LOS ANGELES, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today announced his recommendation to appoint Michael LoGrande as the Director of City Planning. ”Michael LoGrande has a deep knowledge of the City and its Planning Department that will enable him to immediately implement changes that will ensure the health of our City’s growing communities,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “With his extensive experience and commitment to the City, he is someone who can hit the ground running and quickly implement change.”

As Planning Director, Mr. LoGrande will be responsible for delivering three of the Mayor’s top initiatives: updating community plans; completing development reform; and implementing a reorganization of the planning department to better serve constituents.

Mr. LoGrande will also lead the Planning Department in implementing a “Best-in-Class” development process and system that will be more streamlined, accountable and transparent. In addition, Mr. LoGrande will ensure that all stakeholders from communities across Los Angeles are included in the planning process.

“I am honored to be chosen for this opportunity to lead our City’s Planning Department,” said Mr. LoGrande. “I plan to work diligently to meet the Mayor’s directive to complete the update of the community plans as well as bring a higher level of transparency to constituents. I hope to effectively implement change while building consensus between departments and among our stakeholders.”

Throughout his fifteen year career, Mr. LoGrande has been known for creating positive working relationships with representatives of community organizations, local agencies and associations, the public, and City management and staff. His work in the Planning Department has covered a variety of critical real estate initiatives, including the creation in 2004 of the Expedited Processing Section (EPS). EPS has entitled over 15,000 housing units in a full cost recovery, fast-tracked process and major development projects such as Grand Avenue, 8th and Grand, Luna, Evo, Hanover, Park Fifth, the Biscuit Company Lofts, Wetherly Project, and the W Hotel.

“Michael Lo Grande is a problem solver who I look forward to working with to expedite and complete our community plans,” said Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, Chair of the Planning Land Use and Management Committee. “Promoting a business friendly policy for our community plans makes our projects that much more efficient in creating safer and healthier neighborhoods to best serve the people of Los Angeles.”

“Michael has always had an open-door policy with our group. He works tirelessly to make the complex issues in planning easy to understand for our members. He proactively reaches out to our community to assist whenever possible and make clear how and when we can be involved in shaping our community,” said Russell Brown, President of the Downtown Neighborhood Council.

“Michael is frank with us, and talks to our residents in a way we understand. He is fair and always listens to our concerns,” said Lisa Sarkin, Studio City Neighborhood Council Board Member

Mr. LoGrande must be confirmed by the City Council.