY MEMBERS: The fees are dramatically being increased to community members seeking to appeal development projects.
2. A tiered structure is being implemented for the first time. Those outside a noticing area will be charged a dramatically higher rate. In many cases, the noticing area is adjacent property owners.
3. Dramatic DECREASE in fees to DEVELOPERS: The fee for applicant/Developers to appeal decisions has been capped dramatically reducing costs for developers with mid-size and large projects (it is currently not capped and is 85%). This would come into play if a developer was not happy with the decision of his/her project.
Typically in cases where the Developer is at odds with the community and the local Councilmember.
4. This even affects smaller local issues such as overheight fenses, etc.
5. Appeal fees are going from $74 per appeal to $500 per appeal (almost 700% increase) for those outside the appeal area which may be as short as two properties away (for those notices required to be adjacent property owners). For those within the noticing area, the costs have doubled from $74 to $150.
6. In order to properly appeal a mixed use development an appellant would need to appeal all aspects of that project two times; one to appeal the commission decision and another time to appeal the City Council decision in order to preserve the record and to exhaust administrative remedies.
For example, a community group or community member just outside (1 property away) the “noticing area” wanting to challenge a mixed use project could have to pay $3,000 to appeal under the new plan compared to $444 under the old plan:
NEW PROPOSED PLAN:
A. Tentative Tract Map appeal: $500 * 2 = $1,000
B. Entitlement Approval appeal: $500 * 2 = $1,000
C. Density Bonus Approval appeal: $500 * 2 = $1,000
TOTAL: $3,000 (New Proposed Plan)
OLD PLAN (Pre-August 2009):
A. Tentative Tract Map appeal: $74 * 2 = $148
B. Entitlement Approval appeal: $74 * 2 = $148
C. Density Bonus Approval appeal: $74 * 2 = $148
TOTAL: $444 (Old Plan)