Tue, Aug

Developers Get New Help Desk as 3-1-1 Cuts Back to Bankers’ Hours

EQUAL TIME FOR THE PEOPLE? – It’s good to be a developer in Los Angeles.  On Tuesday, it got even better as Mayor Villaraigosa christened the new “Development Services Case Management Office” to streamline the approvals process for development projects in the city.  The results?

Now, every project will be assigned a single case manager who will help businesses navigate the process, including entitlements, permitting and public improvements.  This should mean no more City Hall suitcase tours for developers, who historically have had to visit 12 or more departments to secure approvals.

In the interest of efficiency, this is a welcome and long overdue step.  But I am left wondering whether the FBI, which is investigating the Building and Safety Department, will be setting up a little kiosk near the developers’ help desk just to keep an eye on things.  After all, the new office doesn’t change the fact that bribery and fraud are crimes, as are violations of the city charter and building and zoning codes.

Developers getting concierge service comes as we the people get our 3-1-1 service cut back.  Beginning next week, after Carmageddon, the 3-1-1 call center for the public will eliminate nighttime hours.  The day shift will end at 4:45.

But there is some consolation here.  Hopefully the city workers who are losing their jobs will be able to pick up some construction work with all the new buildings that apparently are on the horizon.  For the rest of us, well, I am told we will be able to enjoy some snappy new tunes that are coming to the “Hold” music lineup on 3-1-1.

I guess now’s not a good time to ask Mayor V for a Resident Services Concierge.

(Cary Brazeman, a CityWatch contributor, is a neighborhood council board member and founder of LA Neighbors United.  Contact him at [email protected] or through www.LAneighbors.org)   -cw

Tags: developers, Development services Case Management Office, FBI, Building and Safety Department, 311

Vol 9 Issue 56
Pub: July 15, 2011