At tonight’s meeting of the Project Area Committee and General Plan Advisory Committee (PAC/GPAC), community representatives will hear presentations and public comments on projects to be included in the redevelopment of Isla Vista.
The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the University Religious Center building on 777 Camino Pescadero Road. Staff members from the county and UCSB will present the environmental impacts of the proposed 278-unit San Clemente Graduate Student Housing complex, to be located on El Colegio Road. County staff will also present two alternative zoning plans for the ocean side of Del Playa Drive to be considered in the I.V. Master Plan’s environmental impact report.
One alternative zoning plan encourages higher-quality new construction of bluff-top units, and the other increases the allowable housing density and would require property owners to leave space for new sidewalks and a bluff-top trail if they rebuild their existing structures.
The PAC/GPAC will also consider requesting funds from the County Redevelopment Agency to purchase audio and recording equipment to document their meetings.
According to a memo from project manager Jamie Goldstein to the PAC/GPAC, county staff has determined that the graduate student housing complex is likely to significantly increase area traffic, reduce access to the Storke recreation field and eliminate sand volleyball and tennis courts.
Chris Townes, a new member of the county planning staff, said he expects discussion of the housing complex’s impacts to generate more public comment than usual.
“It will be more of a crowded meeting this time,” Townes said.
Townes said he worked for a year as an intern for the county before being hired to work exclusively on the I.V. Master Plan. He will be working on the master plan’s environmental impact report document and assisting with PAC/GPAC meeting preparations with project manager Jamie Goldstein, planner Jenna Endres and supervising planner Dave Ward.
The PAC/GPAC is a committee of 13 local residents, students and business owners responsible for recommending a master redevelopment plan to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. The plan, which is currently going through an environmental review process, aims to improve I.V.’s aesthetics and address its lack of housing, parking and excess traffic.