Today a coalition of Santa Barbara County organizations is announcing the formation of Sustainable University Now (SUN). SUN is the product of a series of meetings convened by the Santa Barbara County Action Network (SB CAN) to discuss community challenges raised by UCSB’s Draft Long Range Development Plan (LRDP). SUN members are committed to encouraging wide community participation in reviewing and responding to the LRDP draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which is expected to be re-circulated soon.
SUN members emphasize that they do not seek to oppose the University’s future development, but rather to improve it. Olivia Uribe, Associate Director of SB CAN, sums it up this way: “As a recent UCSB grad, I know firsthand what a great asset UCSB is to Santa Barbara County. Our coalition has been clear that we want to have a collaborative, positive relationship with UCSB.” SUN’s statement of principles echoes this approach, stressing the importance of careful planning: “Decisions made by and about the University will have far reaching and long lasting consequences for residents of the campus, Isla Vista, the Cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta and throughout Santa Barbara County.”
Richard Flacks, UCSB Research Professor of Sociology, is serving as interim chair of the SUN Coalition. In announcing the formation of the group he summarized the objectives of the organization as follows: “We want to make sure that this project is based on principles of sustainability, provides broad social benefits and that the project’s impacts on the area’s housing supply, water resources, traffic and commuting help improve rather than threaten our quality of life.”
SUN is requesting that local governmental bodies review and comment on the recirculated draft EIR.
The current list of Coalition members includes these organizations:
Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST) Community Environmental Council League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara Santa Barbara Audubon Society Santa Barbara County Action Network (SB CAN) Sierra Club Los Padres Chapter - Santa Barbara Group Pueblo Education Fund Santa Barbara Channelkeeper
The Coalition’s Statement of Principles follows:
SUSTAINABLE UNIVERSITY NOW COALITION PRINCIPLES
UCSB is an integral part of the greater Santa Barbara County community.
The University’s current Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) efforts will set the stage for its expansion over the next twenty years. Decisions made by and about the University will have far reaching and long lasting consequences for residents of the campus, Isla Vista, the Cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta and throughout Santa Barbara County.
The LRDP should fully acknowledge the relationship and impact of the University’s development plans on other constituencies and jurisdictions. UCSB must ensure that the cumulative impacts on the resources it shares with its neighbors – roads and intersections, water supply, watersheds and sensitive habitats, etc. – are understood and specifically addressed.
We believe that the following principles should guide this process:
* The LRDP must be based on principles of sustainability and UCSB should demonstrate leadership in such areas as transportation, protection of natural resources, water, affordable housing, traffic, parking, energy conservation, climate change concerns, recycling, etc. UCSB development should seek to promote and include modern sustainability planning principles.
* Any UCSB growth plans should be warranted by broad social benefits as well as institutional needs. UCSB’s development must be at a level that maintains and enhances the quality of life of its surrounding communities.
* Concerns and impacts raised in the draft Environmental Impact Report should be addressed fully, openly, and inclusively, providing specific mitigations, timetables and detailed planning as part of the final plan.
* The final LRDP will benefit from and should be the result of substantial community involvement and local public hearings and meetings on the proposed EIR. UCSB should seek participation from all South Coast jurisdictions and constituencies, including, but not limited to, the City of Goleta, the City and County of Santa Barbara, agencies such as the Isla Vista Redevelopment Agency, the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District, the Goleta Water District, the Goleta West Sanitary District, the Goleta Sanitary District, neighborhood associations and individuals.
How can building on Ocean Road NOT be considered as part of UCSB's Long Range Developement Plan?
[ From: "UCSB’s Ocean Road Project Raises Concerns - University Administration Facing Possible Housing Pressure," By Ben Preston, SB INDEPENDENT, November 13, 2008 ]
In an attempt to get going on a portion of its Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) for 2025, UCSB has been pushing to get a campus housing project proposed for Ocean Road considered separately from the rest of the plan. The university’s argument that this part of the already controversial plan could be initiated as an amendment to the university’s 1990 LRDP was met with skepticism from members of the public at a November 6 hearing.
Objections to what some are calling a piecemeal approach were met by comments from Tye Simpson, UCSB’s director of campus planning and design, [who] claimed at the meeting that the university is doing what any community would do when making an amendment to its General Plan. The project’s detractors argue that since the LRDP for 2025 is currently under review — of which the Ocean Road development is part — has not been passed, dealing with it separately goes against the existing LRDP and the California Environmental Quality Act process.
Adjacent to Isla Vista along the western boundary of UCSB’s main campus, the Ocean Road project would include 532 units containing faculty, staff, and graduate student housing, commercial space, and more than 1,000 parking spaces. The row of eucalyptus trees that now stands along Ocean Road next to Isla Vista’s easternmost houses would be removed, and UCSB’s student health center would be relocated. UCSB’s position has been that the housing and parking are much needed, but community activists say that it is over and above what that area can accommodate. “The project includes so much more parking than is required by the housing they’re building,” said Olivia Uribe, the associate director of the Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN).
“Even though the Ocean Road project is an integral part of the 2008 LRDP for 2025, [UCSB] is representing it as an amendment to the 1990 LRDP,” said Dick Flacks, a professor emeritus of sociology at UCSB and a member of SBCAN’s Board of Directors. Along with individuals and groups he said are “concerned with the future of UCSB as a part of the community,” Flacks recently formed the Sustainable University Now (SUN) Coalition to address the many problems they’ve perceived in the LRDP for 2025. “[The Ocean Road project] changes a lot of things. Height limits, for instance — there are buildings that will be taller than anything allowed in the 1990 LRPD,” he said. The apartments and town homes in the development would be anywhere from two to six stories tall.
Flacks... also said that extracting elements of the plan would go against the very nature of long-range planning...
Linda Krop, the Environmental Defense Center’s chief counsel, said that although the LRDP amendment process has been going on for nearly two years, the Ocean Road project is only a part of it, and is still subject to its own environmental review and scrutiny by the California Coastal Commission before anything can be done...
The next hearing for the Ocean Road project will be December 20, when many students will be gone for the winter holiday...
[ From: "Local Activist Writes I.V. History Book," By Angel Rodriguez, Daily Nexus, October 30, 2008 ]
... “Isla Vista: A Citizen’s History,” is the updated and expanded version of the author’s [Carmen Lodise] original work, which is available online. The 200-page book includes over 150 pictures and first hand accounts of significant occurrences in the vibrant half-square mile college town that is Isla Vista...
“No one had written the history of Isla Vista,” Lodise said. “The vision of Isla Vista, what it could be … has dimmed, and I am trying to reignite it.”
According to the author, the book has been in the making for over 30 years and reveals how local politicians, greedy developers and university officials conspired to build a company town that 40 years later remains a community composed of 96 percent renters. Lodise gives accounts of key events in Isla Vista’s history, such as the burning of the Bank of America building during a riot in 1970.
Lodise first moved to Isla Vista from Michigan to work as a research assistant. Lodise said he fell in love with the college town, and soon became involved in campaigns to improve I.V.
He was involved in the community as an activist for 30 years and was the Editor in Chief of Isla Vista’s longest running community newspaper, the Isla Vista Free Press. In the 1970’s Lodise was elected to the Isla Vista Community Council and Park Board and participated in three attempts to incorporate Isla Vista. He also served on the steering committee for the construction of the monument that stands in Isla Vista Perfect Park.
In a statement, UCSB alumnus and former member of the Isla Vista Park Board David Fortson said Lodise was an influential member of the community.
“For a town with so many people simply passing through, Carmen has inspired me and many other activists with care and love for our community,” Fortson said...
The original form of the book is available online at www.Islavistahistory.com, which has received over 1.6 million hits without any advertisement since it was established in 2002. The print edition of the book costs $17.50.
Carmen Lodise's history of Isla Vista is now available in print. I recommend it highly to anyone who, at one time or another, considered themselves an Isla Vistan.
For the thousands of students and non-students that have called Isla Vista home at some point since the 1970s, this book is for us. Carmen fills in the political and cultural history many of us have known on some level, but never fully understood. His clarity of vision of what he fondly refers to as "The Isla Vista Adventure" reveals clearly the heroes and villains behind Isla Vista's successes and defeats and helps point us to what I.V. could be if more self-government were made possible for its residents.