Our guest for this episode of the EmpowerLA Podcast is Lisette Covarrubias, Neighborhood Liaison for the Department of City Planning. After working for almost a decade with the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, Lisette is back working with the people of Los Angeles as a friendly neighborhood face at the Planning Department. As someone who was born, raised, and still lives in LA, Lisette knows the City well and in our conversation she offers a wealth of knowledge about the planning process, the role neighborhood councils play in that process, and the future of our City. I hope you enjoy the interview!





Show Notes:

Neighborhood Liaison
The Neighborhood Liaison position traces some of its origins to this 2010-11 Blueprint from the Department of City Planning

“By right” projects
As Lisette mentioned, “by right” development refers to those projects that are permitted under the current zoning plan and do not require any action from the Department of City Planning. Such projects are reviewed by the Department of Building and Safety.

Hearing notices
Hearing notices are some of the most reliable means of communicating planning projects to the community. You can subscribe to the various “Commission & Hearings” through the Department of City Planning’s website.

Neighborhood Councils and the Planning Process 

Certified Neighborhood Councils have special privileges other entities do not, including receipt of duplicate case filings for the neighborhood councils to review and a bi-weekly report of case filings by Neighborhood Council district. Neighborhood Councils are also part of the general Department of City Planning Master Application process where consultation with them is seen as helpful for the applicant.

General Plan/Plan Updates
A General Plan is the blueprint for the City that sets long-term policies for its development. According to the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, the “General Plan is a dynamic document consisting of several elements, as well as the Land Use Element, which consists of the plans for each of the City’s 35 Community Plan Areas. It is approved by the City Planning Commission and adopted by the City Council.”

Planning 101s
In 2017, the Department of City Planning partnered with us at the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment to lead a series of workshops called Planning 101s to help neighborhood councils and the people they serve better understand the planning process. The workshops were extraordinarily well attended and the Planning Department expects to host another series of workshops in the coming year.

A portion of the Cheers theme song (“Where Everybody Knows Your Name”) appears briefly in this episode. It was written by Gary Portnoy, Judy Hart Angelo, and Julian Williams and performed by Gary Portnoy.

EmpowerLA’s monthly podcast is produced by Arin Abedian and hosted by Brett Shears.  

The views expressed in the EmpowerLA Podcast do not necessarily reflect those of EmpowerLA or the City of Los Angeles. The veracity of any claims made during the recording are the sole responsibility of the host and guest(s).