Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr will hold her monthly office hours at Coffee Collaborative on Pardall Road tomorrow to discuss local concerns with Isla Vista residents.
Farr won her seat on the county’s Board of Supervisors in 2009 and has also served as the 2nd District Planning Commissioner and a Goleta City planning consultant. Farr is the only elected official in the county that directly represents Isla Vista, an unincorporated region of Goleta.
According to Farr, common topics she discusses with constituents include housing issues and local environmental concerns.
“[People discuss] housing problems with existing housing, zoning enforcements or new housing, such as student housing, co-ops and projects they have been working on,” Farr said. “Also, [residents bring up] environmental issues — from Environmental Affairs Board and CALPIRG, single-use plastic bag bans to issues with ocean and water quality and parks.”
Other frequent questions involve local laws and the transient population, Farr said.
“People also talk about issues to do with [the] homeless,” Farr said. “There’s a really wide variety … things to do with Associated Students and projects, Halloween or Floatopia or the Social Host Ordinance. I’m open to talk about whatever they want to talk about.”
According to Farr, the 3rd District — Isla Vista, Goleta and the Santa Ynez Valley — includes various historical spaces, tourist destinations, diverse neighborhoods, unique ecosystems as well as the UCSB campus.
Farr said accurately representing the district’s wide variety of interests requires constant community engagement.
“I do a lot of constituent outreach,” Farr said. “I try to be very visible in all parts of district. I’m very accessible and make myself available as much as possible.”
Farr provided the sole opposing vote to both the Board of Supervisor’s ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in the county and the Social Host Liability Ordinance.
This year’s county agenda includes projects protecting Santa Barbara’s natural resources, Farr said.
“A major area of interest for the Isla Vista community has to do with sustainability and environmental protection in all ways, whether it’s energy-efficient creation of solar panels, clean air or clean water issues,” Farr said.
Additionally, Farr said protecting the Gaviota Coast, which stretches from Goleta’s Coal Oil Point to Point Sal near Lompoc, is another board priority.
“The Gaviota Coast requires a lot of attention on its development and balancing its uses,” Farr said. “We are also trying to increase coastal access for the general public.”
Residents can speak to Farr on the second Thursday of every month at the Coffee Collaborative without prior appointment.
“I’m proud to represent the Isla Vista community and the students and always enjoy talking to them and meeting with them,” Farr said. “It’s a privilege.”