LA City Planning: Updated 4/30/20 - Newsletter + Restaurant Beverage Program + More

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March 23, 2020
Update 4/30/20 
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
Click here to read more
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.
Revised Ordinance

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Effective: Monday, March 23, 2020 
Consistent with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Executive Directive on COVID-19 to limit in-person contact, all City Planning staff will be interacting with customers and project applicants online, through email, and by phone. To facilitate the exchange of documents and plans, a new “drop-box system” is being implemented for all City Departments that staff the Development Services Centers (DSC) at the Metro/Downtown location (Figueroa Plaza), in Van Nuys at the Marvin Braude Building, and at the West Los Angeles office.
With City facilities closed to the public, applicants no longer need an appointment to submit an application for a new case filing or condition clearance. Applicants will now be able to file project applications without having to access the public counter or wait for an initial filing appointment. For services that cannot be accomplished electronically and require the submission of physical documents and plans, applicants may use the drop box. The drop box will be available during regular business hours and will be monitored in a secure location outside the three DSCs. Staff will contact applicants via email and phone to provide payment information and to address any issues before the case file is deemed complete. Once complete, the case will be assigned for processing. 
Appeal applications will also be accepted in the same manner. Appeal applications will be subject to review and approval by staff to ensure they meet all legal requirements per the Los Angeles Municipal Code.
Many of the specialized Planning services offered at the Metro/Downtown DSC will be provided electronically. This includes pre-application reviews conducted by the Housing Services Unit and the Beverage & Entertainment Streamlined (BESt) team, as well as Redevelopment Plans Unit clearances. Home-Sharing application services and payment will continue to be conducted electronically. Condition clearance functions for Major Projects will also continue to be conducted electronically, to the extent possible.
We continue to undertake additional health and safety measures. City Planning will continue to evaluate its existing services to ensure that the Department is conducting itself in the best possible way to minimize potential human exposure to COVID-19. We appreciate your understanding and will be sure to keep you updated in the weeks ahead.
DSC Operational Plan
Metro/Downtown DSC
201 N. Figueroa Street, 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012
P: (213) 482-7077
Metro DSC Specialized Services
Case Management (City Planning)
Housing Services Unit
Preliminary Application Review Program for SB 330 Vesting
Beverage & Entertainment Streamlined Program
Redevelopment Plans Unit
Home-Sharing Unit
Van Nuys DSC
6262 Van Nuys Boulevard, Suite 251
Van Nuys, CA 91401
P: (818) 374-5050
West Los Angeles DSC
1828 Sawtelle Boulevard, 2nd Floor
West Los Angeles, CA 90025
P: (310) 231-2901
* Note: DSC are open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except Wednesday, when operations start at 9:00 a.m.