Wednesday, October 26 , 2016, 9:35 pm | Fair 59º


Local News

County Installs New Fencing Near Isla Vista Cliffs

Orange, plastic netting goes up as 'added safety measure' to prevent falls

Temporary fencing is going up at all coastal parks along Del Playa Drive in Isla Vista in an effort to prevent more drunken revelers from tumbling off the cliffs.

Santa Barbara County officials announced Thursday that fencing — plastic, orange construction barriers that add about two feet to existing wooden barrier fencing — would be installed along the bluffs as an added safety measure to protect the welfare of those living in and visiting the college community adjacent to UC Santa Barbara campus.

The California Coastal Commission granted the county an emergency permit to erect the temporary fencing, and must also approve an eventual, to-be-determined permanent solution, according to Santa Barbara County Assistant CEO Renée Bahl.

“What we’re finding is that (current fences are) not deterring some people from going over to the dangerous bluffs side,” she said.

Installation began this week, although some county and Isla Vista Recreation and Park District parks were still without the added barriers Thursday.

Residents checked out the five-foot fencing at Pelican Park, since more was set to pop up at Sea Lookout Park, Window to the Sea, Walter Capps Park, bluff top Open Spaces and five Isla Vista beach access locations — with beach access remaining open.

Bahl said the project was developed through a partnership with UCSB, Isla Vista residents and safety advocates concerned about frequent cliff falls, some that have resulted in death.

The most recent fall happened last week, when a college-age man was transported to a local hospital after falling from a cliff in the 6700 block of Del Playa Drive on May 30.

Bahl said UCSB was backing the cost of installing the fence, although actual amounts were not available.

A new Student Safety Enhancement Fund will foot the bill for temporary fencing, along with other immediate and emerging efforts to improve safety in Isla Vista.

“The temporary fencing along the Isla Vista bluffs is one of many actions we are taking — including increased patrols by police officers and community service officers, additional lighting and many more — in consultation with Santa Barbara County officials, residents of Isla Vista, and all stakeholders,” UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang said in a statement. “We appreciate the county’s collaboration on this project, and we look forward to continuing to work together to protect the safety and well-being of our students and all members of our community.”

The search for a more aesthetically pleasing permanent barrier would continue, Bahl said, with no timeframe yet established for when that might be presented for approval.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >