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Turmoil at the planning department! It may not sound very exciting, but the Los Angeles Department Of City Planning dictates the way our city is built, and thus, the way we live.According to the L.A. Weekly, Planning Department wonks are sick and tired of director Con Howe's listless leadership, and want him out. “He’s been very good at lowering expectations,” says one disheartened former Planning Dept. employee. That doesn't really sound like an admirable quality for one of the city's top bureaucrats.

The Weekly also notes that this growing political skirmish may jeopardize a plan to require real estate developers to build low-cost apartments and condos to get lucrative new projects approved. Given the long-standing political primacy of SoCal land developers, LAist thinks it's fair to induce them to construct below-market-rate housing units. The proposed "requirement" to do so may sound overly restrictive, but we're confident that our noble real estate barons will find many ways to get around the new regulations.