Dear Angelenos:
In the midst of COVID-19, City Planning has come together as a Department to embrace the important role that we play in this City, not only in supporting Los Angeles’s long-range planning efforts but also in advancing new housing opportunities through the review of project applications. At each step in the process, we’ve taken concerted steps to strengthen our communications, recognizing that in challenging situations, our communities should have immediate access to the latest information.
As a Department, we’ve worked to foster a culture that values transparency and enjoys closer ties to Los Angeles’s neighborhoods. Whether for project applications or the initiation of new policy initiatives, our workplace is one that values open dialogue with the people and neighborhoods we serve.
In recent weeks, we’ve made some notable strides, reaching new milestones in how we communicate and share information with our stakeholders. These changes make it possible for us to share information related to project filings in real time. In doing so, we’ve increased the free flow of information and, once again, reaffirmed our steadfast commitment to transparency, openness, and community engagement.
Below is a snapshot of some of the ways we have adapted, and continue to adapt, during the pandemic.
Project Submissions
Beginning this month, as soon as a new case is created in our internal tracking system,
applicant materials will be uploaded immediately to the Planning Document
Information System (PDIS) — City Planning’s database for case summary information and documentation.
Making these materials immediately available online means customers no longer have to travel to City Hall to view them in person.
Bi-Weekly Case Filings and Web Mapping
City Planning’s Bi-Weekly Case Filing Reports provide a list of recently filed discretionary cases. These reports are regularly sent to the City’s certified neighborhood councils and are available to anyone who signs up online. The reports are also archived on City Planning’s website, where they are publicly accessible.
Recently, we’ve updated the existing reports to link application case numbers directly to PDIS to better integrate and share information across systems. Today, we also display that information on an interactive map, leveraging the capabilities of GIS to visualize potential development trends and patterns.
Hearing Notices and Letters
of Determination
PDIS continues to be a central source of information for cases under review by City Planning. With just one click, users can obtain useful information, including the project description,
name of the applicant, and hearing status.
Over the course of the last few weeks, City Planning has moved toward posting all public
hearing notices and Letters of Determination (LODs) online as soon as they are mailed out. Posting hearing notices and LODs online makes it faster and easier to obtain certain project files.
Email Notifications
In addition to meeting mandated requirements for the physical mail-out of hearing notices and LODs, City Planning is developing new protocols for emailing hearing notices and determination letters. These standardized protocols will ensure that applicants, interested parties, relevant council offices, and certified neighborhood councils are notified by email anytime a hearing notice and/or determination letter has been mailed out for a project.
The Department is also working to standardize the sign-up process for its interested parties lists. Whether for a project inquiry or the submission of a new case filing, City Planning is continuously exploring ways to improve its accessibility in order to keep the public apprised of project-related considerations.
New Weekly Completed Case Reports and Web Mapping
To ensure that people can stay informed, City Planning has developed a new notification report focused on reporting out completed discretionary cases. These are projects that have either been approved or denied upon further review by the Department.
Much like the Department’s Case Filing Reports, these electronic reports will be sent to neighborhood councils, relevant council offices, and any individual who signs up to receive them. The Completed
Case Reports will be posted on City
Planning’s website.
Soon, an interactive map displaying all completed discretionary cases will also appear on the website, illustrating where project determinations have been issued throughout the City. This new mapping application will enable the public to locate these projects and to filter locations by community plan areas, council districts, and certified neighborhood councils.
In Los Angeles, planning is how we unlock new economic and housing opportunities, and ensure the livelihood of so many of our residents. We’ve instituted these enhancements to support the free flow of information and our citywide community engagement efforts.
We continue to leverage technology to increase our access, reach, and visibility, and to help the public participate in decision-making at the local level. Beyond just automating certain services, these new ways of sharing information put Angelenos first, showcasing the creativity, commitment, and dedication of our talented staff.
Together, we are Planning4LA.
Vince Bertoni
Director of Planning