Quartet partner in 'model film ordinance'

Faced with ongoing uncertainty over California’s production incentive program, a quartet of agencies have urged municipalities to adopt a uniform set of regulations in order to keep producers shooting in the Golden State.

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., FilmL.A., the California Film Commission and the Southern California Association of Governments issued a joint announcement that they’ve partnered in developing what’s been dubbed a “model film ordinance.”

“The purpose of asking cities and counties to adopt local filming ordinances based upon the state’s ordinance is to streamline the permitting process and send a clear signal that this is a coveted industry California intends to retain,” the orgs said.

SCAG’s regional council unanimously voted last week to encourage its 191 member cities and six counties to adopt a version of the ordinance.

“Given California’s persistent high unemployment rate, cities and counties are taking the lead locally to ensure that they retain important revenue generating industries and attract additional business,” said SCAG presidetn Glen Becerra. “Southern California is home to ‘Hollywood’ – it is our heritage, but cannot be taken for granted.”

Legislation to extend California’s tax credit production incentive program cleared a state Senate committee on June 27 — but with the recommendation that the program’s extension be reduced from five to two years.

California Film Commission exec director Amy Lemisch said, “The Model Film Ordinance is a valuable tool for helping municipalities become more film-friendly, as well as more adept at dealing with how filming impacts the local community.”

The announcement noted that the cities of Carson, Simi Valley, and Duarte have taken steps to revise their ordinances along the lines contained in the model ordinance. The Carson revisions included:

– Eliminating the city’s business license requirement for film productions.

– Adjusting the film permit structure to a weekly rate of $650 for the first week and $500 thereafter

– Reducing the advanced notice requirements from two weeks to five days.

– Requiring law enforcement on an as-needed basis only

– Reducing the radius required to notify businesses and residents of filming from 500 feet to 300 feet

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