El Sereno mixed-use project meets with resistance

Proposed charter school/Eastern & Lombardy

Proposed apartments/Eastern & Lombardy

A hillside corner lot in El Sereno would become home to a charter elementary school, cafe and apartments if a developer is able to secure the necessary city permission to build the multi-use project.  Many neighbors, however,  fear the development on a vacant parcel at Eastern Avenue and Lombardy Boulevard is way too big and out of place.

The developer of  Eastern & Lombardy  – which would include a school for 530 students, 20 apartments, parking garage and a corner cafe – is scheduled to make a presentation  on Thursday night during a special meeting of the  El Sereno neighborhood council.  The LA-32 Neighborhood Council has already endorsed the project by Bancomer Construction and City Terrace LLC, and a public hearing has already been held before a Planning Department hearing officer to review the developer’s requests for waivers and variances from current zoning codes.

In documents filed with the city, officials with the developer say Eastern & Lombardy provides a school that is compatible with the existing neighborhood character, much needed new housing and  a cafe that will enhance and encourage pedestrian activity.

But residents continue to push ahead to oppose the project.

Melissa Kellogg said the five-acre project could set a precedent that might undermine ordinances designed to protect the over development of hillsides. The development’s buildings, which would rise more than 40 feet on the hillside, would loom over the nearby residential neighborhood. Kellogg,  said in an email:

The monumental scale of the project, the design as a series of two-story ridgeline structures, the general disregard for the abutting single family residential properties currently buffered by the existing hillside, and lack of awareness of the actual character and aspirations of the community has prompted a negative response from many members of the community at large.”

Project opponents have set up a website  to collect signatures against the Eastern & Lombardy.

Bancomer Construction has not identified what school might move into the project.

The public meeting on Thursday, July 25  will be held at 6 p.m. at 4927 Huntington Drive North — the Barrio Action/Constituent Building.  Officials with the developer are scheduled to make a presentation on the project.


  1. Politicians pulling another fast one on the residents.. Wher is HUIZAR? when his constituents need him .. Oh, I know at CITY HALL allowing this to happen… HUIZAR is the CHAIR for PLUM at CITY HALL .. was this an inside deal ?

  2. We have lived in this neighborhood for 50 years. We love the “serene” in EL Sereno. They SAY they will build a school, we have 3 schools already. Apartment complex would be more noise and traffic. We HAVE enough already. We also have restaurants very near by.???????? Who is paying whom?

  3. Glad to see community members resisting yet another privately managed charter school.

  4. Who is Melissa Kellogg? Is she a resident?

  5. CA Senate Bill 1 is going to make this the only kind of development in the future by labeling inefficient land use as blight and defining inefficient land use as any density less than one residence per 1/8th acre. If you don’t want such high density, or don’t want to give the state carte blanche to eminent domain the suburbs contact your politicians.

  6. friend of el sereno

    The developer’s presentation should be postponed until the school year starts, especially since this proposed development is across the street from Farmdale ES and ESMS. Parents and guardians of these schools should be aware of the project since the impact on them could be significant. If they live in other parts of the community they may not be informed about the meeting. Yesterday I noticed no postings near the property regarding the meeting, but I may have overlooked them (are they posted?).

    It’s interesting the developer has included a charter school without naming an operator or purpose. “We’re building a charter school!” sounds great in a proposal, but is it sustainable or even desired by the community’s parents and guardians?

    It appears another school is not needed in the community, the declining population of school age children in the general area may not support it.

  7. Regarding the charter school, if you dig a little you’ll find the developer is being advised by Academia Avance Charter Schools (Highland Park). Not very impressed with their school report, it’s just ok, as a matter of fact El Sereno MS has a higher growth API then they do. There’s no reason for the community to bring on a school that’is just ok, do you think San Marino, South Pasadena, or Alhambra would?

  8. El sereno against huizar

    No bad idea no huizar is bad

  9. I fail to comprehend why this is a bad idea. What’s wrong with developing in a, lets face it, gang infested shit hole. This can only be good for the neighborhood.

    • AnonElSerenoResident

      Development is good when its done right. Adding additional apartments means more people living in a smaller space, more traffic, and more crime. We have tons of apartments already. The neighborhood has 3 schools already. Why do they need another?

      Sounds like this particular development is good for someones pocketbook not necessarily the neighborhood.

      • The apartment building it has nothing to do with crime. It’s the caliber of the people that inhabit the apartment. Cholo’s and other dumb asses mainly. You can do your part by policing your own people and trying to set an example.

    • you said it brother. best thing you can do is move out of that piece of shit neighborhood. just get out. to hell with the development.

    • Your last name isn’t really Rojas, is it. How much time have you spent in El Sereno to say it’s a shit hole?

      Much of L.A. is and has been gang infested for a long time, that doesn’t make these communities worthless. You should stick to commenting on places you’re more familiar with: Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Malibu, Huntington Beach, Kansas, Ohio, Germany, etc.

  10. It’s ghetto. Can’t understand why anyone would live there !

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