In an attempt to make L.A.’s permit process easier to navigate for developers and business, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Tuesday opened a development services office.

The new development services office, which is at the Department of Building and Safety, groups workers from five city departments that oversee development projects. Each development project will be assigned a single case manager who will help the developer get through the permit and approval process and resolve any conflicts that arise.

“This office is a concrete example of how we’re rethinking and reforming L.A.’s development process to make development reform work for everyone,” Villaraigosa said. “We are remaking city government to operate more efficiently to serve the businesses who create jobs and generate revenue for the city.”

The development services office is one part of a broader effort by Villaraigosa to overhaul the city’s complex permitting process, which developers and business owners say discourage them from pursing projects or expansions. The full development reform plan is expected to be released next week.

Last year, then-chief deputy mayor Austin Beutner abandoned a previous effort to reduce the number of agencies handing out permits or approvals from 12 to 2. That effort generated bureaucratic turf battles and had ground to a halt. Beutner has raised more than $200,000 toward a mayoral campaign. Villaraigosa can’t run again due to local term limit.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.