At tomorrow’s Isla Vista Project Area Committee/General Plan Advisory Committee (PAC/GPAC) meeting, committee members will discuss a proposal to buy portions of Del Playa Drive for the creation of a public recreation area.
The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Linda Vista room of Francisco Torres Residence Hall. Jamie Goldstein, a project manager for the I.V. Redevelopment Plan, said the PAC/GPAC will be considering the purchase of five vacant parcels of oceanside land on the 6700 block of DP that are for sale by a private owner. County planner Jenna Endres said the parcels of land, which cover 7/10 of an acre, are sandwiched between undeveloped county-owned properties.
Endres said the cluster of properties would be combined to create a park that would span about two acres of bluff-top land.
County planner George Amoon said the county plans to create an open area for general recreation.
“Those five parcels will be purchased for open space in perpetuity,” Amoon said. “It’ll be a passive, open space kind of park. The parcels are vacant, so there are no addresses because there are no houses. It’s just vacant weeds, vacant parcels.”
Goldstein said the goal of the project is to allow Isla Vista residents greater access to the beach and unobstructed ocean views.
“It creates one large continuous open space,” Goldstein said. “There will be greater recreational opportunities for the community and greater visual access to the ocean. We’re trying to make more recreational areas for the predominantly younger population of I.V., and a large contiguous piece of land will make that more possible.”
Funding for the project is coming from the sale of two other vacant county-owned properties on DP and various grant sources, Goldstein said. This is the first time enough money and momentum has built up to create a viable plan for the land, Endres said.
“It’s a project that’s been in the pipeline for quite some time,” Endres said. “This is the closest the county has gotten to piecing together funding. Part of the redevelopment plan is creating more open space, even though no redevelopment funding is going into this. Now it’s looking like a real project, while maybe two years ago we didn’t have enough money.”
Even with the approval of the PAC/GPAC, Goldstein said the project has to be passed by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, who will approve or reject funding for the park proposal in December.
Wednesday’s meeting will also cover the selection of PAC/GPAC officers, a discussion of alcohol use permits on county property and an update on the progress and funding of the Isla Vista Community Center.