LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles Board of Public Works today approved changes to a policy that would require people to obtain permits for planters, railings, fences and other items placed on city sidewalks.
The changes are significant since planters and other installations were put in some neighborhoods to deter homeless people from sleeping in front of businesses.
The policy will be reviewed by the Mayor’s Office, City Council, LAPD and the City Attorney’s Office before any changes are implemented. Board members considered giving applicants a three-month window to obtain a right-of- way “R-permit.”
Some fixtures have affected accessibility for people with disabilities and can block bus stops, board members said, and the installations could also cause a safety hazard.
Bureau of Engineer representatives said they’ve identified about 300 installations that would be out of compliance with the policy changes.
Permits under the current policy range from about $550 to $1,850 or the actual cost of a city investigation if necessary.
Certain sidewalk uses are already covered under city code, such as outdoor dining.
Board President Kevin James said he doesn’t want the policy revisions to discourage businesses who may have been cited in the past for sidewalk encroachments from applying for new permits, but he said the policy doesn’t discriminate against past offenders.