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Saturday, Sep 23, 2023


Letter/cw1st City Easier on Developers The city of Los Angeles has been making life less complicated for developers. For the most part, it’s done so by improving and streamlining its notoriously complicated entitlement process. Unfortunately, unless they understand the ins and outs of these improvements, developers and their representatives won’t be able to take advantage of their benefits. Perhaps the most “developer-friendly” change involves the establishment of what are known as case management units. This involves shepherding developers through the lengthy process of permit application and environmental review. Previously, the city offered developers no official assistance when an application was filed; the only way you could be confident that your application would progress smoothly was if you happened to enjoy an informal “relationship” with city staff. Now, the Planning Department and the Building and Safety Department assign case managers to proposed projects. These managers will sit down with a developer before he prepares his application and identify for him all the specific entitlements and permits he will need to make his project a reality. Once the developer has filed his application, his case manager will then coordinate contact with all the departments involved, helping to schedule the various hearings the project will need and serving as the developer’s single source for information. As soon as a developer has a definitive site plan, he should contact the case management unit to request a “kick-off” meeting, where the case manager will assemble all the necessary staff to comment on the project, discuss the requisite entitlements, and determine the scope of environmental review. From then on, a developer can chart his application’s progress as it moves through the system and respond quickly as issues arise. PETER WEIL Chairman Los Angeles Planning Commission

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