What Makes the Los Angeles Permit Expediter Different Part II

Last week, we did a deep dive into the historical and political factors of developing in Los Angeles and what makes being a Los Angeles Permit Expediter different. In this article, I will explain the permit side of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS). The key to understanding the Los Angeles building department is to remember the process is nuanced and requires to time to become familiar with, as well as, time to develop relationships with those professionals on the other side of the counter.

Express Check

Express permit checks are important for the Los Angeles permit expediter, as well as anyone wanting to develop in LA because these checks don’t require a plancheck or a full plancheck at the very most. The city has taken to calling these checks Express Check Plan Check for commercial projects and requires projects to be under certain square footage, construction valuation, and scope of work. In these cases, an online permit application can be submitted and should be issued without requiring anyone to walk through the doors and sit at the counter. Here are some items that can be submitted without requiring a visit to City Hall:

  • -Replacing AC units of same size and type
  • -Ductwork addition or alteration in buildings that do not have a smoke control system
  • -Replacing plumbing fixtures
  • -Solar heating system addition
  • -Repair of damaged electrical wiring
  • -Most temporary event permits

The general rule of thumb, when in doubt go to the counter and ask. City of LA officials are pretty good about discerning what can go through the express check rather than a full-scale plancheck.

Change of Use

In an earlier article, I explained why a change of use permits take so long to get approved- and for more information check out the article here, “Why Change of Use Permits Take So Long”. In this article, I am going to explain what the requirements are to get a chance of use permit, both on the plans, as well as in real life.

  • Site plan: this sounds like a no-brainer but be sure to include everything you can about the site like the current use, elevations, type of building, zoning, parking, and lot size.
  • Parking: show the current parking situation and if you’re needing to add or alter parking include a parking analysis
  • Floor plan: include where the walls, fixtures, counters, and racking will go. For racking be sure to include mounting calculations
  • Equipment and Fixtures: be sure to show how many, location, and provide structural calculations
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements: ensure everything on your plan is ADA compliant. Additionally, check out LADBS’ Disabled Access Services (DAS) requirements to ensure you meet the LA specific requirements. If you’re not sure what they are, feel free to give Permit Advisors a call and we can provide consultation.
  • Construction Details: When the new occupancy or use requires a fire rating be sure to include information about exterior work that will need to be done.

Other Departments

Every project and site is different and LADBS understands this, and yet because of this, there may be additional planchecks you will need to undergo in order to obtain approval. Be sure to get a full permit history on your site including information about code enforcement violations by checking their Code Enforcement site and looking up your parcel at https://www.ladbsservices2.lacity.org/OnlineServices/?service=plr.

Below are some departments that may be required by LADBS:

  • -Planning
  • -Fire
  • -Health
  • -Bureau of Engineering
  • -Public Works
  • -Transportation
  • -Community Redevelopment
  • -Cultural Affairs
  • -Historical Preservation
  • -Coastal Commission
  • -Department of Housing
  • -DWP
  • -And others

To gain insight into whether any of these additional departments will be required to give us a call and we can help you conduct due diligence for you.


How long is this going to take? That is usually the first and last question on everyone’s mind when it comes to permitting. The answer is not as simple as each site and project varies. Additionally, if you go to the LADBS counter they have a running ticker of how long review times are currently taking. Permit Advisors can push projects through faster than the review times on the counter at the city, however, in an article like this, I can’t speak directly about projects and specifics as I don’t have them. The best way to understand your timeline is to give me a call and let me do due diligence for the site and get back to you. It will help you wrap your mind around how much time this process can take you.


About Permit Advisors: Permit Advisors Inc. is a complete permit, entitlement consulting, and expediting firm based out of Beverly Hills, Ca. We go beyond just submitting plans, as you may have experienced with previous expediters. We have established strong relationships with officials of many municipalities and have numerous time and cost-saving strategies that we implement to efficiently complete projects. We aim to secure all permits as quickly as possible! We keep track of all the different aspects of the permitting process and make sure that the project is being given full attention by everyone on the team. We responsibly update clients and ensure that lines of communication are open between the Jurisdiction, the consultants and the client at all times. Contact us today for a consultation www.permitadvisors.com.


Feb 20, 2017 By admin