CITY HALL - The City’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee took action this week on Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s “Open for Business” reform initiative, which aims to streamline the way entrepreneurs obtain permits, cut the bureaucratic red tape associated with opening a business, and reduce upfront costs so operators can open their doors faster and keep them open.
The committee members heard from the Los Angeles Department of City Planning and the Department of Building and Safety as to steps they have taken following the motions that were introduced by O’Farrell in the summer of 2016.
“Through my reform initiative, we have increased inter-department coordination which has improved the overall experience of applicants wanting to do business with the city,” said Councilmember O’Farrell. “Entrepreneurs pour their heart and soul into their businesses, often times investing their life savings. They are the backbone of our local economy and contribute to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods. I want to thank the city departments who are working to improve the customer service experience with our small business operators.”
According to City Planning and Building and Safety, the departments implemented the following changes to their programs: eliminated grant terms for good operators while keeping the City’s discretion in place to condition serial violators and “bad operators”, initiated and retooled several programs to oversee functions, such as the Monitoring, Verification, Inspection Program (MViP), Beverage/Entertainment Streamlining Program (BEST), and the Concierge program. Planning also created a centralized process managed by the Department to track problem cases.
The committee made recommendations, and asked department staff to report back to the committee and the full City Council.