Editor, Daily Nexus,
As some of you may know, there’s something going on in Isla Vista called the Master Plan. For over a year, a committee has been meeting to decide the future look of I.V. I became interested in this process during Fall Quarter when I found out the county wanted to plop a tree and a concrete island in front of my house on Sabado Tarde. My roommates and neighbors started a petition and protest, and the county subsequently cancelled the plans to construct the islands. I’ve tried to make it to as many Master Plan meetings as I can and I’m disappointed by the lack of student attendance and input at these meetings. At least 60 percent of I.V. consists of UCSB and Santa Barbara City College students and hardly any of the input or decisions are from the majority residents of I.V. While it is important to recognize the Latino families, the children, the businesses and the homeowners, I.V. is overwhelmingly a student community. It seems that the committee making these decisions is focused on the interests and visions of the businesses and West End homeowners. I don’t believe that this Master Plan as a whole is representative of the community.
Are there any students out there who support parking permits on our streets? This could very well be implemented within the next year. Would you like to be able to access I.V. through Ocean Road rather than being forced down Los Carneros and El Colegio? How about small things like new street signs rather than the random brown and beige that are a different font on every corner? While there are many positive things that will be accomplished by the Master Plan, the students should take a more active role in their own community to preserve I.V. for future generations who will appreciate it as much as we do. I definitely don’t want to see I.V. gentrified into another Westwood Village.
My message isn’t to insult the members of the committee, because I think that overall the Master Plan will result in great improvements to I.V. I just hope to see more students attend the meetings and give input regarding their own community. The next meeting that students should attend is tonight at 7 p.m. at Embarcadero Hall, where you can voice your opinion about the construction of housing along El Colegio in Storke Field and the widening of El Colegio Road. I’d hate to see this field torn up for a graduate housing complex, but look forward to the alleviation of the El Colegio traffic nightmare. Come give your own input and support your community on Wednesday night. Help shape the future of I.V.