The Isla Vista Recreation and Park District (IVRPD) considered a proposal Thursday night to label Pardall Gardens as surplus property, making the park available for future sale.
The board, which met at 691 Embarcadero del Mar, discussed whether or not it wanted to put the possible sale of the Gardens, located on Pardall Road next to Kung Pao Kitchen, on the November 2006 ballot for community approval. If the park sells, the money raised from the sale would help fund construction of the Isla Vista Community Center — approved by voters in the November 2004 elections — and scheduled to be erected in Estero Park. In a 3-1 vote, with one member abstaining, the board voted to continue the item to the Feb. 17 agenda.
Logan Green, IVRPD chair and a senior business economics major, said the board had not decided to sell the park and is merely considering whether to give the community a chance to decide the park’s fate.
“We are not selling the park; we are mainly putting it on ballot to be decided if it should be sold,” Green said.
Bryan Brown, an IVRPD board member, said that the sale of the park was, ultimately, not the board’s decision to make.
“[We should] leave it up to the people to make the decision,” Brown said.
IVRPD General Manager Derek Johnson said he met with Green and board members Alisha Dahlstrom and Kelly Burns on Thursday afternoon at the Gardens. He said they looked at the area and discussed different possibilities for the park’s development.
“We talked about the park, visions for the park and the recreational value to community,” Johnson said. “Our parks don’t provide recreation… This could be a way to contribute [to the community].”
Brown said he is reluctant to sell the park, but said he thinks the money raised from the sale would be more valuable than the park itself.
“[I] hate the idea of selling the park, but love the idea of a community center.” Brown said. “Pardall Gardens is something I’m willing to sacrifice because it’s not used. [The money] could be used for something great.”
Brown also said he believes the community center would help bring I.V. residents together.
“Few things see unity in I.V.,” Brown said. “The community center would be one of those few things.”
Diane Conn, vice chair of the IVRPD, said she encourages Isla Vista residents who want to know more or want to voice their opinion to attend the next meeting.
“We’re considering selling property,” Conn said. “Our next meeting is Feb. 17 [at 961 Embarcadero del Mar]. If anyone has questions or comments, feel free to attend.”