Monday, February 28, 2005

Mayor James Hahn Asks Neighborhood Councils to Help Vet LA's New Planning Director.

Quick -- who is LA's City Planning Director?

Ok -- don't feel bad. No one knows who he is, other than, of course, Mrs. Con Howe, and I wouldn't even want to put a lot of money on that bet. For a variety of reason's (the CRA, the powers of councilpersons in their own districts, etc.), the City Planning Department has become a backwater with little impact on the actual planning of the development of Los Angeles. But all that may changed -- either under a new Mayor or by the appointment of a new Planning Director by the current Mayor. See the below e-mail I just received from the Mayor:

As Neighborhood Councils continue to grow and develop in our City, I
want you to be a part of important city decisions before they are made.
Since planning issues are of great concern at the most local levels, I
want to make sure that Neighborhood Councils are involved in the
selection of the City's next planning director.

I need your input to help develop the key selection criteria that will
guide my selection of the best candidate for the job. Surveys will be
available for you and public comment will be heard throughout March at
the following Area Planning Commission (APC) and Planning Commission

City Planning Commission March 10
South Valley APC March 10
South LA APC March 15
Harbor APC March 15
West LA APC March 16
North Valley APC March 17
Central APC March 22
East LA APC March 23
City Planning Commission March 31

Additionally, I will appoint a seven-member Neighborhood Council
advisory group to interview the final three candidates for Director of

Planning to make a hiring recommendation directly to me. One
Neighborhood Council representative from each of the City's Planning
Areas will comprise the advisory group.

The Planning Director is an important position in our City, and I look
forward to hearing from your councils and the community. I will make
sure our new Planning Director will promote sensible, balanced and
proactive planning to preserve single-family neighborhoods, manage
development in key areas, promote affordable housing, and stimulate
mixed-use development and 'green' construction, especially near
public transportation.

I look forward to your input and working with you on this important

Very Truly Yours,

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