Entitlement Process

The Entitlement Process

Getting approval to build a new housing project can be a lengthy process, especially if it is out of the parameters of local codes.

Development projects vary in scale and complexity, ranging from home renovation to the construction of a new apartment building. The review process a project goes through and the approvals it requires depend on the project’s description and entitlement application. Learn more about the different entitlement processes here.

Building “by-right” is one way to streamline the approval process in order to build homes faster. If a proposed project is considered “by-right”, it means it already compiles with current zoning code and can enjoy an expedited approval process, skipping the discretionary review process. There are many efforts to expand the scope of “by-right” housing projects to help accelerate development timelines.

The goal of most developers is to get entitlements for their proposed projects as quickly and cleanly as possible. However, when communities want to provide input and have discussions about projects, it can but the two sides at odds, leading to tension. The key is finding the balance of a timely and inclusive entitlement process.


  • Los Angeles City Planning Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • The Santa Maria Group Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • LADBS (LA Building & Safety) Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • Irvine & Associates Housing Innovation Collaborative

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