Besides some free pizza, entertainment and a bike giveaway, Isla Vista residents got a critique of their home last night at the first Isla Vista Town Hall meeting of the new school year.

After attendees to the Embarcadero Hall event watched performances by Improvability and local band Folar, a panel of community leaders assembled to discuss their hopes and plans for increasing safety and community spirit in I.V. Speakers included Kris Miller-Fisher, director of special projects for 3rd District Supervisor Brooks Firestone; multiple UCSB students and one professor; and the principal of Isla Vista School.

Among other questions, Miller-Fisher responded to public inquires about plans to construct a new Isla Vista Foot Patrol office behind I.V. Theater. She said the facility would include a holding cell for up to seven detainees, but she emphasized that it would not be a jail.

Senior computer engineering major Ethan Kravitz spoke in opposition to the holding facility, citing existing mistrust between students and foot patrol officers. He said the university and county should focus on preventative measures and improvement projects, such as building more public bathrooms in I.V.

“I understand moving the office, but a holding cell is completely unnecessary,” Kravitz said. “If they make it big enough for seven people, it will always be full. They should focus on constructive measures, not hurting students’ trust.”

Aside from the new station, the panel discussed issues concerning I.V.’s infrastructure, such as the suggestions to shut down Pardall Road to street traffic and make it accessible to bicycles only. In addition, Miller-Fisher brought up current projects in I.V., including the construction of sidewalks on certain roads and the planting of more trees alongside the road.

“One big issue is the installation of street trees and sidewalks,” Miller-Fisher said. “The development of Isla Vista happened quickly in the ’50s and ’60s when sidewalks weren’t required.”

Meanwhile, Associated Students Vice-President of External Affairs Joel Rodriguez-Flores spoke to students about taking control of affairs in I.V.

“Students need to be aware that there is nothing in Isla Vista that cannot be changed,” Rodriguez-Flores said. “I encourage you to take nothing for granted and use your time to make Isla Vista a better place.”

UCSB graduate Colin Blakely, a representative of the student group Chilla Vista, said students should take action in their community if they want to see improvements. He cited the recent case of the Cedarwood Apartments tenants, who are currently facing eviction from their 6626 Picasso Rd. complex, as well as what he said was the general negative view about I.V., as two things that students should rally around.

Blakely pointed to Chilla Vista as a positive model for residents.

“Chilla Vista is more than a physical entity, it’s a lifestyle,” Blakely said of the community activist group. “We’re all about positive reinforcement and looking to improve relationships between citizens, students, and the foot patrol.”