Development incentives can be used as a tool to attract and retain quality businesses in the Downtown. Through the Business Attraction Program (Chapter 3.06 of the El Segundo Municipal Code) and the City’s economic development program, the City currently offers numerous incentives for qualified target businesses throughout the City. The incentives apply to the Downtown area also, and are proposed to continue. These incentives include:
Expedited and reduced cost entitlements:
Permit approvals may be expedited through the Community, Economic and Development Services application and permit processes at the request and the expense of the applicant.
The City may enter into agreements that guarantee that permits will be reviewed within a certain time frame, as agreed to by the City and the applicant ahead of time. If the City does not review the plans within the established time frame then all associated City fees are refunded.
Building Safety Division fees are negotiable and may be reduced as much as 50%.
Local tax credits and rates:
Business License Tax
: The business license tax can be reduced and/or eliminated if El Segundo is used as a point of sale. The tax will be offset by the amount of the sales tax generated to the City in the previous year, up to the point where zero fees are due to the City.
Utility users tax
: Gas, water, electric, and telephone taxes are negotiable, up to the point where zero tax is required. Currently these rates are 3% for gas, water, and electric, and 2% for telephone.
Transient Occupancy Tax
: The City’s transient occupancy tax for hotel users is currently 12%, one of the lowest in Los Angeles County.
Additional incentives could be provided in the Downtown Plan Area such as the reduction, or elimination of traffic impact fees and the further reduction of Planning and Building Safety Division fees.
Removal of Nonconforming Signs:
The City finds that in order to enhance the environment of the Downtown it is desirable to encourage the removal of nonconforming signs at a rapid pace. Therefore, the City may offer owners of nonconforming signs the following incentives to hasten their removal.
In order to qualify for the nonconforming sign removal incentive, a sign proposed to be removed must meet the following requirements. The sign must have been a legal, conforming sign at the time of its placement. (In other words, the sign cannot be illegal). The sign must be located in the Main Street District (300-400 Blocks Main Street). The sign shall not be an abandoned sign at the time of application. In the granting of nonconforming sign removal incentives the City will apply the following priority ranking schedule: roof signs, pole signs (freestanding sign over 10 feet high), internally illuminated signs, and plastic signs. Owners of nonconforming signs may, at their discretion, choose to participate in the following sign removal incentive program. The City will select a number of applicants each year to participate in the program based on the priority of signs provided above and the availability of funds.
The nonconforming sign removal incentive program is a three-year program commencing on the effective date of this Specific Plan. The program is designed to encourage the rapid removal of the least desirable types of signs by providing larger incentives in the early years and tapering off to no incentives in the fourth year.
The incentives which may be provided are as follows:
Years one and two
Free removal of nonconforming sign.
Free design service to provide conforming, attractive sign sketches.*
Free removal of nonconforming sign
*Those participants availing themselves of the free design service must agree to utilize one of the alternative sketches provided and to erect a new sign within three months of receiving the sketch designs. If said new sign is not erected, the participant will be required to reimburse the City for the cost of the sign design service.
The removal of non-conforming signs program could be financed through General Fund monies or a Business Improvement District (BID).