Goleta City Council held a meeting Tuesday afternoon at Goleta City Hall to discuss establishing self-governance in Isla Vista through Assemblymember Das Williams’ Assembly Bill 3 (AB 3), ultimately voting 3-2 in support of the bill.
If passed, AB 3 would create a Community Services District (CSD) in I.V., and establish a formation process, boundaries, services and a governing body. Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte and council members Jim Farr and Michael Bennett voted to support AB 3 while council members Roger Aceves and Tony Vallejo voted in opposition. Aceves and Vallejo will release a letter explaining their stance on the bill.
I.V. business owner Jay Freeman said a parking permit program under a CSD could make parking problems worse if not implemented correctly and wants to see more clarity in the plan.
“As a Goleta resident I know that we are very much affected by all of this, I live in the area that is always under parking restrictions during Deltopia and Halloween,” Freeman said. “I would love to see Goleta be specific about what they would like to see from a parking program.”
Santa Barbara City College student Tyler Gibson said he supports AB 3 because it addresses the distinct needs of I.V.
“Isla Vista is unique — it needs unique solutions and you have to go and do things that you wouldn’t normally do,” Gibson said. “You have to go through different processes that look different and feel different. I just urge support for AB 3 so we can stop kicking the can down the road.”
Aceves, who is also a member of Santa Barbara County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), said the commission opposes the bill because it believes there should be a financial feasibility study and LAFCO should be a part of the CSD formation process.
“LAFCO has asked that you provide a feasibility study to find out if you can, in fact, do a CSD and also LAFCO wanted to be part of the process – simple – that’s the law,” Aceves said.
According to Aceves, the University of California Board of Regents is hesitant to be a part of the CSD.
“They support AB 3, they support self-governance, but they are concerned about the precedent it will be setting,” Aceves said.
Aceves said the community should work with Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr to improve I.V., because a CSD will not generate enough funding.
“What should be happening right now is that the Third District Supervisor should be sitting with you students forming, planning groups to address parking,” Aceves said. “We cannot afford to build a parking structure in the city of Goleta because we don’t have the money to do it. How is your CSD with all the $3 million per year going to be able to do that?”
Vallejo said while he believes conditions in I.V. need to be addressed, AB 3 is temporary solution that will not create a safer community.
“My issue is that this doesn’t give us answers,” Vallejo said, “It just seems like we are in such a hurry to do something that we are not thinking this all the way through.”
Perotte said she supports AB 3 because she has seen how self-governance has solved problems in Goleta since it became a city in 2002 and believes it can do the same for I.V.
“That’s what we did and I am all about self-determination,” Perotte said. “I will be supporting this.”
AB 3 will be heard by the California State Assembly Committee on Appropriations on May 29.