The most recent LMU Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) Meeting was held at the Senior Center adjacent to Westchester Park on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.
Neighbors of LMU adamantly objected to the parking fees which LMU imposed for campus parking starting August 27, 2012. LMU charges $10 per day, or $580 for two semesters, for parking on campus. Parking fees apply Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm. The result has been that students who live off-campus and drive to class are financially motivated to park on Westchester streets to save hundreds of dollars per year. According to the LMU Office of Off-Campus Student Life, there are 2700 students currently enrolled at LMU who live off-campus; 1200 of these students live outside the 90045 zip code.
The official LMU answer to the parking grievance is that LMU is legally allowed by the terms of the Master Plan to charge for parking. The LMU solution is for LMU-adjacent blocks is to apply for permit parking through the City of LA with LMU to pay for these permits (renewed annually). The Master Plan Exhibit G highlights 12 adjacent blocks as eligible for permit parking reimbursement. This is far fewer blocks than are actually impacted by the parking impasse.
Only one block in the LMU-adjacent community has completed the extensive paperwork and 8-month implementation process required for permit parking. A significant percentage of the homes on this block are owned by LMU. Students continue to park on this block, many with out-of-state plates which make parking enforcement challenging.
LMU representatives said that LMU has information only about student cars which have parking passes. The Master Plan, however, requires LMU to be responsible for ”collecting and maintaining vehicle information for campus residents and students living off-campus.”
Nevertheless, Fred Sutton (from Councilman Bonin’s office) said that permit parking is the mechanism by which the City hopes to achieve a fair balance between the interests of LMU and the interests of the homeowners. Sutton remarked, “We can’t legislate civility, but we can legislate parking.”
What is the Master Plan?
The Master Plan is an agreement between the City of Los Angeles and LMU signed May 11, 2011, which sets forth an understanding regarding LMU development. LMU is allowed to develop areas of its campus subject to provisions intended to protect, among other things, the neighborhood and neighboring properties.
The Neighborhood Advisory Committee was established by the terms of the Master Plan. The purpose was to provide a forum for discussion of issues impacting the neighborhood surrounding LMU. The NAC is required to have representatives from the local neighborhood, the Neighborhood Council, Councilman Mike Bonin’s office and LAPD.
You can find the 25 page agreement (+ 105 pages of exhibits) here. The Transportation and Parking Regulations are discussed in Exhibit A, Section 5 (p 27). Exhibit G is a map which shows streets eligible for parking permit fees to be covered by LMU.
LMU Party Houses
LMU strongly encourages residents to call the LMU Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the LAPD when there is an incident relating to an LMU student party. When you call DPS (310.338.2893) they will usually dispatch a public safety officer who later submits a report, but it is also important to call LAPD because they have enforcement power – they can cite and arrest. LAPD will then submit a report to LMU. LMU then determines what action to take against the student(s). Information directly from neighbors keeps LMU better informed and allows LMU to follow up with the affected neighbors later.
The U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Education require LMU to obtain and verify the current local addresses of all enrolled students. Fraternities and sororities are not registered with the University.
The LMU Chief of Public Safety reported that LMU will be adding more security officers and has requested that LAPD provide overtime officers, which LMU will pay for. The City has not yet approved these overtime LAPD officers.
A community member asked if LMU neighbors could be included in a robo-call security alert system. For example, if there was a security threat on the LMU campus which could potentially affect the immediate neighborhood (people with guns climbing over walls, etc.), the neighbors should be alerted.
The next LMU Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) Meeting will be held at the Westchester Senior Center adjacent to Westchester Park on Wednesday, November 12 from 6:30 pm to 8 pm. Parking is available in the library parking lot.
~ Mary Putnam