Approximately 75 cars were towed from the 6500 to 6800 blocks of Sabado Tarde Road early Monday morning in order to clear the road for construction.
The California Highway Patrol and Isla Vista Foot Patrol, who called the numerous tow truck companies, originally put up signs last Wednesday for work scheduled Friday, but decided to wait until Monday because not enough residents were informed. The construction, a project by the Santa Barbara County Public Works Dept., was a one-day preparatory treatment for re-paving, which is scheduled for completion in May, according to Cliff Replogle, the department’s resident engineer.
“I feel really bad [about the towing],” Replogle said. “We tried to get some warning. … Apparently the CHP must display the signs at a certain place and height, so they pulled them down and reset them Friday. They had to go back Saturday, because a lot were knocked down. Everything was legit, though. We always put up the signs 48 hours in advance, but we try for 72.”
Residents whose cars were towed were directed to call the Goleta CHP Dept. at 967-1234. Owners who reclaimed their car the same day were charged approximately $100 to $150 by the towing company, and an extra $45 if the IVFP reported the towing.
IVFP Sergeant Conn Abel said the Foot Patrol walked down Sabado Tarde between 7:30 and 7:45 a.m. with a bullhorn to warn residents they were beginning to tow cars.
“The signs got posted Wednesday, and right away, kids tore them down, so we decided not to do the work. We re-posted them and rescheduled the work until [Monday]. The signs we posted Friday were torn down, so [the IVFP] went through and hung them back up this weekend,” he said. “All the cars will have to move again later when we repave.”
Pat Kelley, a Del Playa Drive resident and SBCC student, said his car was removed from the 6700 block of Sabado Tarde by the CHP.
“I came home from work [Sunday night], and it was dark. I tried to park on the 6600 block of Sabado, but I saw the signs, so I went down to the 6700 block. I saw one sign on the corner, but I didn’t see any more signs, so I parked. The street was packed – it was totally full of cars, and I didn’t see any signs,” Kelley said. “I’m gonna fight it. I can make a hearing with the lieutenant in charge of the CHP – he’s going to call me Wednesday and we’ll see. I know I won’t get the money back, but I’ll at least complain.”
Kelley, who paid $157 to retrieve his car from Smitty’s Towing, said items were removed from the vehicle.
“They took my pipe, too. I saw it on the police report – ‘marijuana pipe removed,’ ” he said. “It was in the side door pocket on [the driver’s] side of the car, so they might have seen it when the door was open. Stuff was moved around in the other pocket, too. … They might have seen it if they were poking around a little, but it wasn’t sitting on my seat in plain view.”
3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall’s executive assistant, Mark Chaconas, said the county budgeted to spend $100 million on I.V. roads in the 2000-2001 fiscal year. The funding for Sabado Tarde came from Santa Barbara gas tax money the county receives, while work done on major roads in I.V. was funded by California state money.
“The reason some of the work is happening now is there are different sources of funding. The major streets, like the Embarcaderos and El Colegio, typically come from state and federal funds,” Chaconas said. “Neighborhood streets, like Sabado Tarde, come from local funds. It’s the type of funding that we specially contract to a road resurfacing company, so it’s up to them to get out to all the streets.”