Greetings Angelenos,

In the last few weeks, we’ve taken concerted measures to protect the health and safety of our citizens—ranging from the residents and business owners across our City who visit our public counters to our dedicated staff of over 400 employees. In order to practice social distancing, we’ve modified our counter operations at the Development Services Centers to assist customers remotely, using email and videoconferencing.

While many of these measures are temporary, they have made it possible for us to maintain normal operations at a time when one in six Americans is out of a job. Moreover, they have allowed us to support Los Angeles’s short- and long-term economic growth, as the work of our policy and project planning bureaus attests.

This global pandemic has required us all to conduct our day-to-day lives differently than in years past. As everyone adjusts to a new way of life, we are reassessing how we plan for Los Angeles's future and identifying the best ways to promote jobs and housing.

As a general manager, I take great pride in sharing the amazing efforts of our staff. Their commitment to Los Angeles is evident during this time, as is their love of the City many of us call home.

Together, we are Planning for LA.
Vince Bertoni,
Director of Planning
Remote Commission Meetings
On April 23, City Planning held its first City Planning Commission meeting since Mayor Garcetti issued the “Safer at Home” emergency order. To slow the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to deliver important City services, City Planning has shifted to conducting remote meetings by teleconference.

Remote commission meetings keep processes running that are vital to the City’s economic well-being and top priorities, such as the review of housing applications. In the coming weeks, City Planning will hold additional hearings remotely, including Area Planning Commission and Design Review Board meetings.

All presentations and materials related to any agenda item will be uploaded to Google Drive for ease of access. As during regular meetings, participants will be able to provide comments on any agendized item. For the latest information, consult the Commissions, Boards, and Hearings and COVID-19: Planning Updates pages of City Planning’s website.
Restaurant Beverage Program
On April 15, City Planning released the framework for a new program that would simplify the approval process for sit-down restaurants seeking to serve alcoholic beverages. The proposed Restaurant Beverage Program would shorten the time for City approvals from months to a matter of weeks. These measures are in line with Los Angeles’s broader efforts to help local and family-owned businesses prepare for the economic recovery ahead.

The profit margin from sales of alcoholic beverages has helped restaurant owners stay afloat during sharp rises in rent and payroll costs and, more recently, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Restaurant Beverage Program would create an efficient and easy-to-navigate process, providing opportunities to new startups while also aiding the recovery of existing small businesses, once the stay-at-home orders are lifted.

The City Planning Commission will consider the proposed framework this summer, after which it will advance to the City Council for consideration.

SB 330 Filing Instructions
In response to COVID-19, City Planning has modified its procedures to allow projects that qualify under Senate Bill 330 (the “Housing Crisis Act of 2019”) to submit referral forms electronically. This shift to accepting referral forms by email has shortened the turnaround time, permitting applicants to file remotely without having to wait for an initial appointment or drop off documents in person.

This change will assist Los Angeles’s economic recovery, while keeping residents and government employees safe by supporting proper social distancing. For instructions on how to file Preliminary Zoning Assessments (PZAs) and optional SB 330 vesting rights, visit the Preliminary Application Review Program's page on

Metro DSC:
(213) 482-7077

Valley DSC:
(818) 374-5050

West LA DSC:
(310) 231-2901
Public Counter Safety Measures
City Planning has taken steps to promote a healthy and safe environment at the Development Services Centers (DSCs). Department staff who interact with members of the public use face coverings, gloves, and cleaning supplies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In keeping with the Mayor’s Worker Protection Order, visitors have also been instructed to wear protective face coverings at all times while interacting with City Planning personnel. City Planning no longer requires counter appointments and has adopted a drop-off system to collect hard copies of project submittals and applicable documents.

City Planning is increasingly automating services and conducting them electronically in order to limit physical interaction. Most recently, City Planning modified the case intake process for project appeals, allowing applicants to file electronically from the comfort of their home or office.
Community Outreach During COVID-19
City Planning is identifying safe and productive ways to engage with the public. For both policy and project planning, City Planning is using digital tools to engage with the public during COVID-19 and keep Angelenos informed about planning and development.

Digital outreach protects the health and safety of Los Angeles’s communities while allowing work to continue on key planning initiatives that support the City’s economic well-being. The Department is also looking into telephonic options in order to include people who lack access to the internet or a personal computer. In the coming weeks, City Planning will begin to incorporate these new methods at upcoming events.
City Nature Challenge
City Planning encouraged Angelenos to participate safely in the City Nature Challenge, held in cities around the world from April 24 to April 27. Participants observed and recorded local flora and fauna using the mobile app iNaturalist.

Organized by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences, the annual challenge asks city dwellers to act as community scientists and document biodiversity in their neighborhoods. Findings are shared with organizations such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, where they can be of use to scientists and city planners.
Development Trends
  • Scoping Meeting conducted in August 2018
  • Released Draft Land Use Concepts in May 2019
  • Preparing Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
  • Released an online Draft Land Use Concepts in 2018
  • Preparing Land Use Map for public release
  • Preparing Environmental Impact Report
In 1885, Sister Mary Wood opened a nine-bed infirmary which would later become one of the first hospitals in Los Angeles. As a result of a $4,000 donation from Mrs. Annie Crittenden Severance, the infirmary was able to purchase a lot on which to build an expanded facility that would become known as the “Hospital of the Good Samaritan.”

In 1913, the Good Samaritan Hospital moved to its current location in Westlake. The architect Reginald D. Johnson designed the expansion of the hospital in a Spanish Colonial Revival style. Over the years, there have been several additions to the hospital.

For more than 100 years, the Good Samaritan Hospital has served the people of Los Angeles, and it continues to do so today, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 8, City Planning approved the entitlements for a seven-story, 177-unit mixed-use residential building at 4626 W. Santa Monica Boulevard in East Hollywood. The project is located approximately 300 feet from the Vermont/Santa Monica Red Line Station and will include the set-aside of 20 residential units for Extremely Low Income Households for a period of at least 55 years.  

As approved, the project will result in the construction of 5,500 square feet of ground floor, neighborhood-serving retail uses, and public amenities such as new bike racks and trash receptacles located in the public right-of-way.

In line with the Mayor’s objectives, City Planning is committed to increasing the production of affordable housing units, a task that has become even more urgent during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period of economic uncertainty, City Planning remains committed to advancing policies and reviewing project applications that contribute to the health of the City's economy and build up its housing stock.
May 6
West Area Planning Commission (APC)
May 6
Restaurant Beverage Program (RBP) Information Session
May 7
North Valley Area Planning Commission (APC)
May 7
City Planning Commission (CPC)
May 12
Central Area Planning Commission (APC)
May 13
East Area Planning Commission (APC)
May 14
City Planning Commission (CPC)
May 19
Harbor Area Planning Commission (APC)
May 20
Slauson Transit Neighborhood Plan (TNP) Information Session
May 28
South Valley Area Planning Commission (APC)
May 28
City Planning Commission (CPC)
Consistent with Mayor Garcetti's directive on COVID-19, City Planning is conducting meetings remotely. See the Events Calendar for a full list of upcoming events.
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