Lomita, which means “little hills” in Spanish, was originally inhabited by Native Americans and part of the Rancho San Pedro land granted by the Spanish Crown in 1784 to settler Juan Jose Dominguez. Nearly a hundred years later, in 1852, the cattle-grazing land was acquired by sheep farmer Nathaniel Narbonne. Oil was discovered in the 1930s which led to further development.
At the end of World War II, the larger adjacent city of Torrance began annexing the Lomita area to develop them into high-rise buildings and apartment units. This did not sit well with the locals, who wanted to retain their suburban lifestyle and environment. Thus, they worked for the requirements for cityhood and in June 1964, the city of Lomita was incorporated.
Because of its proximity to Mexico, Lomita has a large Mexican-American population. It also has many Asians, due to the history of Asian workers being brought to work in the California gold fields and vineyards before the war. In 2018, it had a population of 20,521.
Lomita has often been called Slomita because of its relative lack of criminal activity. However, in 2009, this peace was shattered when a restaurant owner’s wife was reported missing by her sister and friends. His husband, a chef by profession, confessed to slow-cooking her and for four days before disposing of what little remained of her. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for second-degree murder.
More recently, in July 2019, Lomita residents were moved to act again on an issue involving Torrance-based industrial companies that might be dumping toxic contaminants into the soil and groundwater flowing towards Lomita. With 26% of the city population being children under the age of 18, this situation is regarded as a pressing concern for the city officials and community leaders.
Two public elementary schools and a Japanese elementary and junior high school are located in Lomita. Narbonne High School is a few minutes away in Harbor City. The nearest colleges are Los Angeles Harbor College and California Central University. For Law Schools, prospective students may choose to go to the Pacific Coast University School of Law, the Irvine University College of Law, and the University of West Los Angeles.
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