The Times does an investigative type piece and finds more troubling news out of Building & Safety. Apparently they have a secret division set up to speed projects along. The horror! Actually, this is really dumb. God forbid the City implement ways to make things work more smoothly and speed up the development process. (We should state that even we've used the Case Management division - unsuccessfully we might add, but it doesn't really seem so secret if even we know about it. -ed.) The Times piece takes a look at how the division has helped political insiders get projects sped through the process, while others have had to languish for months in the bureaucracy of the department.
"...agency spokesman Robert Steinbach flatly denied that department decisions are influenced by whether an applicant is a city commissioner or a political donor.We say, the City should implement more ways to speed the permitting process. For small fries without the cash or time to waste, the bureaucracy of the City is killing a lot of decent projects and helping to make the cost of housing go higher and higher. Boo!
"It's not who you are, it's what the project is," Steinbach said. "The decision to include a project in the Case Management Unit is based on the complexity and sensitivity of the project and whether it needs handling to be guided through the process. It has nothing to do with who called it in."
Steinbach said the special unit was formed to assist many kinds of complex projects and it was only a coincidence that some involved commissioners and donors to city politicians."
· Political Insiders Get Special Treatment From L.A. Building and Safety Department [LA Times]