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In a concerted effort to increase bioscience development and local jobs generated by the bioscience industry in Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion to develop a Bioscience Overlay Zone plan that would streamline the entitlement process for bioscience companies looking to locate within the county.
The motion, authored by supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Hilda L. Solis, called for the director of regional planning to draft an ordinance that would lead to the establishment of Bioscience Overlay Zones in various communities throughout the county by the end of this year. Additionally, the director must report back in 60 days, in consultation with the external stakeholders, including labor and community based organizations, on recommendations for the appropriate areas to apply the Overlay Zone within unincorporated areas of the county, and policies to avoid displacement of residents or businesses and ways to ensure communities benefit.
“When many bioscience business leaders are asked about ongoing concerns, land use restrictions and the entitlement process are identified as important issues to overcome,” Ridley-Thomas said. “Our intent with the Bioscience Overlay Zone is to make the entitlement process faster and simpler to navigate. It means time saved and more resources otherwise spent for investments and local job creation.”
An August 2018 motion requested a report back on the feasibility of developing land use or permitting tools that would streamline the entitlement process for companies looking to establish bioscience-related uses in unincorporated areas of the county. Six options were presented for the board’s consideration, but ultimately Bioscience Overlay Zones proved to be the most appropriate tool given the county’s land use framework.
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