Responding to years of complaints about the city's cumbersome building approval process, L.A. city officials Tuesday announced plans to cut the red tape faced by developers.

The so-called "12 to 2" building reform plan unveiled Tuesday by L.A Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti would reduce the number of departments that a builder must directly interact with from the current 12 to two.

"Business owners and builders will go to the Planning Department for their entitlements and Building and Safety for their permits, and that's it," Garcetti said.

The city's move was applauded by the local business community, which has long complained about the complexity of obtaining building and project approvals.

"Streamlining project entitlement and permitting in the city of Los Angeles will eliminate many unnecessary costs, confusion and delays that discourage good development in L.A.," said Russell Goldsmith, chief executive City National Bank and chairman of the mayor's Los Angeles Economy and Jobs Committee. The committee had recommended cutting the number of agencies dealing with the building process.

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