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Design Review Board Spring Training Recap!

By Jane Choi and Michelle Levy
On Friday, May 11 and Friday, May 18, City Planning Staff from the Valley, Central and West-South Project Planning Geo Teams hosted the Citywide Design Review Board Member Trainings. Design Review Boards are comprised of citizen volunteers generally appointed by the City Council offices.

These all day events were attended by over 50 of the 90 Design Review Board Members that serve on one of 13 Design Review Boards representing communities from the North Valley to South Los Angeles.


The day began with a discussion led by Lisa Webber, Deputy Director, and Shana Bonstin, Principal City Planner, with the board chairs and vice chairs about the unique roles that they play in creating a welcoming and fair experience for all involved in the design review process. Topics included ideas and guidelines for leading effective meetings and working with the DRB Project Planner as a resource in managing the multiple facets of a DRB meeting.




























The rest of the board members joi…

City Planning Partners with Council Districts at Metro DSC!

On Wednesday May 14, City Planning staff at the Metro Development Services Center, or DSC, opened its doors to Council District Planning Directors and Deputies.

The behind-the-scenes tour allowed Planners and Council staff to create better partnerships and strengthen communication! City Planning works more effectively and efficiently if community members know the ins and outs of project planning and processing. And no one knows each district of Los Angeles better than their Council District Planning Directors and Deputies.
Their input is vital to us staying informed and well versed in working on our shared vision.

As they work on the front lines each day with Angelenos, District Planning Directors feel the pulse of Los Angeles. At the same time, planners at our Metro DSC are getting that same first hand feedback from customers.


Naturally, the Department felt it critical to allow Council staff to witness a day in the life of a planner at the counter.

Some of our services, like housing, hi…

City Planning Teams Move to Figueroa Plaza!

The city of Los Angeles might grow quickly, but the Department of City Planning grows even faster!
Due to the recent uptick in the size of the department’s staff, several units have made an exciting move to Figueroa Plaza - this is to accommodate space in City Hall for all the additional new staff members.
The Office of Historic Resources (OHR), the Historic Preservation Overlay Zones Office, the Urban Design Studio and Major Projects have made the move.
The OHR was first, taking the trip east to 221 N. Figueroa St., Suite 1350, on April 9th. Major Projects and Urban Design joined them on the same floor with additional staff on the 14th floor.

The OHR is now in the same complex as the City’s Development Services Center, which helps us group more of the department’s public-facing functions together.
As a heads up, all email addresses stay the same, but phone numbers have changed! Find the new numbers here. It’s a new building and a new environment, but with the same great employees doing th…

Enhancing the LAX Pedestrian Experience

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), like a number of larger and older airports in the country, was not originally designed for the pedestrian experience – whether it’s a visitor or one of the thousands of employees who keep people and goods moving. Today, pedestrians find it simply challenging to navigate around the airport. That’s why the City Planning Department and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) are working to address these issues through a variety of planning and infrastructure efforts. As we try to create more sustainable and resilient communities, we look at ways to become more transit dependent to get around. Some would say that this future starts at LAX. The City has invested billions of dollars to modernize the airport. In fact, the City Council just approved a people mover. Thanks to Metro, more Angelenos will also soon have a direct connection to LAX through the Crenshaw Line, which will connect our southern Los Angeles neighborhoods to Inglewood and the airport. The…

Planning 101 2.0- Project Planning!

Have you ever wondered how your local restaurant, a nearby apartment building, or a housing development was given the green light?

You have an opportunity to learn a basic overview of how projects in the City get a stamp of approval. Back by popular demand is the Department’s Planning 101 training! This time, we will be back in your community talking about the basic elements of the City’s development process and key points for public participation. We will also introduce you to our Project Planning Bureau – the team who receives, processes, reviews, and issues recommendations for various types of cases.



Last summer, City Planning hosted Planning 101’s in six regions to explain how policies and goals are developed

From the Harbor to the Northeast San Fernando Valley, we were so thrilled to be able to meet and talk to nearly 400 fellow Angelenos who were both familiar with and new to planning. We're excited to be teaming up once again with the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment on thi…