Planning Applications & Entitlements

Development projects vary in scale and complexity, ranging from home renovation to the construction of a new apartment building. The review process a project goes through and the approvals it requires depend on the project’s description and entitlement application.

By-Right / Ministerial Projects

A by-right or ministerial project is one that does not require discretionary review by Los Angeles City Planning. These types of projects can proceed directly to the Department of Building and Safety to request a building permit(s) because they meet the existing standards and zoning regulations outlined in the Los Angeles Municipal Code and their scope does not trigger discretionary entitlement review.

Note: A building permit may require sign-off from other departments at the public counter, even if the project does not require planning review or approval.

Administrative Approvals

The By-Right/Ministerial permitting process may also involve administrative approvals to verify compliance with regulations or guidelines, most commonly those of an overlay. Sign-off for these approvals is non-discretionary and can be conducted at the public counter, or by a planner assigned to a specific geography, before the applicant receives a building permit.

By-Right or Ministerial Permitting Process

step1
Application
Filing

Development Services Center

step1
Building Permit
Sign-Off

Development Services Center

step1
Building Permit
Issuance

Department of Building & Safety

 

Discretionary Entitlement Projects

A discretionary entitlement is a planning approval granted to an applicant to allow for a specific type of land use and/or to allow for the construction, modification, or use of a building. The approval of an entitlement involves a formal discretionary application process, and may require a public hearing prior to issuing a recommendation or a determination letter to approve or deny. Examples of some commonly requested land use entitlements in the City of Los Angeles include: Conditional Use Permits, Zoning Administrator Determinations, Zone Changes, Subdivisions, Site Plan Review, and Project Permit Compliance.

Entitlement Review Process

step1
Application
Filing

Development Services Center

step1
Project
Review

City Planning

step1
Determination of
Decision

Project Denial/Approval

step1
Building Permit
Issuance

Department of Building & Safety

 

Projects that require a discretionary entitlement must attain a determination letter of approval before receiving approval of a building permit.