Editor’s Note: In Nov. 20’s news story, “I.V. Looks at Parking Plans,” Chandler Briggs, the undergraduate representative on GPAC, was paraphrased as saying that he saw no alternative other than to build a new parking structure. In fact, Briggs said he was opposed to a parking structure. The Nexus regrets this error
Wednesday night the Isla Vista General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) held a meeting at Francisco Torres Residence Hall to discuss parking in Isla Vista and to present the proposed recommendation for a parking permit and meter program.
GPAC members heard a county presentation on plans for I.V. parking, followed by public comment. The county program calls for a system of residential parking permits and parking meters in the downtown area. Community members were concerned with the impact on businesses and low-income residents, as well as beach access.
“We need to find a solution and we will do everything that we can to do so,” said John McInnes of the Santa Barbara County Public Works Dept.
McInnes gave a presentation of the parking committee’s major goals, including the priority of the estimated 3,000 on-street parking spots to I.V. residents.
McInnes also said the downtown area of I.V. would have short-term parking in front of businesses for customers.
“I.V. will be divided into three zones,” McInnes said. The zones would be composed of a metered coastal access zone, a metered commercial zone and a residential permit zone.
I.V. residents, homeowners and students at the meeting said they believed zoning is a means of further dividing the I.V. community.
In his presentation, McInnes said the metered zones would run from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The plan would create annual permits from July 1 to June 30 and summer parking permits from June 1 Sept. 30. One-day guest parking permits would be $2.00 each for the first 15 visits, after which the price would increase to $7.00.
“It’s going to be expensive, so much so that the estimated [costs] for the new parking plan are not even being discussed,” GPAC board member Bryan Brown said.
Brown also said the last thing he wants in I.V. is a parking structure to be built.
“A new parking structure will just be ugly,” Brown said.
Chandler Briggs, a sophomore environmental studies major and undergraduate representative on GPAC, said he saw no other solution than to construct a large new parking structure to accommodate the number of cars in I.V.
GPAC board member Mike Foley said he was concerned the low-income residents of I.V. could possibly be hurt by the new parking plan.
“I don’t want any low-income I.V. resident to have to choose between eating breakfast or paying to park their car,” Foley said.
Logan Green, Associated Students vice president for local affairs and a junior business economics major, said he was optimistic the plan will benefit residents of I.V. and the surrounding community.
“The plan must be affordable, and priority must go to I.V. residents who are forced to park on the street,” Green said.
Not all GPAC members were as optimistic about the plan for parking meters, a parking structure and a permit system for homeowners and employees.
“I think it is just another way to generate revenue from the students,” GPAC board member Lou Ventura said.
Local surfers present at the meeting said they were opposed to parking meters on Camino Majorca, which they claim would reduce beach access.
The plan is still under revision and a first draft of the program adoption is expected by January 2004.