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Los Angeles Program Helps Restaurants Reduce Time Spent In The Permitting Process

March 12, 2012

From the L.A. Downtown News – 300 people in the past two years have participated in a new city initiative to quicken the permitting process for bars and restaurants. The program hinges on one key change — each project is assigned a case manager who stays involved at every step and helps facilitate meetings and inspections with officials who have to sign off on the work.

Lobbied by Downtown Los Angeles business advocacy group the Central City Association, and with leadership from then-First Deputy Mayor (and current 2013 mayoral candidate) Austin Beutner, the Department of Building and Safety formed a new case management unit in January 2010. The Restaurant and Hospitality Express program was implemented on a trial basis for six months, and after working with a few dozen establishments, including several in Downtown Los Angeles, it was publicly rolled out six months later.

When the program was announced, officials said it routinely took restaurateurs 12 to 18 months to open a business (many people in the industry have cited longer time frames). The primary goal of Restaurant and Hospitality Express was to cut that in half, to six to nine months.

Since its inception the program has seen 105 businesses open. Another 84 are under construction, 48 are in plan-check and 76 are in the design and planning stage.

While some say the program has worked, the process is not…to read the full story, please click here.

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