NEWS: BizFed Win: LA County General Plan Update to Include Fiscal Impacts Analysis

Posted December 4th, 2013

After nearly 2 years of intensive work, BizFed has been successful in getting a Fiscal Impacts Analysis included in the LA County General Plan update.

Last week, a delegation from BizFed’s LA County General Plan Working Group met with Connie Chung, Mark Child, and Ayala Ben-Yehuda from the Department of Regional Planning and Carolyn Hull and Christine Cooper from LAEDC to review the draft scope of work for a fiscal impact analysis for the LA County General Plan Update.  The good news is  the Department of Regional Planning has stepped up and expects to sign a contract with the LA County Economic Development Corporation to perform that analysis, with work beginning in the next couple of weeks, to be completed by April 30.

Of course, details matter, so we appreciated the opportunity to review the draft scope of work for the fiscal analysis in advance.  The big picture is that the fiscal impacts analysis, as proposed, will examine cost and revenue changes based on buildout projections under land uses and densities proposed in the General Plan Update as well as alternative scenarios (land uses and densities) in the Significant Ecological Areas, which is fundamentally what we’ve been asking for.  Additionally, based on feedback from BizFed members who reviewed the draft scope in advance, here is the list of specific questions we brought to the meeting, along with the answers we received:

1. Does the draft scope include the Antelope Valley in the fiscal analysis?  If so, upon what information will the Antelope Valley portion of the fiscal analysis be based?  Yes, the proposed fiscal impact analysis will include the Antelope Valley.  While the Antelope Valley is going through its own separate planning process, the timeline for that is unclear.  Therefore, the proposed fiscal impact analysis will include the Antelope Valley based on current applicable rules and regulations.  DRP is open to the possibility that the General Plan Update fiscal impact analysis could serve as a model for a future fiscal impact analysis of the Antelope Valley plan.

2. Why does the draft scope exclude the 3rd Street TOD from the proposed fiscal analysis?  The proposed fiscal impact analysis excludes the 3rd Street TOD because that TOD is undergoing its own separate planning process that already includes a fiscal impact analysis.  Assumptions from the existing East Los Angeles Community Plan will be used for the fiscal impact analysis.

3. What do you mean by “sensitivity analysis of expenditure and revenue projections on alternative land use scenarios for the SEAs”?  This will compare how various land use scenarios for SEAs would effect the expenditure and revenue projections.

4. What “potential SEA alternative land use scenarios” are being proposed?  No specific alternative land use scenarios for SEAs have been contemplated or discussed.  However, this language in the scope of work allows the consultant performing the analysis to make comparisons based on alternative land use scenarios they may consider  relevant.

5. How does the draft scope address the cost of infrastructure upgrades necessary as part of the TOD infill sites?  If the appropriate data are available, the proposed fiscal impact analysis will look at the marginal costs of additional services based on increased density.

6. School district evaluation appears absent.  How will the proposed fiscal analysis address student population changes and commensurate provision of education services? The infrastructure types listed in the draft scope are not intended to be definitive or comprehensive.  DRP agrees that, provided data are available, including school services — as well as other potential services not enumerated in the scope — would make sense.  Therefore, they will adjust the scope language to ensure that flexibility.

7. The draft scope indicates that “DRP will provide applicable information and data to the Consultant.”  This suggests that all data will come from DRP, with no outside economic research by the consultant.  Please clarify.  DRP will provide any necessary data and information from LA County.  However, per professional practices, the consultant performing the economic analysis will do additional research to validate that data and incorporate necessary data from external sources.

8. What is the process and timeline for this scope to move forward?  When do you anticipate putting this before the Board of Supervisors for a vote?  How does that timeline relate to the EIR? (And what’s the EIR timeline?)  DRP has found a contracting vehicle that enables them to move forward quickly with the fiscal impact analysis contract without returning to the Board of Supervisors for a vote on the scope of work.  Therefore, they expect the contract to be executed and work to begin by mid-December, with the draft analysis due by March 31, 2014 and the final analysis due by April 30, 2014.  The Draft EIR for the General Plan Update is expected to be released in January/February 2014 and be ready for consideration by the Regional Planning Commission by August 2014.  The final deadline for the Board of Supervisors to approve the General Plan Update is Oct. 28, 2014.


THANK YOU to everyone who has remained engaged in this process.  This will be the first time LA County has included a fiscal impacts analysis as part of its General Plan process.  We look forward to working with LAEDC and DRP as this fiscal impacts analysis moves forward.