Applying for an entitlement application can be a lengthy process with various steps and levels of review involved along the way. The best way to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible is by submitting a complete application package for City Planning to review.
Prior to filing a case, applicants are encouraged to consult with a planner at one of City Planning’s Development Services Centers (DSC) to learn about the approvals that will be needed before they can apply for a building permit. This is commonly referred to as “pre-filing” and is the time during which an applicant initiates contact to ask questions and prepares to submit an application. During this time, the applicant may also consult with other city departments to learn about their respective requirements.
Accessing the necessary application material and instructions, commonly referred to as “Forms,” is the first step in the development review process. While requirements may vary, applications for a discretionary project normally consists of the following materials:
- City Planning Application, which includes the project location, its description ,and the requested entitlements;
- Project Plans, which can include a site plan, floor plans, building elevations, and renderings of the proposed project;
- Supplemental material, such as referral forms from the applicable geographic division or entitlement-specific material that provides additional background information for certain application types; and
- Mailing labels with the addresses of residents and property owners who live within a certain radius of the proposed project. These labels are used for mailing a project’s hearing notice to the surrounding community, if a public hearing is required.
Today it is easier than ever to find the necessary planning forms and application requirements online, through City Planning’s website. The department has also made it possible to submit and pay for many applications online. As an added convenience, the fee estimator on the website helps applicants approximate the fees associated with a potential project.
Planning Forms can be found under the “Quick Links” subheader of the “Development Services” menu. Of the wide range of applications available to the public, one of the most important is the Department of City Planning Application. Information required to fill out this eight-page document includes the address of the proposed project, a description, and related cases and documents. The application is available for download as a fillable PDF, and City Planning has also produced instructions for filling out the form.
To support social distancing practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, City Planning has established drop-off areas in secure, monitored locations outside all three DSCs. Applicants may drop off their plans and applications in one of these secured and monitored physical boxes during regular business hours. The addresses of the DSCs are below and on the Locations & Hours page of the Department’s website.
201 N. Figueroa Street, 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Van Nuys DSC
6262 Van Nuys Boulevard, Suite 251
Van Nuys, CA 91401
West Los Angeles DSC
1828 Sawtelle Boulevard, 2nd Floor
West Los Angeles, CA 90025