Loma Linda offers many of the amenities of a college town -- without the heavy partying. This affordable community in the shadow of the San Bernardino Mountains is influenced by its Seventh-day Adventist past and present.
This 7.8 square miles of land came to the attention of the Seventh-day Adventists and prophet Ellen G. White in 1904. White encouraged local Adventists to start a sanitarium and medical school. The Loma Linda Medical College opened in 1910. The school eventually became Loma Linda University and Loma Linda University Medical Center. Ever since, medical professionals and their families have found their way to this small town in the eastern reaches of the San Gabriel Valley.
The city is attracting young families, many of them Asian, who are looking for access to highly ranked schools and quality homes at a good price. One or both wage earners in most families work in the medical profession.
Melanie Ratana moved to Loma Linda in 2005 from the Chicago suburbs. The nurse found a job at nearby Redlands Community Hospital and enrolled her older son, 8, at the highly regarded Bryn Mawr Elementary School.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday January 09, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 23 words Type of Material: Correction
Neighborly Advice: The Jan. 7 Real Estate column incorrectly stated that Loma Linda is in the San Gabriel Valley. It is farther east.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday January 14, 2007 Home Edition Real Estate Part K Page 5 Features Desk 0 inches; 17 words Type of Material: Correction
Neighborly Advice: The Jan. 7 column incorrectly stated that Loma Linda is in the San Gabriel Valley.
Rosalind Thomas, an emergency room nurse at Loma Linda University Medical Center, moved here because she and her husband, also a nurse, wanted to give their high school-age daughter an edge for getting into medical school. They quickly settled in among fellow Seventh-day Adventists. "We have blended in well," she said. "There is not much crime, and everything we need is close."
Good news, bad news
The university offers some activities for the community, but they tend to be health oriented, rather than cultural. Although there are 3,000 students at Loma Linda University, you don't see the bars and night life found in other college towns.
The community is known for its healthful lifestyle. Adventist beliefs espouse a vegetarian diet with no drinking or smoking. Adventists on average live longer than other Americans, according to Richard Hart, chancellor and chief executive of Loma Linda University. "The Adventist church, since its origin, has valued health as part of a Christian lifestyle," Hart said. "Every American knows what they need to do to be healthier, but they don't practice it. The value of a faith-based setting is the social support to practice a healthier lifestyle."
Last year, National Geographic singled out Loma Linda as one of three places in the world where residents live exceptionally long lives. This is in spite of the summer heat and the air pollution. Average summer temperatures are in the 90s and often reach above 100 degrees. Smog backs up against the mountains; San Bernardino County is regularly rated as among the more polluted areas of the country.
Some residents send their children to Loma Linda Academy, a private, Seventh-day Adventist K-12 school with about 1,500 students. Public school students are enrolled in the Redlands Unified School District. The local elementary school, Bryn Mawr, scored 810 of a possible 1,000 on the 2006 Academic Performance Index Growth Report. After elementary school, Loma Linda public school students travel to Redlands to attend Cope Middle School, which scored 791, or Beattie Middle School in Highland, which scored 801. For high school, students attend Redlands High, which had an API of 735.
The population of Loma Linda is slightly less than 21,000, and there are close to 4,200 single-family homes. The majority were built before 1980, but several developments are underway, with brand-new houses starting around $400,000 for two bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,500 square feet. A new four-bedroom, 4 1/2 -bathroom home of 3,500 square feet is listed for $699,000.
An older home with three bedrooms, three bathrooms and 2,300 square feet is on the market for $499,000.
Sources: DataQuick Information Systems; city of Loma Linda, www.ci.loma-linda.ca.us/; Loma Linda University and Medical Center, www.llu.edu/; Trimark Pacific Homes, www.trimarkpacific.com/.