The Isla Vista Recreation and Park District (IVRPD) met Thursday evening at 961 Embarcadero del Mar to discuss local housing issues, plans for a new community center in I.V. and park renovations.

Among the agenda items, IVRPD General Manager Derek Johnson summed up the last Isla Vista Master Plan committee meeting that was held Jan. 8 and 9 with the Project Area Committee (PAC) and General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC), a group of local residents and business owners involved in the I.V. redevelopment process.

The committee discussed increased housing density in I.V. and plans for the addition of approximately 700 housing units throughout I.V. Although the proposal was met with little opposition at the PAC meetings, board member Diane Conn said, “I predict that the West End residents may resist [plans for expansion].”

Plans for a new community center, which will be presented in a Community Center Task Force meeting Feb. 3rd at 7:00 p.m. at 935 Embarcadero del Norte, was also discussed. The I.V. Master Plan process is expected to help with funding for the center’s proposed cost of $3 to 4 million. Topics to be discussed include the final conceptual design, cost estimates and feasibility recommendations.

Johnson said an open house would be held in Sueno Park from 3-4 p.m. on Jan. 30 to mark its reopening after some recent improvements. The park now includes new picnic tables and playground equipment made from recycled materials.

“I’m proud to announce that [the project was] finished under budget and before deadline,” Johnson said.

Future plans for Perfect Park were also discussed, such as new landscaping and the installation of the Perfect Park Peace Monument. An anonymous donation of roughly $9,000 was received for the construction of the peace monument.

Included in the evening’s meeting was a report from Lieutenant Tom McKinny of the Isla Vista Foot Patrol on crime rates in 2002. McKinney said charges of assault and burglary were up from 2001, as were the number of arrests for both crimes. The number of alcohol-related incidents including public intoxication and minor in possession has gone down from 2,400 arrests and citations in 2001 to 1,900 last year.

A formal presentation of last year’s crime rates will be included in the next IVRPD meeting, which will be held Feb. 6.