LA's Planning Department Is Growing After Years Of Decline

LA's planning department plans to hire 20 staffers to push through a backlog of new housing projects and help advance revitalization efforts for the Los Angeles River.

"The influx of planners and zoning administrators comes after years of budget cuts and hiring freezes that left the short-staffed city department scrambling to approve scores of complex applications for Downtown developments that have been choking in the pipeline for months at a time.

...Staff has been whittled down to 280 people. City planners respond to the demands of nearly 4 million city residents, 15 council members, the mayor's office, and pressure from developers, activists and neighborhood councils. The result was low morale and a daunting logjam of permits and plans.

The department had also been buffeted by several key departures, among them longtime director Con Howe last year, as well as several senior zoning administrators who have retired or taken leave. Under the new plan, six people have already been hired, with 14 others expected to join the department by month's end."

Full Story: A Planning Plan With Promise

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