Students and community representatives met Tuesday to organize their complaints about the proposed Isla Vista parking plan for the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting May 18.
The meeting, which was held in the Graduate Student Association Lounge, was the fourth in a series of meetings about the parking plan, and it attracted over a dozen people. The group reviewed the stance of 3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall as well as the university and agreed that lowering the cost of the proposed parking program is its primary objective.
At the meeting on May 4, the group agreed to support the proposed parking plan and work with the board of supervisors to make revisions so the program accounts for student and resident grievances.
Marshall said she opposes the proposed $195 annual permit fee. Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services George Pernsteiner said the university shares Marshall’s opinion of the plan.
“The general consensus that we have come to is that we are in support of the plan,” Pernsteiner said. “We like the idea of a residential parking permit plan but we think the price is too high.”
Those who attended the meeting said they were concerned the plan will be voted down completely and agreed that lowering the cost of the permit would be one of the group’s primary concerns.
“It’s almost now or never,” said Eric Cummings, a sophomore and I.V. Surfrider member. “We need to think about how to get the votes to get the plan through.”
Attendees agreed that lowering the cost of the permits from $195 to possibly $100 would be ideal to rally student and community support for the plan.
“Cost is going to sink or swim the plan,” PAC/GPAC member Bryan Brown said. “No other city has a plan that costs this much.”
Tuesday’s meeting was heated because the group is under pressure to organize its concerns by next week. During the meeting, attendees showed frustration toward the lack of productivity the past meetings have yielded.
Chandler Briggs, student representative on PAC/GPAC, left the meeting early.
“I don’t even have a fucking car; what am I doing here?” he said.
Scott Bull of I.V. Surfrider and the Shoreline Preservation Fund said the price of the permit is only one of the reasons students oppose the plan.
“If the price did come down, maybe more people would be supportive of the plan,” Bull said. “Lowering the cost could be one last saving grace for this plan.”