CtX9zWgUAAEn50l.jpg

Sat, October 8th, 10am – 1pm

Confused about what’s being built in your community (and what isn’t)?  Learn how City Planning works!

Free Planning & Land Use 101 crash course with special guests:

Kevin Ocubillo | Transportation & Planning Deputy
Office of Councilmember José Huizar, City Council District 14 | City of Los Angeles

Craig Weber | Principal City Planner
Department of City Planning | City of Los Angeles

Haydee Urita-Lopez | City Planner
Community Planning Bureau | Boyle Heights Plan | City of Los Angeles

Saturday, October 8th, 2016, 10am – 1pm
3750 Verdugo Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90065

screen_shot_2016-09-23_at_25108_pm-1474668582-9979.jpg

The voice of the Dodgers, the voice of baseball, Vin Scully will call his final game at Dodgers stadium Sunday after 67 years in the booth.

It’s the endless and favorite debate of all sports fans: Who is the greatest of all time?

Babe Ruth? Wayne Gretzky? Michael Jordan? Joe Montana?

When it comes to baseball broadcasters, few would debate Vin Scully’s place at the top of the list.

This weekend’s series against the Rockies will mark the last time Vin Scully will call a game from Dodgers stadium. His 67 years with the Dodgers is the longest tenure of a broadcaster in any sport. City Councilman Gil Cedillo declared Friday Vin Scully Day, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will present Scully with the key to the city.

But it’s too late. Scully’s been in LA’s homes and hearts for the better part of a century. Continue reading

businessportal.jpg

The City of Los Angeles is making it easy to start a business with the launch of its new online platform: Los Angeles Business Portal, a one-stop-shop that has all the information you need to get your business of the ground.

The online portal is a hub of resources that will guide new business owners through what can sometimes be a daunting process. The site’s features, such as the “Start Up Guide,” can quickly map out how to register your new business and be compliant city city rules, while other features share information on growth and management. The easy-to-navigate resource finder details what roles each City Department plays for your business.

See what the LA Business Portal has to offer by visiting business.lacity.org.

The-Bayswater-1-bed-Kit-Home-by-Best-Granny-Flats.jpg

This week, the City Council voted to grant legal status to existing second dwelling units, i.e., granny flats, and impose greater restrictions on future units. To help understand the Council’s new ruling, here is a breakdown of how it will impact you.

What are the New Restrictions?

As a result of the City Council’s recent action, granny flats that were constructed, under construction or received building permits, between June 23, 2003, and September 30, 2016 are granted legal status. The law applies to roughly 550 granny flats citywide, many of which were constructed years ago. Secondly, the City Council also fixed LA’s granny flats law to keep it more restrictive than state law. Beginning in October, anyone who applies for a granny flat can only build one that is 640 square feet or smaller, on a lot larger than 7,500 square feet. Granny flats will have the same setback, height and floor area limitations as primary residences and will not be permitted in hillside neighborhoods.

Why is the new ordinance necessary?

Prior to 2002, LA permitted the construction of granny flats under a discretionary Conditional Use Permit process. In 2002, the state legislature enacted AB 1866, which required California cities to allow granny flats by right. The state law removed LA’s local discretion from the process. The new city ordinance appropriately bridges the local and state guidelines

Why is grandfathering fair?

People across Los Angeles who built, were building or applied to build a granny flat from 2003 to today were treading in legally ambiguous waters. They had done everything right under city rules, but those rules were found to be faulty. The Planning Department said, and the City Council agreed, that it would be fundamentally unfair to deny legal status to granny flats in this situation, especially since Angelenos invested considerable time and money to comply with the law that existed when they applied for a granny flat permit.

The grandfathering period expires on Sept. 30, in less than a week. The City Attorney recommended a date certain to provide a clear end to the grandfather period to prevent confusion for future permit seekers. Over the past six months, the Department of Building and Safety has reported only about 20 applications for granny flats citywide. There has not been a “rush to the counter” by developers or others seeking to grandfather a granny flat.

How this will impact your neighborhood?

There should be little impact and minimal disruption to your neighborhood resulting from this ordinance. It fixes a legal problem for the city and provides certainty and fairness to homeowners moving forward. Homeowners have been able to build granny flats throughout California for many years. Now, there is the benefit of certainty about exactly what is and is not legal.

Circa-mixed-use-development-23393.jpg

A proposal calling for a moratorium on building projects so big they require zoning or land-use exceptions, has qualified for the ballot.

The city clerk said today proponents of a ballot initiative that would temporarily halt development in Los Angeles have turned in enough signatures for the measure to go before voters.

The city clerk’s office examined a random sampling of the 103,816 signatures turned in by the Coalition to Preserve L.A. and found that the group’s petition met the minimum threshold of 61,487 valid signatures needed to qualify the measure for the ballot.

The City Council now has 20 days from Sept. 16 — the official issuance of the clerk’s sufficiency certificate — to decide if it wants to adopt the proposed ordinance as-is, without any changes, or put the issue before voters in a special election or regularly scheduled city or county election, the earliest of which would be in March.

The initiative would temporarily ban, for up to two years, projects that are denser, taller or contain more floor area than is allowed in existing zoning and land-use rules for the area.

Developers must routinely ask the city to grant exceptions — known as general plan amendments — for those types of projects to be built. The coalition contends the process has become standard practice and creates cozy relationships between City Council members and developers.

Continue reading

unnamed-67.jpg

Aside from a free digital subscription to the New York Times, the access and benefits an LA Public Library card can provide really does make it the best card in LA.

You can use your Los Angeles Public Library card to access everything from free online classes to live homework help to digital downloads of music, magazines and movies — and save you thousands of dollars. Here’s a short list of some of the perks an LA Public Library card brings:

  • Freegal: Freegal allows users to download up to five music track downloads a week from the Sony Music catalog, plus unlimited streaming music.
  • hoopla: hoopla is a digital media platform that gives access to digital entertainment content from either mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets and/or via any browser. hoopla offers e-books, e-comics, full length feature movies, episodic television programming, full musical albums and unabridged e-audiobooks.
  • Lynda.com: Lynda.com is an award-winning online learning site that offers more than more than 3,000 courses taught by recognized industry experts, and 150,000 video tutorials on business, technical and creative skills.
  • Mango Languages: Free, online language-learning courses in more than 70 different languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic and Russian. You can also learn on the go with the Mango Mobile app for iPhone and Android.
  • Zinio: Zinio offers full color, interactive digital magazines. Browse from a collection of popular titles with no holds, no checkout periods, and no limit to the number of magazines you can download.

So don’t wait and sign up for a card at your local branch today!

Since September is Library Card Sign-up Month, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a gift bag filled with library goodies, including several items from the Library Store when you share a photo of you holding your library card with the LA Public Library on Twitter or Instagram from now through Sept. 30. Go to www.lapl.org/card for more information.