Planning and Building Services
The mission of the Planning Department is to maintain and improve all aspects of the City's physical environment. The Department serves as a custodian of the vision for Bellflower, and an agent for the implementation of City Council policies related to land development, housing, construction, and regional issues. The Department accomplishes its mission by monitoring the various components (zoning and building codes) that influence the quality of life for Bellflower residents. The Planning Department is primarily concerned with providing services that promote the community's short and long-term interests in maintaining Bellflower's traditionally high standards of residential and commercial development. The Department seeks to protect and enrich the quality of life in the community through the care and maintenance of the City's infrastructure. The Department continually evaluates the condition and maintenance of City infrastructure in an effort to maximize the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and quality of the services provided to the community.
The Planning Department was established under the authority granted to the City Administrator under Chapter 2 of the Bellflower Municipal Code.
The Planning Department is responsible for promoting and contributing to the environmental quality of life for residents of the community. The Department coordinates the functions of the Planning, Building, and Business License Divisions, and provides staff support to Economic Development. In addition, the Department provides staff assistance to the City Council and Planning Commission.
The City contains 6.14 square miles. Of the City's area, 67 percent (2,050 acres) is zoned for residential uses, 13 percent (403 acres) is zoned for commercial uses, and 4 percent (110 acres) is zoned for light industrial uses. In this predominantly residential city, there are currently 25,073 housing units occupied by a population of 76,616 persons (2010 US Census). The City's important location within seventeen (17) miles of Downtown Los Angeles, and within close range of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, calls for the demolition and improvement of buildings due to age or obsolescence. Rehabilitation or replacement must be affected to reduce possible blighting influences and encourage new development. The City's General Plan, Zoning Code, and other development policies must be reviewed and revised periodically to facilitate the continual process of eliminating deterioration, recycling underutilized land uses, and promoting high quality development.
The General Plan provides the basic framework for development within the community. Four of the seven State-mandated elements of the General Plan were adopted in 1995. The Land Use and Circulation Elements were adopted in 1997. The Safety Element was updated in 2017. The Housing Element was updated in 2022. General Plan updates are required to ensure that the City's goals and programs are being implemented.
The department personnel evaluate and process, all applications for Development Review, Planning Commission, and City Council consideration. Field inspections and background research are conducted by staff members leading to preparation of staff reports with appropriate recommendations for the Planning Commission's and Council's consideration.
The Planning Department enforces Title 17, the Zoning Code of the City of Bellflower; Title 12, the Streets, Sidewalks and Public Places section; Title 15, the Buildings and Construction section; and Title 13, the Public Services section of the Bellflower Municipal Code. The Planning Department is also responsible for the implementation of restrictions and requirements of Title 16 regarding Subdivisions, and Title 5 regarding Business Licenses and Regulations.