Legendary musician David Crosby came to UCSB Tuesday to challenge Santa Barbara County’s development process and point the finger at those responsible – and not just any finger.
Crosby, his wife Jan and 3rd District supervisor candidate Steve Pappas gave a presentation at the Graduate Student Association Lounge to discuss the lack of community input that has gone into the Isla Vista Master Plan. About 30 students attended the discussion, which came on the eve of a meeting to discuss the master plan tonight. The meeting of the Isla Vista Redevelopment and Master Plan Project Area Committee (PAC) and the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) will be held tonight to consider parking solutions in I.V. The meeting will be at 6:30 in the Linda Vista Room in Francisco Torres, and is open to all I.V. residents.
Pappas said he and the Crosbys came to discuss Isla Vista because they see similarities in the development situation here to the situation in the town in which they reside, Los Olivos. The Crosbys received notice there that their home had been rezoned and that a major housing tract would be developed in the area.
Pappas focused on the need for a change in the system in which environmental impact reports of development plans are composed by the same committees who wrote the plans.
“My one request is think about how you can demand the county to have an independent expert to do environmental impact reports,” Pappas said. “They owe you that.”
Both Crosby and Pappas said I.V.’s redevelopment plan, like the one in Los Olivos, lacked sufficient community input.
“How many people here are fully aware of the I.V. Master Plan and know that it is in the EIR stage?” Pappas asked. When only a few hands raised, Pappas said, “I just think that is a crime.”
Pappas addressed Geyer during the presentation and asked if Geyer could extend the public comment portion at tonight’s meeting, which is scheduled to last only five minutes.
Geyer said the five minutes on the agenda is a formality and that he would allow public comment to continue “if someone were in the middle of something.” He also said the best time for the public to interact with the committee on an agenda item is during the discussion of that item.
After the meeting Crosby became heated in an exchange with GPAC Chair Craig Geyer in the hallway outside the GSA Lounge. The conversation began cordially, with Crosby commenting that I.V.’s Master Plan “has gone much better than ours [in Los Olivos] did.”
Later in the conversation Geyer said, “I disagree with some of the things you did. You got up there and told those people our plan is in its 11th hour. We still have to go to [California] Coastal Commission – we’re barely 50 percent done.”
Crosby began to respond, but Geyer interrupted him.
“OK, we’re going to take turns here,” Crosby said.
“Yeah, and it’s my turn,” Geyer responded.
Crosby stuck his middle finger in Geyer’s face and shouted an expletive, then made a waving hand gesture that came within a few inches of Geyer’s glasses but was apparently not intended to make contact.
“Don’t you take a swipe at me,” Geyer said as Crosby walked off.
The only item on the agenda for tonight’s meeting is parking solutions for I.V.
“In the Master Plan, parking is the number one concern, coming prior the Master Plan being completed in its entirety,” GPAC Resident Tenant Representative Jeff Marek said regarding the meeting.
The most likely solutions include the installation of parking meters, and the creation of a parking permit program. Marek said he has spoken to many students who are not in favor of the parking meters.
“I haven’t heard one positive remark from any students, and most of them are totally against [the parking meters]. They’re more open to the parking permit concept, but some are concerned with where the money from the permits would go,” Marek said.