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Los Angeles Major Use Permits Lawyer

Los Angeles Major Use Permits Lawyer

Los Angeles Major Use Permits Lawyer


Permits can take a long time to file and are often an administrative headache, especially when your application gets denied. In California, there are a myriad of permit laws that dictate who is eligible for what permits and the requirements they must meet. To ensure you meet all of the legal requirements of your application and file a request properly, you should work closely with a Los Angeles major use permits lawyer.

Our attorneys have a combined 60 years of experience helping out businesses and individuals.

Blake & Ayaz services clients in Santa Ana, Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County, and throughout California.

Call Us Today (714) 667-7171

Your Los Angeles Permits Lawyers and Law Firm

When choosing a law firm for your business or permit needs, finding one that understands the industry is important. Luckily, our attorneys at Blake & Ayaz share 60 years of experience working in business law. Our legal knowledge extends to a wide range of areas, including licensing, permits, administration, employment regulations, business formation, and more. If you’re looking to apply for a permit in Los Angeles, make sure to reach out for assistance.


What Is a Major Use Permit in Los Angeles?

In zoning law, a major conditional use permit is required when someone wants to use a building for other than its intended zoning purpose. For example, if someone wanted to open a business on a residential use plot, then they would need a conditional permit. These permits often come with strict regulations on certain aspects of the business. In order to successfully receive a permit in Los Angeles, the owner must have a general idea about the following:

  • Project Specifics: The more details you have about the specific details and nature of the construction project, the better your permit might fare. Understanding how a building will be used when it is built is a crucial step to obtaining a permit. Conditional permits are not meant to be given out as a blank check to let a property operate in whatever way it wants to.
  • Benefits: If a permit is under consideration, it is more likely to be approved if there is a clear benefit to the building’s construction. Whether it be to hire more employees or provide a public benefit to the city, it can be helpful if your business directly benefits the surrounding area.
  • Big Picture: Los Angeles has an extensive planning code that outlines the general objectives of the city planners and local government. It can be important to make sure your construction plans fit in with that big picture and align with the city and county’s goals.
  • Mitigation Plan: Officials might be hesitant to sign off on a conditional use permit if there are clear side effects due to the business being in operation. Developing a clear plan on how to address potential issues if they arise can make everyone feel more at ease with the business and more likely to approve of a conditional use permit.

Why Do I Need a Permits Attorney in Los Angeles?

An experienced permits attorney can play an integral role in starting your new business. Business lawyers have extensive experience and can help with a variety of permit-related legal matters, including:

  • Reviewing Your Options: Many future business owners believe they need a conditional use permit because a city planner or official told them they needed one. However, sometimes this may not be the case. Going over the details of your business with an attorney often results in them suggesting a more appropriate permit for your situation, saving you time and money in the long run.
  • Preparing an Application: Permit applications are notoriously tedious to fill out. They are often long and require detailed information. An attorney can help you determine what kind of information you need to include and how to obtain certain items so that your application will be given a fair shot when it is reviewed.
  • Contacting Locals: In order to properly prepare for an application or hearing, you often need to contact locals around the area where your business will be located so that you can better understand their concerns. A business lawyer can help you identify which individuals might be smart to contact. They can also help with the negotiation process to resolve as many potential issues as possible before a public hearing.
  • Hearing Assistance: If you do end up needing a conditional use permit, you usually need to review it with either a committee or a public hearing. An attorney can help limit the conditions stipulated in the permit so that you can have as much freedom as possible to run your business.
  • Reviewing a Proposed Permit: Once you receive a proposal on the conditions you might have to follow for your permit, you might think the process is over. Unfortunately, some conditions in proposals might not seem significant until much later in the process and take a significant amount of effort to change. An attorney can review the proposal before it is signed to negotiate better conditions for your business.

Permit applications are easy to get wrong. Don’t let the start of your new business venture be marred by a rejected permit. Contact our permits lawyer to get your application done correctly the first time.

Conditional Permits Vs. Variance Permits

Sometimes, variance permits and conditional use permits are seen as the same thing, but there are key differences that affect how the property is considered.

Variance permits are given specifically to owners who are having an unusually difficult time complying with a specific zoning requirement. These permits are usually given for specific individual reasons and only apply to certain parts of the property. Normally, there are unique attributes to a property, like a body of water or some other feature, that prevent it from following the building code.

Conditional use permits apply more to the function of the building itself. They often have strict conditions that must be met to benefit the residents of the city. For example, a nightclub might be able to operate in a residential area if they have a conditional use permit that limits their noise level or have certain restrictions on alcohol sales.

Common Conditional Use Permit Requirements in Los Angeles

Every permit application is different, but there are some requirements that generally need to be met by everyone, including:

  • The property owner must sign the permit.
  • A legal description of the property must be detailed.
  • A drawing of the entire plot and its proposed use must be drawn to scale. This drawing must include buildings that already exist on the property as well as any proposed new additions.
  • A Hazardous Waste Site Verification Statement form must be filled out.

The Permit Approval Process in Los Angeles

The process for obtaining a conditional use permit tends to follow an organized structure in Los Angeles:

  1. File Application: The property owner completes and files a conditional use permit application with the county.
  2. Preliminary Review: After the application is submitted, the county will review it and determine if it is eligible to move on to future stages. If there is incomplete or incorrect information on the application, it will be rejected. This review usually takes a few weeks at minimum.
  3. Environmental Study: During the preliminary review, the county will also evaluate if an environmental study needs to be done on the property. If it is determined that the property needs an environmental study performed, the county will send the applicant additional paperwork. Other reports might be required as well, depending on the property and its specific location.
  4. Public Hearing: A public hearing date will be set if the permit application is moved forward. In this hearing, you outline your specific goals for the property to the community, and local members can voice their concerns. It is important to prepare for this hearing ahead of time to anticipate potential responses and address them effectively.
  5. Decision: After the hearing, the local planning commission will decide whether or not to recommend the proposed conditional use permit.

Tips for a Public Hearing

Public hearings can be one of the most important and difficult parts of the permit approval process. If a hearing does not go successfully, it can severely limit the chances of your permit from getting approved. Here are some helpful ways to prepare for a permit hearing to improve your odds of success:

  • Maintain Focus: Other individuals at the hearing are learning about your plan for the first time. If they are given too much information all at once, they might get confused and oppose the plan. It can help to consolidate your information into a few major points to get your message to resonate with people without confusing them. It’s also essential to emphasize the benefits of your business.
  • Additional Materials: If you think your presentation benefits from supplemental documents, consider bringing enough of them with you to hand out to everyone at the hearing. These materials can provide more information and make the listeners focus on key points.
  • Consider Questions Ahead of Time: While it makes sense not to know the answer to every question asked at the hearing, not being able to answer a significant number of questions makes you look less prepared. Some common information to know before going into a hearing include:
    • How will your plan coexist with other zoning ordinances or the city’s general plan?
    • Is the proposed use of your property understandable, given the site’s specifics?
    • What are surrounding plots used for, and do they match your building’s proposed use or ways to increase the compatibility of the surrounding properties?
    • Does your plan require an environmental study? Would one be beneficial anyway?
    • How can public facilities be maintained while this property is in use? (I.e., sidewalks, parking lots, public transport, and local services like fire and police stations.)
    • How will the use of the proposed facility affect the entire community?

An attorney can also help prepare you for the hearing process. They can help develop answers for tough questions and guide you on what information to know or bring with you so that the public can make informed comments and decisions.


Q: What Is a Conditional Use Permit in Los Angeles?

A: In order to get a conditional use permit, a business or organization must get permission from the city for a unique case. In most conditions, a conditional use permit is acquired because there are unique circumstances or requirements for a specific property that don’t necessarily fit with the city’s planning guidelines. To learn more about different types of permits in Los Angeles, contact a Los Angeles permits lawyer.

Q: How Much Is a Conditional Use Permit in California?

A: According to Los Angeles County, the specific fees for a conditional use permit depend on the type of property the permit is being used for. Most have a $11,422 filing fee as of 2023. There are additional fees for revisions, noise reviews, and permits regarding water and sewage. These fees could be higher for areas of ecological importance. To learn about how much your conditional use permit could cost, contact a business lawyer.

Q: What Are Some Benefits of a Conditional Use Permit in CA?

A: If a property has a conditional use permit, it allows the property to be used for more purposes than another property in a similar zone. This can get more renters or buyers interested in the property, which in turn can retrieve a higher rate for the space. It is particularly useful because if a property is sold to a new owner, the permit does not go away, making it easier for a new tenant or buyer.

Q: What Can I Build Without a Permit in Los Angeles?

A: Most structures that need to be built in Los Angeles require some kind of permit to do so. The only exceptions are structures smaller than 120 square feet and shorter than 12 feet. In addition, some fences, awnings, new driveways, playground sets, sheds, and movable furniture can be built without a permit, but most of these must be under six feet tall. Discuss your new project with a permits lawyer to review whether or not you need one before building.

Los Angeles Attorneys Who Are Ready to Help Your Business Grow

Preparation is one of the most crucial elements of a permit application. A permits lawyer can help you prepare for both your application and hearing so that you’re not caught off guard. Streamline the permit application process by scheduling a consultation with Blake & Ayaz today. We are excellent at providing targeted suggestions for your business as well as resolving permit challenges.


We’re Ready To Go To Work For You!