L.A.'s New Mayor Halts Planning Department Merger

A controversial plan to merge L.A.'s Planning and Building and Safety Departments has been scuttled, for now. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who supported the merger as a councilman, announced it will not go forward in January as his predecessor had planned.

"Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday that he plans to halt the merger of two major agencies that the city was looking to consolidate in an effort to streamline approval of real estate projects," reports Michael Finnegan. The announcement came a month after two councilmen introduced a measure seeking to delay the merger's implementation.

"Garcetti’s effort to block the merger would kill a major initiative of his predecessor, Antonio Villaraigosa. After years of complaints from developers about a cumbersome approval process that required project reviews by more than a dozen city agencies, Villaraigosa included the merger in his final budget. The City Council approved the plan. Garcetti, then a councilman, voted for it."

“I liked it in the abstract, but in the concrete, I don’t think it’s ready to go,” Garcetti said Tuesday.

Full Story: Garcetti says he'll stop merger of Los Angeles building agencies

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