Last week, I did an interview for a free-lance assignment with a man who owns a successful Los Angeles construction firm. He builds a little commercial and lots of apartment buildings. Given the dustup here about how evil the Dallas zoning process is, I thought I’d ask him how long it takes to get a building done in Los Angeles.

Years, he said. Years? I said. Oh yeah. You’ve got environmental permits, earthquake construction mandates, community standards districts, all sorts of zoning requirements. So three or four months to get permission to build a new building? I asked. Three or four months? he asked. You’re kidding, right? he said. Someone thought three or four months was too long?

Whole Foods, incidentally, has almost two dozen stores in the Los Angeles area.

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