Acting on a promise to cut bureaucratic red tape at City Hall, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday announced a measure to speed up building inspections for major projects and restaurants in the city.
Garcetti’s initiative calls on the Building and Safety Department to assign a case manager for all major construction projects and restaurant openings. That case manager – in most instances paid for by the builder – will be responsible for coordinating inspections among city agencies, chiefly Building and Safety, the Department of Water & Power and the Fire Department.
Until now, it’s been up to the builders and the expediters they hire to coordinate city inspections from as many as 12 departments. This has caused considerable frustration and delays for builders. In some cases, the delays have been so long – a year or more – that the projects have had to be scuttled.
Garcetti, who made the announcement while leading a city trade mission through Asia this week, said this new inspection case management program could shave as much as six months off construction time for major projects and restaurants.
“This back to basics initiative cuts red tape and increases customer service to make L.A. more attractive to investments that create jobs,” Garcetti said. “When you’re investing in L.A., City Hall should be there to help you and not add delays to your work order.”
Garcetti said that the program is already underway; so far, 13 projects with a combined valuation of $904 million have had case managers assigned.
Major projects with valuations greater than $10 million are eligible for a full-time dedicated inspector for the duration of project construction. Smaller projects will be evaluated and assisted on a case-by-case basis.
A similar program has been in place for several years at the Planning Department, where developers have been able to pay extra to have a case manager assigned to fast-track project approvals.
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