City of Los Angeles Bans Campaign Contributions From Homeowners, Developers With Pending Projects

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On June 8, 2022, new campaign contribution restrictions went into effect in the City of Los Angeles. Enacted as part of Ordinance No. 186477, city law now prohibits property owners and developers with “significant planning right” applications pending before the city from making campaign contributions to the mayor, city ​​attorney, city council, or vetted candidates or committees for one of these offices. The types of rights applications subject to the ban include master plan amendments, development agreements, density bonuses, site plan revisions, tentative parcel maps, and area changes.

The contribution restriction runs from the date the application for eligibility is submitted to the city until 12 months after the city issues a final eligibility determination letter or, if no letter is issued, the date on which the decision on the application is final. In addition to property owners and developers, the restriction applies to their “principals”, including their owners more than 20%, the chairman of the board of directors, the president, the CEO, the chief financial officer, the director of operations and any person who occupies the functional equivalent of one of these positions and any person authorized to represent the owner or the developer before the town planning department. Although not apparent from statutory language, the city’s ethics commission has unofficially ruled that members of the general council are also covered. Applicants must notify owners and directors that they are subject to the ban.

The law further requires rights seekers to register with the city’s Ethics Commission through the city’s Restricted Developer Ranking System ( This recording, which can be viewed publicly on the commission’s website ( – requires applicants to disclose owner contact information and the names and titles of all directors. According to the commission, the registration requirement applies to all ongoing projects, even if the application for eligibility was submitted before June 8, 2022.

Penalties for violating the ban can be severe. In addition to monetary fines, willful conduct is subject to potential misdemeanor charges, and those who break the law are barred from re-applying for eligibility for 12 months, barring extenuating circumstances.

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This article by Mayer Brown provides information and commentary on interesting legal issues and developments. The foregoing is not a complete treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action regarding the matters discussed here.

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