Processes and Procedures

Proposed Process Overhaul Released - City Planning Standardizes Project Review

on September 07, 2017

Today, the re:code LA team of City Planning unveiled a proposal that will cut the number of project review processes in half. This new set of processes & procedures will maintain long-standing opportunities for public participation, and make it easier for both applicants and the public to clearly understand how the Department considers use and development proposals and how to navigate the decision-making process.

Currently, there are over 100 different paths for project review scattered throughout the Zoning Code. For example, there are four types of adjustments for projects covered by overlays – an additional layer of design and building standards. While the same process applies for all four types of adjustments, they have different names and are located in different sections of the Zoning Code. The team identified each instance of redundant workflows and consolidated them down to about 50 processes with unique actions. We have prepared a comparison table of the proposed and existing processes to help illustrate how each is related.

The proposed changes result in a more consistent and standardized set of processes & procedures. To help users navigate the Code, this proposal includes new sections to outline the administration of the Code and authorities by decision-maker, provide a process summary table by planning entitlement, and describe actions requiring multiple approvals.

The new processes and procedures will be the second major part of a larger effort to update the City’s Zoning Code; the first part was the new R1 Variation Zones that went into effect in March 2017. The proposal will lay the groundwork for a more user-friendly set of guidelines. As a part of the proposed action, the new administrative provisions will go into a new Chapter 1A of the Municipal Code and will apply to both the existing Zoning Code (Chapter 1 of the Municipal Code) and the new one when it goes into effect. Chapter 1A will eventually serve as the only Zoning Code for the City of Los Angeles; however, it will be adopted in phases, intended to replace the content of Chapter 1 over time, and implementing the policies of Community Plans as they are adopted.

Pending Council adoption, the City will have in place a new, consistent format for the review of planning projects. Whether a homeowner is looking to apply for a fence height adjustment or a developer is interested in obtaining a conditional use permit for a hotel project, these updated processes & procedures add greater clarity to planning considerations.

"Anyone – regardless of their level of understanding – will now be able to pick up our Zoning Code and navigate from one section to the next. These changes are fundamentally about making our work more accessible and relatable to Angelenos."
- Vince Bertoni, Director of the Department of City Planning


Join us online or in person and let us know what you think!


The proposed processes & procedures are posted on our project website's MarkUp system and will be available for direct commenting from now until November 7, 2017. MarkUp lets you browse, download, and comment on draft documents, and provides a great opportunity to directly shape re:code LA. If this is your first time using MarkUp, we've prepared a quick walk-through on how it works.

City Planning will hold a series of open houses and public hearings in September to gather feedback on the proposal, after which time a revised recommendation will be considered by the City Planning Commission and City Council for approval. Below is the list of open houses and public hearings:


Open House & Public Hearing #1

City Hall, Room 1050,
200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles

DATE: Tuesday, September 19, 2017

TIME: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm


Open House & Public Hearing #2

Felicia Mahood Multipurpose Center, Community Room
11338 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles

DATE: Tuesday, September 19, 2017

TIME: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm


Open House & Public Hearing #3

Marvin Braude Constituent Service Center, Community Rooms 1a & 1b
6262 Van Nuys Blvd, Los Angeles

DATE: Wednesday, September 20, 2017

TIME: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm


Open House & Public Hearing #4

Constituent Service Center, Community Conference Room
8475 S. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles

DATE: Thursday, September 21, 2017

TIME: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm


For more details on these meetings, please refer to the Public Hearing Notice.


re:code LA is a comprehensive revision of the City of Los Angeles’ Zoning Code, and is one of the City’s largest planning initiatives to date. First adopted in 1946, the Zoning Code’s overall structure has remained the same, while the needs of the City have changed drastically. The project will create a Zoning Code that provides a whole new set of land use and development regulations that realize the needs of a 21st Century Los Angeles for all stakeholders.

PDF icon P&P_Staff_Hearing_Notice.pdf47.65 KB