L.A. City Council Considers Lowering Appeal Fee for Developers

At the Los Angeles City Council meeting tomorrow, council members such as Ed Reyes, who chairs the powerful Planning and Land Use Management Committee, will consider lowering a planning department appeal fee for real estate developers while raising that same fee for citizens, according to community activists.

The move already has community groups mobilizing for a showdown at Tuesday's council meeting.

Daniel Wright of the Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance, for example, sent out a mass email to its members and other neighborhood activists saying that the "fees appear to be more intended to discourage the exercise of your right to appeal than to meet the city's obligations to you."

Wright, who's a land use and environmental attorney, says that instead

of a real estate developer having to cover 85 percent of a planning

department appeal fee for a given project, the developer would now pay

a fraction of that cost and the citizen would be asked to pick up more of the tab.

For example, instead of a developer doling out $85,000 for an appeal fee and a citizen the typical $73, Wright says, the real estate honcho will pay around $13,000 and the regular joe will be charged up to $500.

Community activists have been urging citizens to contact their city council members about the appeal fee switcheroo.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at


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