Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is City Planning still open for business?

Yes. City Planning is open for business; however, the public counters and most of the planning offices have been temporarily closed in response to COVID-19. Consult the staff directory to contact a member of the department. Planning staff remain accessible by phone and email.

Have counter services been impacted by COVID-19?

City Planning has modified the operations at the Development Services Center (DSCs) to help protect the public and the employees who serve the City. While the public counters are not accepting in-person appointments, certain modifications have been made to allow for the online submission of planning documents as well as the physical drop off of project applications.

Are new project applications being accepted at the public counters?

Yes. A new physical drop-off system has been set up outside of the three DSC locations where planning staff is located: Figueroa Plaza (Downtown), Marvin Braude Building (Van Nuys), and Sawtelle Municipal (West Los Angeles) building. These drop-off areas have replaced the need for in-person meetings, providing a secure location for project application submittals. For the most up-to-date information, visit the public counter page on City Planning’s website.

How can members of the community file an appeal application?

Non-applicant appeals can now be submitted and paid for entirely online. City Planning has established a new online appeal portal, which has further reduced the need to commute to one of the DSCs in order to physically drop off an appeal application. For additional information―including, step-by-step instructions, click here.

How can the public access case files and environmental documents?

City Planning is continuing to offer the public the ability to view case files, including any documents associated with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Contact the Records Management Division by phone (213) 847-3753 or email planning.recordsmgmt@lacity.org to schedule an appointment. Please note that the office is currently open to the public on a limited basis and by appointment only.

How can community members stay apprised when new project applications are filed?

People can subscribe online to receive electronic reports for project applications requiring planning approvals. These reports are generated on a biweekly basis and also provided to certified neighborhood councils across the City.

Is City Planning still reviewing issuing determination letters for project applications?

City Planning is doing what it can to strike a balance between maintaining a safe environment and continuing to support Los Angeles’s housing and economic growth. To that end, the department is continuing to review applications for projects that have either had or do not require a public hearing. Additional steps have been taken to ensure that the determination letters for these projects are uploaded on the Planning Document Information System (PDIS) shortly after their release, in order to provide the public with easier access to these documents.

When will public hearings be reinstated?

City Planning took the necessary steps shortly after the Mayor’s executive orders to postpone public hearings and meetings in order to keep Angelenos safe. Since then, City Planning has implemented new procedures to allow for public hearings and outreach meetings to take place in a virtual format. This remote format, conducted via teleconference, will allow public participation to resume while still maintaining proper physical distancing protocols. For more information, visit the Commissions, Boards, and Hearings page on City Planning’s website.