The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will discuss the proposed Isla Vista parking plan at its meeting today and decide whether or not to approve it – likely drawing a large crowd of I.V. residents who are opposed to the plan’s high cost.
Members of Associated Students, the I.V. chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and other community residents, who have been holding weekly strategy sessions in preparation for today’s meeting, said they predict the parking plan will be voted down. The meeting will be held downtown in the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, located at 105 E. Anapamu St., on the fourth floor.
Chris Cooney, a spokesman from the county clerk’s office, said the parking plan will be discussed during the board’s afternoon session. He said the item will likely come up between 2 and 3 p.m., and those wishing to speak during a period reserved for public comment will need to fill out a speaker’s card prior to the meeting, noting whether they are in favor of or opposed to the proposed plan.
“People have three minutes [to speak] under normal circumstances,” Cooney said. “If we have an inordinate number of people, that will probably be shortened.”
Cooney said the clerk’s office has received around 25 phone calls from people inquiring about the parking hearing, but he said he is expecting more people than that will want to speak.
Scott Bull, co-founder of the I.V. chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and grant manager of the Shoreline Preservation Fund, said he estimates more than 50 I.V. residents and students will be present at the meeting to urge the county to revise the plan.
“I don’t believe this plan is all or nothing, and I do think we can work with certain components of the plan to see some beneficial results,” Bull said. “I don’t think the plan as proposed should go through, and I don’t think it will go through.”
Bull said that Gail Marshall, 3rd District supervisor, is likely to be the defining influence over the rest of the board’s vote.
Marshall said last week she would not support any parking plan for Isla Vista that includes the currently proposed $195 cost for annual permits. She said a cost of nearly $200 was too high.
“I think Gail Marshall will tend to lead, as she is most knowledgeable about this issue and she cares a lot about this community,” Bull said. “I do believe the other [supervisors] will be looking to Gail for some feedback.”
Eric Cummings, a UCSB sophomore and member of I.V. Surfrider, said if students knew more about the plan, he thinks they would probably support it.
“Right now, from everything I have heard, I don’t think [the parking plan] is going to pass,” Cummings said. “I hope that it passes, but I don’t think it will.”
He said the meeting is likely to attract particular groups of students who hold a special interest in the parking plan.
“There could be a lot of surfers down there – they are interested in the parking at Sands Beach,” Cummings said. “If the plan goes through then they won’t be able to park there.”