Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning

Hearing Examiner

Hearing Examiners are Regional Planning staff members appointed by the Director of Planning to conduct initial public hearings in the community on major land use cases and subsequently make recommendation to the Regional Planning Commission for a decision at a later hearing in downtown.


On April 3, 2007, the Board of Supervisors (BOS) instructed the Director of Regional Planning and County Counsel to develop an ordinance establishing a “hearing examiner” procedure for major land use decisions in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. This procedure was designed to institutionalize community input in the decision-making process, and makes it easier for community members, thereby giving planners, applicants, and the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) clearer feedback as to how proposed projects can be improved. The Hearing Examiner procedure makes it easier for community members to participate in the planning process by ensuring that public hearings are held in the community where a major project is located.

The Hearing Examiner Ordinance was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on August 12, 2008. Implementation of the Hearing Examiner procedure is expected to start in early 2009.

Summary of Hearing Examiner Process

Please note that the Hearing Examiner program is in its pilot stage, and the process may be modified in the future.
- Case planner prepares draft staff report based on factual analysis.
- Case planner and Hearing Examiner attend community public hearing.
- Case planner presents the case to the community.
- Hearing Examiner receives testimony from the community.
- Hearing Examiner and case planner prepare draft findings, conditions, and recommendations based on staff analysis and comments and concerns from the community.
- Hearing Examiner presents the case to the RPC at a public hearing in downtown.
- The RPC renders a final decision.

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Department of Regional Planning
320 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
T: (213) 974-6411 . F: (213) 626-0434
TDD: (213) 617-2292