Recently, a misleading flyer and petition have been distributed throughout Isla Vista regarding the Isla Vista Project Area Committee (IV-PAC). The flyer states that those Isla Vista residents who oppose “increasing density” and the use of “eminent domain” should contact three members – the student organization representatives, myself included – of the 13-member IV-PAC. The flyer then proceeds to list these three members’ personal contact information, including phone, e-mail, and address – information that these members would not have wanted to be disseminated publicly, had they been asked for permission.
As the Graduate Student Association representative of the IV-PAC, I am very confused by the intention of this flyer. Not only does it grossly misrepresent the relevance of “eminent domain” as it currently applies to the Isla Vista Master Plan, but its sole intention seems to be to harass and intimidate the student organization representatives on the IV-PAC.
Before I continue, let me state that I do not know who is responsible for the distribution of this flyer. I do not believe the responsible party is a member of the IV-PAC who represents those with financial interests in Isla Vista.
But the fact is: THERE IS NO MASTER PLAN FOR ISLA VISTA.
The IV-PAC is advising the county Board of Supervisors on how to shape the redevelopment and these meetings are part of process in designing the Master Plan. At this point, “eminent domain” (i.e. the governmental seizure of private property) should not even be a topic of conversation at the IV-PAC meetings, because NO ONE – neither the landlord, business, tenant nor the student representatives – knows if eminent domain could even apply to the Isla Vista Master Plan. Eminent domain is simply not relevant at this point in the process.
Only a fool would blindly suggest that the population density of Isla Vista should be increased – and only a greater fool would suggest that eminent domain and the population density of Isla Vista are in any way related, especially at this point in the planning process. To pair these two concepts is a manipulative tactic designed to control public opinion by confusing the issues.
There are individuals who stand to make a great deal of money in Isla Vista as a result of this redevelopment and who are very concerned that an increase in the standard of living of those who reside in Isla Vista – specifically the student population and low-income residents – will impact their financial gain. They are willing to misrepresent the present relevance of issues like “eminent domain” in order to gain support in the form of some meaningless petition sacrificing the needs of Isla Vista’s residents.
I cannot state strongly enough how important it is that the residents of Isla Vista participate in the IV-PAC meetings. The last thing certain individuals with financial interests in Isla Vista want is for the residents of Isla Vista to participate in this process. Thus far, business owners and landlords have dominated the public input. DO NOT ARM THEM BY SIGNING SOME MEANINGLESS PETITION THAT WILL ONLY HELP THEM TO GAIN FINANCIALLY AT THE EXPENSE OF FUTURE ISLA VISTA RESIDENTS.
I am willing to call the bluff of whoever is responsible for the distribution of these flyers. If you see these flyers posted, write down my phone number and e-mail address. If you have any questions about the IV-PAC or the I.V. Master Plan, please feel free to contact me. I will be happy to answer any questions you have about this process.
The main thing to do, however, is to participate in these meetings. Everyone who lives in Isla Vista knows that there are an infinite number of areas in which Isla Vista can be improved. Sadly, a number of landlords and business owners are hoping that Isla Vista residents will not participate in the process to achieve these improvements.
Bryan D. Brown is the GSA representative to the I.V. Project Area Committee.