From the San Diego Union-Tribune – Bill Fulton, a nationally recognized urban planner, was named Tuesday as San Diego’s 11th planning director, a position Mayor Bob Filner is bringing back in his first departmental appointment and reorganization since taking office last year.
He pledged to make San Diego “the most prosperous and sustainable and equitable city in the world.”
In his new post, starting July 8, Fulton will oversee a newly created department, tentatively called Read more…
From EGP News – Los Angeles city blocks zoned for both residential and commercial uses have lower crime rates than nearby blocks pegged for commercial purposes, according to a study released recently by a Santa Monica- based think tank.
The RAND Corp. study, which examined city blocks in Boyle Heights, Highland Park, Hollywood, San Pedro, South Los Angeles, Southeast Los Angeles, West Adams and Westlake, found that crime was lowest in blocks zoned for residential-only uses, even in relatively high crime neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
“At least in the case of a city like Los Angeles, zoning matters – an important fraction of reported crime is associated with Read more…
One of the difficulties of getting a project permitted and approved is working with the different requirements of different city departments. Sometimes, the requirements of one department conflicts with the requirements of another department. Resolving those conflicts can add a significant amount of time to the permitting process.
The Los Angeles City Council is going to consider proposed structural changes that could streamline the permitting process. A report from various departments is due to the City Council by March 14.
From the Los Angeles Downtown News – Eighteen months after the city adopted a $600,000 plan to reform its notoriously Byzantine development permitting process, implementation has been slow. Now, city leaders are considering more radical changes, though they may sound familiar to veterans of City Hall.
In July 2011, consultants KH-Woolpert delivered a slate of proposed reforms, including long-term initiatives such as Read more…
It is important for a city to have rules and regulations that protect its residents, but it is also important for a city to review and process business permit applications efficiently and quickly. Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait has been pushing for his city to be more business-friendly with his Regulatory Relief Task Force by reviewing the City’s permitting process and instituting reforms that will help businesses complete the process more quickly than before. Helping businesses open quicker helps generate more tax revenue for cities to provide services for its residents.
Below is an excerpt from Mayor Tait’s 2013 State of the City Address where he discusses his efforts to make Anaheim the most business-friendly city in California. I hope that other cities will take notes of what Mayor Tait is doing in Anaheim to help make the permitting process more efficient and streamlined.
From Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait’s 2013 State of the City Address: Now let’s talk about how we grow the economy and create jobs in our city…and incidentally, as a side benefit, create more revenue for the city.
After reading the following article from Bloomberg Businessweek, I decided to take a test spin of the new Open Counter website for the City of Santa Cruz that was designed to help potential permit applicants with getting an initial idea of the requirements to open. I wish I could tell you that I am now much more knowledgeable about opening up a retail store in a commercial zone in Santa Cruz because of this website, but the website would not produce the requirements that I would need to fulfill to open. I was amused that in clicking on different buttons to figure out why the website would not share with me the requirements, I got a message telling me that I could submit my application for the required permits. What permits would I be applying for???
As the title says, in theory, this website could be a useful tool in helping a business owner find out what is needed to open up in a particular jurisdiction. In the meantime, there is no substitute for having a live person guide you through the various processes in any jurisdiction, so please feel free to contact me if you need help figuring out actual requirements to open a business in any jurisdiction. Read more…
From The San Francisco Chronicle – The Divisadero neighborhood got preliminary approval to join the growing list of the city’s named commercial districts, giving local retailers a boost and a bigger say in their area’s development.
The City Planning Commission Thursday agreed to amend local zoning rules to create the neighborhood district, saying it would be good for both the city and the local area.
“We ought to name more of our commercial corridors,” said Commissioner Gwyneth Borden.
The new district runs along Divisadero Street from Haight to O’Farrell streets, an increasingly popular strip of shops, bars, restaurants and other businesses. The new zoning makes it easier for the district to move from the current “one size fits all” planning model to one where the controls can be tailored to meet the diverse needs of different parts of the city.
From the Orange County Register – Entrepreneurs seeking general advice on doing business in downtown Santa Ana can tap into the expertise of a consultant who can provide an assist.
Phil Bacerra, who runs Jacaranda Enterprises, is under contract with Downtown Inc. to help small businesses seeking to open or expand downtown. In September, the board of Downtown Inc. voted to keep working with Bacerra until the end of the year.
Bacerra was originally hired several months ago to assist the non-profit better understand city ordinances and regulations.
“My goal is to provide clarity on permit processes, ordinances, and provide general support to businesses who are looking to remodel, expand or locate to downtown,” he said. He said he’s seeking “to facilitate a more business-friendly environment for Read more…