When St. Matthew's Parish School's Head of School Stuart Work came on board in 2011, he discovered its conditional use permit (CUP) dated back to 2004. In that timeframe, he said enrollment at the Pacific Palisades school has "edged up" to 350 students from the current CUP document allotting for 325 students.
A CUP ensures current land use is compatible with surrounding land uses.
After approaching the city to update the document, Work said the city suggested they can increase the CUP enrollment cap to 384 students.
"We don't have plans to go near there," he told Patch on Monday. "It's not really changing anything about our property or enrollment. We're not increasing the size of the school."
Of the 37 CUP conditions, Work says the Episcopal school and parish would like to update six.
Enrollment has been going up incrimentally so there's been demand to make the school more financially sustainable, Work said, adding they would like to offer more financial aid to bring in a wider cross-section of the community.
Here are the other proposed CUP condition changes:
- Work said they would like to increase the school's special events from 12 to 16 annually, and he adds they can do it "without being a pain" to the school's neighbors on Bienveneda Avenue. He said they have 166 parking spaces with an additional 50 or so on Bienveneda Avenue, not in front of resident's homes.
- The school does four events annually that go beyond 10 p.m. and the current CUP only allows for three events. Work said the events are two sleepovers for summer camp, the annual auction fundraiser and an ice cream social with a party for the kids after the school's spring musical. The current CUP only allows three events and Work said they would like it upped to four.
- To have the ability to park "above or below" the school for the special events. For whatever reason, Work said the current CUP only allowed parking north and south of the school only twice a year during special events.
- The current CUP requires the school to have two neighborhood meetings annually, yet in his time at St. Matthew's, Work said he's never had a complaint from neighbors. Instead of calling meetings, he said he'd like to set up an email list to better update Bienveneda residents when they are having special events.
- The school is required to have four carpool studies a year, and the CUP requires that 52 percent of students carpool to school. Work said 75 percent of St. Matthew's students carpool, so they'd like the studies to be reduced to two annually.
Work met with the Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) Land Use Committee on March 7, where alternative offsite parking suggestions were discussed.
Work said next Monday he meets with the Marquez Knolls Property Owners Association, then eventually meet back with the land use committee or the full PPCC and then go before the city planning board.
For more information on CUP's, click here.
(A correction was made to the religious affiliation of the parish. Patch apologizes for the error.)