Will L.A. Put the Brakes on Planning Department Consolidation?

Two Los Angeles councilmen have introduced a measure seeking to delay implementation of one of former Mayor Villaraigosa's last major initiatives - the merging of the city's Planning and Building & Safety departments.
September 18, 2013, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Councilmen Curren Price Jr. and Tom LaBonge have introduced a measure scheduled to be considered at Tuesday’s City Council meeting that would further delay the consolidation plan until after next year’s budget is adopted," reports Rick Orlov. "The motion asks consultants to look at the best practices of other cities and options other than consolidation."

"While business organizations such as the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and VICA support the consolidation, it has run into opposition from city employee groups, particularly the Engineer and Architects Association," notes Orlov. The plan was also supported by Mayor Eric Garcetti when he was a member of the Council. 

A team of private consultants is currently studying the merger, and is expected to issue recommendations (including "what is being done in other cities") next week. Matrix Consulting Group is soliciting feedback about the new department "from as many residents and Neighborhood Council members as possible" via an online survey. 

UPDATE: At yesterday's Council meeting, the Councilmen's proposal was sent to the Planning and Land Use Management Committee for review.

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Published on Monday, September 16, 2013 in Los Angeles Daily News
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