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Wednesday, December 19 , 2018, 4:40 am | Fair 43º


Goleta Again Plans Parking Restrictions to Thwart ‘Deltopia’ Revelers

Unsanctioned Isla Vista block party is expected to take place on April 7

Lt. Juan Camarena, right, who oversees the Isla Vista Foot Patrol station, attends a town hall meeting Tuesday in Isla Vista, discussing plans for Deltopia with area residents and community members. Click to view larger
Lt. Juan Camarena, right, who oversees the Isla Vista Foot Patrol station, attends a town hall meeting Tuesday in Isla Vista, discussing plans for Deltopia with area residents and community members. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Temporary on-street, resident-only parking restrictions in the city of Goleta will be implemented in April to help dissuade partygoers from parking in surrounding neighborhoods during the unsanctioned Isla Vista block party known as "Deltopia."

Law enforcement, UC Santa Barbara and Goleta leaders are preparing despite how low-key the event has been in recent years.

The beachside community’s annual day-long event is informally planned for April 7.

The Goleta City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution establishing temporary resident-only parking restrictions from 7 p.m. on April 6 until 7 a.m. on April 7; and from 2 p.m. on April 7 until 7 a.m. on April 8. 

Cannon Green Drive to the west, Hollister Avenue to the north, Storke Road to the east and Whittier Drive to the south are the general parking restriction boundaries.

If Deltopia doesn’t occur on the slated dates, the temporary restrictions will take place from 7 p.m. on April 13 until 7 a.m. on April 14; and 3 p.m. on April 14 until 7 a.m. on April 15.

Goleta’s Community Relations Manager is expected to coordinate with Girsh Park and Camino Real Marketplace to provide overflow parking during baseball games on Saturday afternoon, if needed. 

Vehicles found parked in the streets during the limited times, and not displaying the appropriate parking permit, will be ticketed or towed away.

Households in the affected area will be mailed two temporary parking permits. 

Based on feedback from residents, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and city staff last year, the temporary parking restrictions were deemed “effective in deterring parking, mainly from out-of-towners, who just wanted to park there to participate in Deltopia,” according to a staff report.

The area affected is comprised of about 1,250 dwelling units, and houses approximately 4,000 residents. 

Goleta’s public works staff will also remove trash or debris from the affected neighborhood streets.

The city’s spends about $15,000 for Deltopia-related expenses, including printing and mailing parking permits to residents in the restricted area, posting signs in neighborhoods, and placing five electronic message boards at neighborhood entrances.

For the past four years, UCSB has deployed about 130 additional police officers from other UC campuses during Deltopia, and implemented on-campus parking restrictions for the weekend.

College officials are expected to take the same measures for the spring event this year.

There has been a decline in the number of revelers participating in Deltopia compared to when riots took place in 2014, and large crowds and students from across the state walked the streets in search of a party.

According to the Sheriff's Department, last year’s Deltopia had a maximum attendance of between 6,000 and 8,000 people, with 42 arrests, 68 citations and 14 medical transports — a decrease from 2014 when 25,000 people flooded the streets, 130 people were arrested, 190 cited and 50 medically transported.

“The goal for everyone is to make it safe, and every year we have to fine-tune that goal because every year is different,” Vyto Adomaitis, director of Goleta's Neighborhood Services and Public Safety Department, said Tuesday evening at a town hall meeting in Isla Vista hosted by the Isla Vista Community Services District. “It (the event) is unpredictable… We have the burden from 2014.”

The gathering aimed to connect residents, public agencies, and community organizations to discuss event structure, safety and health services, law enforcement, parking restrictions, the noise ordinance, and other plans for Deltopia.

Those in attendance raised concerns about public safety, public intoxication, the measures taken about fencing installed, and police presence, among other topics.

The mounted patrol unit isn’t expected to saddle up to conduct crowd control, as it has in past years, said Isla Vista Foot Patrol Lt. Juan Camarena.

He didn’t disclose the number of officers expected to patrol Isla Vista's streets.

The Sheriff's Office is requesting cars not be parked on Del Playa Drive on the Saturday of Deltopia, but has no plans to tow vehicles if they are parked there, said Kelly Hoover, a sheriff's spokeswoman.

Del Playa will be closed for traffic and barricades will be in place.

The annual Deltopia event is an outgrowth of what was known as Floatopia, which occurred on the beaches and in the water off Isla Vista beginning in 2003. By 2009, it had grown from a few hundred people to an estimated 12,000 attendees, leading to dozens of injuries, citations, arrests and other problems.

Beginning the following year, officials closed Isla Vista's beaches to thwart Floatopia, prompting attendees to bring the party onshore and focused on beachfront Del Playa Drive — hence, the name Deltopia.

It is expected the beaches will be closed again for this year's Deltopia. 

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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.

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