Land Use Matters Publication July 7, 2015

Land Use Matters, Alston & Bird LLP, July 2015

Land Use Matters

City of Los Angeles

City Council

New PLUM Committee Members
City Council President Herb Wesson expanded the number of members on the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee from three to five and appointed Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Council District 8, Vice-Chair, and Felipe Fuentes, Council District 7, as a new member.

Sign Ordinance Update
At the PLUM Committee meeting on June 30, 2015, the Department of City Planning (DCP) presented a report on Versions A and B of the draft sign ordinance in response to instructions received at the December 16, 2014, committee meeting (see Alston & Bird’s December 2014 edition of Land Use Matters). Version B of the sign ordinance only includes provisions that the City Planning Commission (CPC) considered in March 2009. Version A includes four provisions requested by PLUM that the CPC did not consider. Version A grants: 1) zoning administrator authority to approve relocating an off-site sign on the same lot; 2) amnesty for several hundred existing off-site signs that either have no permit or have a permit that is not in compliance; 3) planning director authority to adjust design standards regulating digital display signs on historic facades; and 4) permission to use vinyl materials to change the copy on certain pre-1986 mural signs. PLUM directed the DCP to send Version A to the CPC for consideration and directed the city attorney to draft a sign ordinance combining Versions A and B and to return it to PLUM in September 2015.

Short-Term Rental Ordinance
On June 2, 2015, the city council approved a motion directing the DCP and the city attorney to draft an ordinance governing short-term rentals. The ordinance is to contain provisions allowing hosts to rent part or all of their primary residence while at home or away and prohibits renting units covered by the Rent Stabilization Ordinance. A provision to capture Transient Occupancy Tax from all hosts will also be included in the ordinance.

California Environmental Quality Act

Two CEQA Judges Leave L.A. Superior Court
Two designated CEQA judges will be leaving the bench in Los Angeles Superior Court. Judge Luis Lavin has been appointed to Division Three of the Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District. Judge Thomas McKnew will be retiring as of the end of July 2015. Since CEQA cases are decided by designated CEQA judges (not juries), Alston & Bird will be closely monitoring the appointment of new CEQA judges.


This publication by Alston & Bird LLP provides a summary of significant developments to our clients and friends. It is intended to be informational and does not constitute legal advice regarding any specific situation. This material may also be considered attorney advertising under court rules of certain jurisdictions.

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