Once Upon a Time, There Was a Little College
Mount St. Mary’s University was established in 1925 in the Santa Monica Mountains. The Brentwood campus is located at 12001 Chalon Road and is part of the Bundy Canyon region. The second campus is located downtown Los Angeles at 10 Chester Place, near USC. Since its establishment, Mount St. Mary’s institution has grown from a small regional college with a few hundred students to now, a large university with two locations, a variety of educational programs and almost 3,000 students.
Plans for Expansion and Massive Increase in Enrollment
In 2015, Mount St. Mary’s University has announced plans to build a large, 48,000 SQ FT fitness center at the Chalon Campus location. Currently, this campus has an enrollment of about 1,600 students. However, the University is also planning a massive increase in its enrollment. The construction necessary to complete the project is estimated to last about two years, and it’s expected to start in summer 2017. The University will be developing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to analyze the environmental aspects and other impacts of the project.
Safety and Traffic Issues
Mount St. Mary’s University Chalon Campus is located above the Getty Center, in the Santa Monica Mountains, a High Fire Hazard Severity Zone. The local streets, Bundy Ave, Saltair Ave, Norman Place and Barrington Blvd, used as the ingress and egress routes for Mount St. Mary’s University are dangerously narrow, curvy and lacking sidewalks. The danger is intensified by the heavy traffic generated from school’s operations – school buses, student cars, and delivery trucks.
In the case of fire, earthquake or medical emergency, any emergency response vehicles (fire, police or ambulance) will have a difficult time getting through these narrow and congested streets. Fire danger and evacuation is one of the biggest concerns for everyone living around Mount St. Mary’s University. Below is a picture of the area after the 1961 Bel Air fire.
Insensitive Bus Messaging
Mount St. Mary’s buses speed up and down Sunset Boulevard and Bundy Drive with the messaging “On Fire” and “Unstoppable” displayed on the buses. Don’t the administrators at Mount St. Mary’s realize that the 1961 Bel Air fire burned all of the homes surrounding Mount St. Mary’s to the ground? This incredibly insensitive language is triggering to neighbors old enough to remember the unstoppable fire that destroyed their homes turning the neighborhood into a horror scene from a war zone.
Three Major Expansions – Starting in Spring 2017!
The impact of Mount St. Mary’s University expansion and increase in enrollment will have significant negative impacts, especially on existing traffic. What makes adverse impacts of the proposed expansion even worse is the proposed timing of the project – summer 2017!
In addition to Mount St. Mary’s expansion, there are two other significant expansion projects planned to start in spring of 2017. Archer’s massive expansion plan, already approved by Mike Bonin is supposed to commence in May 2017. Brentwood School is planning to start the expansion at both campuses in June 2017. All three projects will be using Sunset Blvd as their only or main route for all of their construction vehicles, bringing existing traffic on Sunset Blvd and the adjoining neighborhoods to a halt.
What Are the Next Steps?
The Mount St. Mary’s University has not filed their Environmental Impact Report (EIR) with the city. Once they do, we will let you know so that you can submit your official comments about this project. In the meantime, learn what the Bundy Canyon residents are doing to oppose this expansion and a massive increase in enrollment.
Bundy Canyon Association
The Bundy Canyon Association is an Alliance for the Protection and Safety of Bundy Canyon Residents. It is a group of concerned homeowners who have come together to fight expansion efforts, support other neighborhood causes, and preserve the peace and tranquility of Santa Monica Conservancy’s next-door neighbor, Bundy Canyon.
Bundy Canyon Association is an outreach effort by homeowners who live between Barrington and Bowling Green, from Sunset Blvd to the Santa Monica Mountains, better known as the beautiful Bundy Canyon. This group of concerned neighbors is committed to preserving the quality of life, peaceful enjoyment of properties and the future value of our homes. United with this mission, they have formed Bundy Canyon Neighborhood Association.
To learn more about Bundy Canyon Association’s effort to protect Bundy Canyon neighborhood and to sign a petition, please visit http://bundycanyon.org/.
Let Mike Bonin know your concerns about the Mount St. Mary’s expansion project.