A. Director's Authority to Approve Transfers of Less than 50,000 Square Feet of Floor Area. The Director, acting on applications for a Transfer of less than 50,000 square feet, shall have the authority to grant Transfers of Floor Area Rights in accordance with this Section. This is in addition to any action required by the Agency for projects located within the City Center Redevelopment Project Area.
1. Application. The Applicant shall file an application with the Department of City Planning on a form provided by the Department, and include all information required by the instructions on the application, including details of the requested transfer, accompanied by applicable fees.
2. Director's Authority. The Director shall have the initial decision-making authority to determine whether an application for a Transfer is consistent with this subsection.
3. Action by Director. The Director shall approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove the request for Transfer, including the public benefits to be provided, and make the following findings:
(1) That the Project is proper in relation to the adjacent uses or the development of the community;
(2) That the Project will not be materially detrimental to the character of development in the immediate neighborhoods;
(3) That the Project will be in harmony with the various elements and objectives of the General Plan;
(4) That the Project is consistent with any applicable adopted Redevelopment Plan;
(5) That the Transfer serves the public interest by providing public benefits in accordance with Subparagraph (b)(1) of this subdivision; and
(6) That the Project incorporates feasible mitigation measures, monitoring measures when necessary or alternatives identified in the environmental review which would substantially lessen the significant environmental effects of the Project, and any additional findings as may be required by CEQA.
(b) Conditions of Approval.
(1) The Transfer shall provide public benefits equivalent in value to the dollar amount otherwise required for a Public Benefit Payment, in conformance with Section 14.5.9 of this Code;
(2) The Transfer must comply with any urban design standards and guidelines adopted by the City Planning Commission for the area, including the Downtown Design Guide, and other applicable design guidelines;
(3) The Director may require additional conditions for the Transfer to ensure consistency with the purposes and objectives of the Community Plan.
4. Transmittal of Written Decision. Within three business days of making a decision, the Director shall transmit a copy by First Class Mail to: (1) the applicant; (2) all owners of properties abutting, across the street or alley from, or having a common corner with the subject property; (3) the local Certified Neighborhood Council; and (4) the Agency when the Project is located within the City Center Redevelopment Project Area.
5. Effective Date of Initial Decision. The Director's decision shall become effective after a period of 15 calendar days from the date of the mailing of the written decision has elapsed, unless an appeal is filed to the Area Planning Commission.
(a) Filing of an Appeal. An applicant or any other person aggrieved by the Director's decision may appeal the decision to the Area Planning Commission. The appeal shall be filed within 15 calendar days of the date of mailing of the Director's decision on forms provided by the Department. The appeal shall specifically set forth the points at issue, the reasons for the appeal, and the basis upon which the appellant claims there was an error or abuse of discretion by the Director. Any appeal not filed within the 15-day appeal period shall not be considered by the Area Planning Commission. The filing of an appeal stays proceedings in the matter until the Area Planning Commission has made a decision. Once an appeal is filed, the Director shall transmit the appeal and the file to the Area Planning Commission, together with any reports responding to the allegations made in the appeal.
(b) Appellate Decision - Public Hearing and Notice. Before acting on any appeal, the Area Planning Commission shall set the matter for hearing, with written notice of the hearing sent by First Class Mail at least 15 calendar days prior to the meeting date to: (1) the applicant; (2) the owner(s) of the property involved; (3) the owners of properties within 100 feet of the exterior boundaries of the property involved; (4) the Councilmember for the City Council District in which the property is located; (5) the local Certified Neighborhood Council; (6) the Agency, when the project is located within the City Center Redevelopment Project Area; and (7) interested parties who have requested notice in writing.
(c) Time for Appellate Decision. The Area Planning Commission shall act within 75 calendar days after the expiration of the appeal period or within any additional period mutually agreed upon by the applicant and the Area Planning Commission. The failure of the Area Planning Commission to act within this time period shall be deemed a denial of the appeal.
(d) Appellate Decision. The Area Planning Commission may reverse or modify, in whole or in part, a decision of the Director. The Area Planning Commission shall make the same findings required to be made by the Director, supported by facts in the record, and indicate why the Director erred in determining a project's compliance with the applicable regulations of this Subsection.
(e) Effective Date of Appellate Decision. The appellate decision of the Area Planning Commission shall be final and effective as provided in Section 245 of the City of Los Angeles Charter.