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Los Angeles City Council to Consider Ordinance For Consistent Procedure For Multiple Discretionary Approvals

March 19, 2012

Los Angeles City Council ChambersThe Los Angeles City Planning Department has proposed an ordinance that will update the Los Angeles Zoning Code with consistent procedures for the processing of an application for a single development project that requires multiple discretionary approvals.

Prior to 2000, each discretionary land use approval required its own separate hearing. For example, a restaurant requesting a conditional use for alcohol sales that also happened to be in a Specific Plan would require separate hearings with the Zoning Administrator and the Director of Planning. This requirement for multiple, independent hearings created an unnecessarily lengthy review process.  In 2000, LAMC Section 12.36 was added to the Zoning Code to allow concurrent hearings of “projects requiring multiple approvals.”  It identified a single decision-maker for projects requiring multiple approvals but it did not coordinate the appeals processes for each of the required approvals.  It also did not synchronize the expiration periods of those approvals.  This has resulted in confusion concerning procedures for appeals through the different layers of land use decision-makers that Section 12.36 was meant to eliminate.  It has also created uncertainty regarding the expiration date of related approvals.

The proposed ordinance will not reduce the opportunities for participation in the public process.  The City Planning Department believes that these changes will free up resources that are currently handling redundant case-processing tasks.

Please click here to read the draft of the ordinance that will be considered by the Los Angeles City Council.

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