Editor’s Correction: In an Oct. 24 story, “I.V. Planning Committees Review, Prioritize Report,” Lou Ventura was attributed as comparing local student living quarters to roach motels. Actually, Ventura was making the “roach motel” analogy in regards to how long students stay in some apartments he owns. The Daily Nexus regrets this error.
The Project Area Committee and General Plan Advisory Committee (PAC/GPAC) held a meeting Wednesday to prioritize its focal points for the redevelopment of Isla Vista.
The meeting, held at Isla Vista Elementary School, introduced a report summarizing a planning workshop held in April. Titled (Re)Vision Isla Vista, the report was divided into 10 chapters. Each chapter covers a focus of the committee, such as housing, I.V./UCSB interface, transportation and parking. Opticos Design Company compiled the report based on the results of the committee’s workshop.
A portion of the meeting was spent allowing each member of PAC/GPAC to voice their reactions to the publication and to express their goals and concerns for the community. Although members of the committee responded positively to the summary, some members expressed frustration with the progress of the project.
“I am frustrated and annoyed with the county. We’re doing this backwards. We haven’t done anything yet. We can’t make any decisions until we know more,” committee member Joel Silverman said.
Some members said they feared nothing would come of their hard work and efforts. “It is my passion that this works and that the plans are not fruitless,” committee member Cyndi Wilson said.
Using e-mailed responses from committee members, GPAC prioritized the chapters. The top three priorities were housing, I.V./UCSB interface and the proposed downtown I.V. area.
Holly Jo Sparks, committee chair and member of the Student Housing Co-op moved to spend the rest of the meeting addressing housing concerns. The discussion consisted of density and building issues.
After Silverman asked the group to individually express their vision of population growth, the group came to the consensus that population growth is indeed inevitable and that the planning should incorporate accommodations for such growth.
Sparks said she wanted more student-friendly housing in I.V.
“I would really like to create zoning regulations that would allow for denser housing. Basically, the kind of housing we at the Co-op allow for – affordable housing,” she said.
Many committee members, including Joy Hufschmid and Janet Stich, expressed the need for a redistribution of population density. Committee member Lou Ventura compared local student living quarters to roach motels.
“It’s like roach motels. They move in and they don’t want to move out,” he said.
Stich, citing the number of arrests for drunken behavior in I.V., said she is concerned about the increasing population and a lack of social responsibility.
“I think it’s putting on blinders to address the density and not the social problems. It is irresponsible to increase the population without addressing it,” she said.
Project Manager Jamie Goldstein also announced in the meeting that UCSB is going to jointly fund a contract with RBM Engineering Company. The company will create a potential design for roundabouts on El Colegio Road. RBM will be subcontracting with Michael Wulword, one of the nation’s leaders in roundabout design.
“Michael Wulword is the roundabout guru,” Goldstein said.
The next PAC/GPAC meeting is tentatively scheduled for January 2003, where the agenda will focus exclusively on the issue of housing in I.V.