The Santa Barbara County Board of Architectural Design has given its final approval over the construction of two single-family dwellings at 6631 Del Playa Dr., a currently undeveloped space.
The authorization, which was originally due Nov. 28, 2006, was postponed to address the concerns of a few community members, such as UCSB professor Mark Juergensmeyer, owner of the neighboring parcel. Juergensmeyer and Enea Properties Company, current owner of the space, reached a compromise including a promise from Enea Properties to set up a volleyball net in Capps Park.
Enea Properties Company purchased the land in August of last year with the intent to construct housing, said company president Robert Enea.
However, Juergensmeyer, a professor of sociology and religious studies, said he submitted a complaint to due to his concern for the rapid disappearance of open space in I.V. He said a number of students frequent the park, commonly known as Volley Park, for volleyball and other outdoor activities, making it an important landmark for the community.
Juergensmeyer withdrew his appeal in light of new concessions made with Enea Properties Company, Enea said. The company agreed to compromise with Juergensmeyer in exchange for his support of the construction.
“[Enea] agreed to support recreation and park facilities and to preserve open space,” Juergensmeyer said. “He also promised to preserve the bluff, which is very important … I think it’s a good arrangement.”
Senior Spanish and global studies major Brad Greenbaum presented a case against the proposed development at the meeting on Nov. 28.
“Brad Greenbaum expressed concerns that he wouldn’t be able to play volleyball there,” Enea said. “But there is a serious shortage of housing in Isla Vista.”
As a concession, Enea agreed to put a new volleyball net in Capps Park, a recently purchased piece of land that the county was able to buy with the revenue from the sale of Volley Park.
Enea said his company respects the concerns of Juergensmeyer, and although it will continue with construction plans, it is willing to compromise.
“There were a number of concessions we made,” Enea said. “We came to a mutual agreement and he supports our project.”
Despite lingering concerns about parking and open space, Juergensmeyer said Enea has tried his best to meet the needs of both the environment and the students.
“He’s better than your average slash-and-burn, steal-money-from-the-students landlord,” Juergensmeyer said. “I think it’s important to hold all new projects accountable. This shows that a strong voice in the neighborhood can make a difference.”