Planners from the Santa Barbara County Redevelopment Agency met with Isla Vista community members last night at the University Religious Center to explain the election procedures for an Isla Vista Project Area Committee (PAC), which will assist in determining the direction of I.V. redevelopment.
The PAC will work with Envision Designs – a Bay Area-based architecture company – to design the plan, and Santa Barbara County to ensure community interests are addressed in the redevelopment process.
The 13-member PAC will hold positions for one tenant, two business owners and one residential owner elected by community members on October 30. To vote for these representatives, voters will complete a Certification of Eligibility form, which will determine which group best represents their interests.
In addition, there will be one representative from the I.V. Association, I.V. Property Owners Association, I.V. Youth Projects, I.V. Tenants Union, Storke Ranch Association, UCSB Associated Students, UCSB Graduate Students Association, I.V. Teen Center, and the Santa Barbara Student Housing Co-op.
The redevelopment plan, commonly known as the Isla Vista Master Plan, is not scheduled to be completed until 2004 and seeks to provide additional housing, while improving parking problems, transportation deficiencies and sidewalks.
Jaime Goldstein, I.V. Redevelopment Agency (RDA) project manager, said PAC members will have to dedicate themselves to those they represent.
“The PAC will meet about 20 times throughout the year. They will be asked to review material from [Envision]. The time commitment will be around 15 hours a month,” he said. “They need to keep in mind to represent their constituents. They will work for their interests, but also the interests of those they represent.”
Heather Baker, an RDA planner, said development would continue while the plan is being drafted.
“Small projects will continue while we are working on the Master Plan,” she said. “There will be sidewalks built, perhaps painting of some downtown businesses.”
I.V. Recreation and Parks District General Manager Derek Johnson said decisions made by the PAC should consider who will benefit from development.
“We need to make decisions based on [the state of] the whole downtown area. We need to recognize where there is general benefits [to the community] and specific benefits [to the businesses],” he said.
Goldstein said the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will have final say in disputes between Envision and PAC members.
“PAC members will work one-on-one with a design consultant, and members should listen to their recommended solutions. It is possible there will be conflict, and at that time the Board of Supervisors will be notified and they will make the final decision,” he said.
Lisa Plowman, an RDA planner, said conflicts are not expected and should be avoided.
“The entire process is set up to bring [the community] in. It’s supposed to be a cooperative relationship between everybody. We don’t anticipate problems between Envision and the PAC,” she said.
Applications for candidacy must be turned in by October 23 and are available at the IVRPD office and the Santa Barbara County Planning and Development office. The election will take place on Tuesday, October 30 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Isla Vista Teen Center. Results will be available two days after the election, but will not be official until the Board of Supervisors approves them at the meeting on November 13.