Encroachment Permit without Public Hearing
Circling the News has learned that Rick Caruso has applied for a Master Revocable Permit for the sidewalks/streets surrounding his mall.
His kiosk on the corner of Swarthmore and Monument is currently illegal because it is on the public right-of-way. It has not been moved because according to L.A. City Department of Public Works Information Officer Elena Stern, “Inspectors have determined that the kiosk does not pose any immediate hazard.”
Nothing will be done until it is decided whether Caruso will receive a permit for the sidewalks and streets. Stern said, “The master permit will cover the entire project.” She explained that all applications fall under the same process review and consideration.
CTN asked if the public is notified or if there is a hearing. She responded in an August 30 email, “The permit is issued by the Bureau of Engineering and there is no public hearing required.”
According to the Bureau of Engineering website, “The purpose of the Revocable Permit (R-Permit) is to grant conditional encroachment of the public right-of-way by private parties not authorized to occupy the right-of-way.”
It appears that if the Bureau of Engineering gives this permit, Caruso would have unlimited access to Swarthmore, Monument and Sunset without having to apply for further permits or to give public notice, if he wished to put toilet plungers up and down Swarthmore.
Below is the definition of the R Permit found on the Bureau of Engineering website. Circling the News called the BOE number about the application, but no one has responded. In the directions, it does say it might be advisable to seek neighborhood opinion by way of a questionnaire.
“A street is defined as any public thoroughfare or way, including the sidewalk, parkway, and any other public property bordering upon a public way. A street serves several purposes or uses. Primarily, it serves as a passageway for vehicles and pedestrians. The borders of streets, although in some instances not used as passageways, are still used by the public for setback purposes, and therefore should be maintained clear of obstructions where feasible.
“The R-Permit is also a mechanism to utilize in special circumstances where placement of private structures out of a right-of-way would create a hardship due to topography or other restraints. Generally, private structures should not be permitted in the public right-of-way.
“The purpose of the Revocable Permit (R-Permit) is to grant conditional encroachment of the public right-of-way by private parties not authorized to occupy the right-of-way. The R-Permit review process ensures that encroachments are checked for compliance with the City’s specifications for design, use, material, and inspection.
“The most significant factor in considering whether the City approves a request for an encroachment of any type is the status of the encroachments of other properties in the neighborhood. If there are no other similar encroachments and the proposed encroachment is significant, it may be advisable to seek neighborhood opinion by way of a questionnaire.”
The Pacific Palisades Community Council Chair George Wolfberg, co-chair David Card and Councilman Mike Bonin’s field deputy Lisa Cahill were contacted to see if they had a position on the application.