Third District Superviso Brooks Firestone will hold a town hall meeting tonight in Embarcadero Hall to discuss the continued erosion of the bluffs along Del Playa Drive.

The meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m., will cover the geology of the Santa Barbar region and its effect on properties located on blufftops. In addition to Firestone’s, geological sciences professor Arthur Sylvester and Santa Barbara County Planning and Development Dept. Assistant Director Dianne Meester will also sit on the town hall panel. Sylvester will provide a scientific breakdown of the erosion problem while Meester will address the legal process, including issues of public safety and building codes.

Firestone said community interest in the safety of blufftop properties prompted him to schedule the meeting.

“There just seemed to be a real need to hear the facts about the bluffs and the process,” Firestone said. “There are some 19 properties now that have either been red-tagged or under notice. I think Isla Vista residents and property owners want to hear from experts what exactly is going on.”
Sylvester, who has conducted research specializing in erosion, will address the current state of the bluffs and regional erosion trends.
“There are three things that I will discuss,” Sylvester said. “One, why the cliffs are eroding; two, how fast is it happening and three, what can be done to stop it.”

As far as devising a definitive plan to halt the erosion, Sylvester said other non-geological variables will be considered.
“It depends on the current county law and the amount of money you have,” Sylvester said.
The informational meeting will also include a question-and-answer period where members of the community can voice their concerns.
“There have been many questions about the erosion and safety of Isla Vista blufftop properties, and this meeting is designed to answer many of these questions,” Firestone said. “I think that people have a right to know, from the authorities, what is really going on.”