Cedillo to Expedite EIR Process in Planning Department

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 21, 2015

Los Angeles—Councilmember Cedillo continues to expand his House LA Initiative by introducing a motion to expedite the EIR process in the Planning Department. The motion calls for an expansion of the Planning Department’s Expedited Processing Section (EPS). As the City of Los Angles continues to struggle with a Housing Crisis, officials must do what they can to facilitate the growth in our housing stock. Established in 2003, the EPS of the Los Angeles Department of City Planning provides the public with a faster alternative for processing entitlement applications. Cases are “expedited” for an additional fee paid by the applicants and can yield a 30% to 50% time savings over the traditional process.

“The House LA Initiative aims to enhance current processes and ordinances that stand in the way of building the housing stock we need to meet our housing demand. Expediting the EIR process in the Planning Department will offer applicants relief in the already burdensome pipeline that can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months for approval. As Chair of Housing, I am looking for solutions, both short term and long term, to build more housing stock to make living in Los Angeles more affordable,” stated Councilmember Cedillo.

EPS is currently not available for projects that require a new EIR. Applicants therefore continue to be challenged with significant bottlenecks in the review of complex residential, commercial and mixed-use projects requiring a full EIR. Currently, the Department of City Planning estimates that an EIR case takes 12-18 months to complete, not including entitlements.

Recent data show 49 pending EIR cases in the Department of City Planning’s pipeline, representing approximately 23,700 housing units. This is in addition to over 600 other environmental cases pending in the Department of City Planning. Having the capacity to expedite approval of projects currently in the pipeline by reducing the time it takes to complete review of an EIR may help the City to address its current housing crisis and encourage other housing projects to be built.

Last month, Councilmember Cedillo introduced a series of motions to help incentivize production and meet our housing needs. The House LA Initiative includes the following: Site Plan Review Modifications; Permitting Micro Unit Housing; Deferring Fees; Expanding the Use of Shared Vehicles; Facilitating Accessory Dwelling Units; and Using City Owned Land As Sites for Affordable Housing.

Councilmember Gil Cedillo currently represents the 1st Council District, which includes all or  parts of the neighborhoods of Glassell Park, Cypress Park, Highland Park, Mt. Washington,  Solano Canyon, Sycamore Grove, Elysian Park, Echo Park, Westlake, Angelino Heights, Temple  Beaudry, Lafayette Park, Chinatown, Forgotten Edge, Lincoln Heights, Montecito Heights, Pico  Union, Adams-Normandie, University Park, Mid Cities and Mac Arthur Park.

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