Mount St. Mary’s Perpetuates Decades of Permit Violations


The Brentwood residentially-zoned community surrounding Mount St. Mary’s has long been suffering from the significant negative impacts of the University’s illegal and unpermitted activities.  Over the years, MSM has far exceeded its approved enrollment numbers and benefited from leasing out its facilities for commercial events in violation of its long-held City permits.  This out-of-control growth has compromised the community’s quality of life with crippling traffic conditions and increased fire danger.  A long-time Bundy Canyon resident laments, “We have seen the traffic to and from Mount St. Mary’s College grow year after year.  Students, supply trucks, buses, MSM trucks, employees and staff of the College drive carelessly through our streets.”

MSM now proposes a 38,000 sq. ft. 2-story Wellness Pavilion and Events Center, which is actually a Trojan Horse for a massive increase in enrollment, traffic and parking, leased and rented events including summer camps, conferences, workshops, seminars, speaker series, retreats, filming and sports activities with hundreds of attendees per event.  This proposed expansion is currently under environmental review by the LA Department of City Planning.

The narrow windy Bundy Canyon roads were not designed to handle the thousands of car trips MSM’s increased student population and events would bring.  In fact, MSM’s current operations generate over 2,000 daily vehicle trips speeding up and down Bundy Canyon.  As retired LA City Traffic Engineer Allyn Rifkin warns, “These substandard roads in a high fire area are inadequate for the amount of current and future traffic generated by Mount St. Mary’s University.” Fire expert Peter M. Bryan amplifies these serious concerns, “The narrow streets in the area significantly limit the ability of emergency fire apparatus to respond quickly to the University and surrounding homes. Construction traffic only serves to increase the difficulty of emergency apparatus response.”

This is why Sunset Coalition along with Brentwood Residents Coalition submitted a letter of  Revocation in May, 2018 to the City requesting an investigation and possible revocation of the University’s current permits.  The substantial evidence sourced from the City’s and MSM’s own archives, documents a decades-long pattern and practice of violations, self-serving attitude and disregard for the safety of the surrounding community.

The Coalition facilitated several meetings with Councilmember Bonin’s office and the Department of City Planning, in order to address the long-simmering traffic and other safety issues.   While the City is working on responding to our request, we recently followed up with an additional letter  giving the City the opportunity to correct the fundamental errors in MSM’s environmental documents.  According to attorney Doug Carstens, the City has a responsibility to provide the public with accurate information in its environmental documents.  Failure of the City to correct the serious errors makes a mockery of the public process.

Please join us in this request and click here to send a message to the City.

Click here for more information about the proposed expansion and a list of relevant documents and letters