Limit on Enrollment Dropped as Condition for College Parking Lot

Community Correspondent

The City Council has dropped a 650-student limit on enrollment from conditions that Marymount Palos Verdes College must meet before it can get a permit to build an 87-car parking lot.

But at the same time, the council notified the college that even with the new lot it will be in violation of city parking requirements and any increase in the 650-student enrollment will aggravate problems between the college and its neighbors.

College President Thomas D. Wood said the parking lot permit will be obtained as soon as possible. “We’re anxious to get the process started,” he said.

Marymount’s neighbors in April blamed the college for parking problems, traffic, litter and noise, particularly on San Ramon Drive. The council instituted permit-only parking to take students’ cars off San Ramon, and approved installation of the parking lot, subject to the enrollment cap and other conditions.


Councilman Mel Hughes said the council backed away from insisting on a 650-student enrollment limit “under the threat of litigation” from Marymount.

Karen Lee, an attorney for the college, told the council a month ago that the enrollment cap would threaten “the viability of the college.” She also objected to a 200-student limit the council considered imposing on Marymount’s weekend college enrollment.

Conditions still to be imposed on the parking project are that a six-foot-high block wall be constructed to separate the campus from homes on San Ramon Drive that back up to the college, that an existing faculty parking lot be restricted to weekday use, that the lot be completed by the fall semester and that lot lighting be shielded to prevent glare and excess light.

The relationship between the college and its neighbors will be reviewed by the council in October. Councilmen Robert Ryan and Douglas Hinchliffe, who make up a special council committee on Marymount, will re-examine the situation in January. If there are still problems, the council may consider revoking the conditional-use permit under which Marymount has operated for 10 years.


Marymount had 116 students and faced financial ruin when it moved to the campus 10 years ago. By the late 1970s, enrollment increased and so did problems with the neighborhood.