While certain Isla Vista residents hope to push back the current noise ordinance time on weekends, longtime, permanent I.V. locals, county officials and other community members are responding to the possible change with mixed feelings.
Keith Russell, Student Senate vice president of external affairs at Santa Barbara City College, said he is currently working on a proposal to extend the noise ordinance curfew to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The current county ordinance mandates that I.V. residents terminate amplified music by 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and by 12 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
UCSB’s Associated Students Legislative Council recently passed a resolution in support of the proposal.
Russell introduced his proposal at an I.V. Town Hall meeting last February. He said he is working with 3rd District Supervisor Brooks Firestone’s Director of Special Projects Kris Miller-Fisher in order to prepare his proposal for Santa Barbara County officials this fall.
However, Firestone said he thinks people deserve to enjoy silence while in their homes and said he would like to hear more feedback from the community before making any decisions.
“I think in a situation like that I’d like to hear from the people who want to sleep and study as well as the people who want the change,” Firestone said.
UCSB Leg Council Rep-At-Large Romy Lea Frazier, an A.S. presidential candidate, said the proposal’s proponents are also attempting to obtain the support of the A.S. I.V. Community Relations Committee, the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District and the Project Area Committee.
“When the PAC passes a resolution, people tend to listen because it’s such a powerful organization,” Frazier said.
Russell said he would also like to address the issue of what he considers heavy fines for noise ordinance violations. The Isla Vista Foot Patrol currently issues citations to anyone whose music can be heard from 100 feet away from their property line after midnight on weekends. The tickets result in a $166 fine.
Russell said he thinks it is unfair that the IVFP issues the citations against people who have received no complaints from their neighbors.
“I feel that many students are needlessly cited,” Russell said.
Proposal supporter and A.S. presidential candidate Jake Lehman said he would like the county to reduce the fine to no more than $50. He said he is also adamantly opposed to the current noise ordinance law and would like to see more people support Russell’s proposal.
“To shut down live music at 12 is unfair and unreasonable,” Lehman said. “It is a matter of improving community relations and empowering citizens to improve the environment in which they live.”
However, I.V. Foot Patrol Lieutenant Sol Linver said fines are issued using a “No Tolerance” policy because warnings proved ineffective in past efforts to control the I.V. party scene.
“Warnings don’t tend to work,” Linver said. “Actually, sometimes citations don’t work.”
Linver said he feels it is important to provide I.V. residents with a quiet and safe community, but he will not oppose a change to the noise ordinance if the majority of the community approves of it.
“I enforce the laws,” Linver said. “I don’t make them or break them.”
Permanent I.V. residents such as Susan Magiera and Ken Warfield – who have lived on the 6800 block of Sabado Tarde since 1968 – said they see no need to change the curfew. Magiera said she does not mind the loud noise, but she enjoys having some peace and quiet after midnight.
“Bars close at 2 a.m.,” Magiera said. “If you want to stay out that late, go to a bar.”
Warfield said he believes many students appreciate a midnight curfew, as not everyone wants to party all the time.
“Many times, UCSB students don’t realize that they have the right to quiet enjoyment of their residence, too,” Warfield said.
Magiera said she understands students’ desire to change the law, but that less responsible residents might abuse their privileges.
“I want people to have a good time, but there’s always people who push the limit,” Magiera said.