The Isla Vista Recreation and Park District (IVRPD) unanimously voted at its meeting Thursday night to issue a 900 percent permit fee increase for a fraternity’s invitational volleyball tournament.
Three people attended the meeting held at 961 Embarcadero del Mar at 6 p.m., where IVRPD decided to charge Alpha Tau Omega $500 and require a $1,000 security deposit for the use of Greek Park on April 30. Board members said damage sustained by the park during a Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity event last year necessitated the increase. The board also discussed revisions to the Isla Vista work plans and fundraising for a future skate park. IVRPD tabled a suggestion by board member Logan Green, a third-year business economics major, to rename several parks in I.V.
The board charged Lambda Chi Alpha $50 and $150 in safety deposits for last year’s event in Greek Park. IVRPD General Manager Derek Johnson said fights at Lambda’s event resulted in park damage, such as broken platform rails and leftover garbage and debris.
Alpha Tau Omega seems more prepared than last year’s fraternity, but the fee increase is a precautionary measure, Johnson said.
“For the most part, security and operational problems have been resolved,” he said. “I’m confident in this year’s group – they have a better team, they have better security.”
Two representatives from the fraternity attending the meeting agreed to the fee increase and additional down payment.
The board also discussed a proposal to improve the I.V. work plans, which set guidelines for developing and refurbishing local parks.
Board member Diane Conn said she would like to see changes in the way the parks are being developed and handled. She said many parks are not taken care of and new development projects, such as improving Pardall Gardens, would create a better environment for residents.
“In Pardall Gardens, we could develop a Shinto garden – a park where people can take a break from going back and forth from the university,” Conn said.
Conn also said many parks do not have adequate facilities to accommodate families and students.
“Do we have something to sit [on] under that eucalyptus tree in the corner of Abrego?” she said.
In other improvement plans, Johnson talked about the development of a community center skate park in Estero Park. He said he was optimistic about the idea that such a park could be built in the near future. Johnson said Mike Taylor, an award-winning skate park designer, has offered to help design the park.
“He normally charges $80,000, but he is willing to do it for free,” Johnson said.
Taylor has helped raise $75,000 for the park, which officials estimate will be between 10,000 and 12,000 square feet and cost up to $800,000, Johnson said. He said he does not think skateboard companies would contribute to the development of the park.
The board also discussed the recent vandalism in the Anisq’ Oyo’ Park restrooms and agreed to consider a proposal by Green to rename several parks in I.V, such as Gaffney Park – known to many students as “Dog Shit Park.” Green said several I.V. parks lack “memorable titles” and that it would be better to rename the parks as students generally refer to them. The board tabled the discussion until its next meeting on March 17.
Bryan Brown, IVRPD director, said he objected to the idea of formally renaming Gaffney Park.
“I don’t like the idea of workers saying, ‘What did I do today? I worked in Dog Shit,” Brown said.