On February 4th, 2016 the California State “Little Hoover Commission” met to begin a review of occupational licensing in California and scheduled a televised public hearing in Room 437 of the State Capitol. To help insure that nothing came up in the hearing which could negatively affect landscape architectural licensure, CCASLA Representative Michael Scheele, ASLA personally attended while other California CCASLA representatives and LATC (Landscape Architects Technical Committee-our regulatory division of the California Architects Board) staff tuned in on cable TV.
Unfortunately there was presentation material given by one of the invited speakers that specifically called out Landscape Architects as a profession that, in his opinion, did not warrant licensure or a regulatory board. The negative testimony included a diminutive description of what Landscape Architects do and an inaccurate/outdated statement as to very low passing rates of the licensing exam. Upon hearing this live testimony/opinion, Doug McCauley, Executive Officer with the California Architects Board left his office, went to the capitol and joined Mr. Scheele to provide rebuttal and clarification statements in the public testimony portion at the end of the hearing. The LATC followed up testimony with a letter to the Commission further describing ways in which Landscape Architects protect the health, safety and welfare of the public as well as a description of the education and testing one needs to complete to become licensed. The letter can be found here. The ASLA Sierra Chapter and the California Council American Society of Landscape Architects (CCASLA) will continue to monitor this commission and other threats to licensure in California and strive to keep ASLA Members informed.