The Associated Students Legislative Council turned its eyes to Isla Vista in its first meeting of the quarter Wednesday night.
The council heard a presentation from Jamie Goldstein, planning project manager for I.V., that outlined many of the goals and potential problems facing the redevelopment plan. A.S. holds one of 13 voting positions on the I.V. Project Area Commission, which has the power to veto redevelopment expenditures. The council also allocated funds to A.S. Program Board and the Women’s Commission for use in upcoming elections.
Goldstein’s presentation mentioned possible changes designed to revitalize downtown I.V., including a walkway from Pardall Road to Anisq’ Oyo’ Park, roundabouts at the Pardall/Embarcadero intersections to deal with bike traffic, and the installation of parking meters on Pardall to reduce the number of student cars that remain parked on the street all day.
Goldstein estimated the project has between $15-25 million to spend before 2010.
The presentation also mentioned a possible parking permit system in I.V., which Goldstein termed the most “controversial” of the redevelopment issues.
“We already pay for on-street parking through the cost of street maintenance and repairs,” he said.
The council asked if contracts had been made with builders for the proposed community center and low-income housing near Estero Park and whether the structures would be built to “green” standards.
Goldstein said that no contract agreements had been reached, “but we would like to encourage sustainable development.”
Dean of Students Yonie Harris said the community center is planned to be “very green.”
The council discussed the possibility of gentrification in I.V., which occurs when an area is redeveloped to the extent that rents go up too high for current residents to afford.
“I would argue that I.V. is already gentrified,” Goldstein said. “It’s already much more expensive than Goleta and Santa Barbara.”
Off-Campus Representative Ginger Gonzaga called the plan “sugar-coated” and “too business-oriented.”
Another council member said she thought the plan would not benefit business at all, and said she had “mixed feelings” about the plan.
In other business, the council allocated the last of its election budget with $175 donations each to campaign funds for A.S. Program Board and the Women’s Commission. ASPB will have a measure on the spring ballot to increase its student lock-in fee by one dollar.
Program Board Commissioner Eneri Rodriguez said the rise in popularity of hip hop and punk has made it difficult for ASPB to book acts that can sell out venues like the UCen Hub.
“A couple years ago we got Jurassic 5 for $3,000, and it was a sold-out show,” she said. “Now they’re asking for $20,000.”