Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Do Real Planning #4: Eliminate Department Bottlenecks

Last week, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission unveiled a 14-point policy agenda to set the city on a course towards sustainability, using Planning Director Gail Goldberg's mantra of DO REAL PLANNING as an acronym for the platform. Each day, on this blog, I am sharing my thoughts on each of these planning principles through the lens of my own district work and the potential for citywide direction along these lines.

Since I was elected in 2001, I have met with homeowners, developers, and community members frustrated by how long it takes to navigate through the city's red tape on projects that have already been approved by the community and the city. Good developments hesitate to come to Los Angeles because developers fear how long it might take to win approvals and commence construction in our city.

As a member of the City Council Budget and Finance Committee, I pushed for additional staffing, located in the Planning Department and in other development-related departments, to help expedite community planning requests and to expedite projects. We've won many new hires, but we must do more. Gail Goldberg's strategic plan promises to reorganize and reinvigorate the Planning Department. I will do everything in my power to ensure that the department gets all the resources it needs in this years budget, and subsequent budgets, to reform the city’s development process and increase housing and commercial production.