Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 11:59 am | Partly Cloudy 62º


Isla Vista Self-Governance Bill Clears First Committee

A state bill touting Isla Vista self-governance made it out of its first Assembly committee Wednesday to the delight of its local sponsor, Assemblyman Das Williams.

AB3 aims to create a Community Services District to govern Isla Vista, the densely populated community of about 23,000 living on less than one square mile adjacent to UC Santa Barbara and Goleta, currently under the care of Santa Barbara County.

The bill Williams introduced late last year following several violent incidents in Isla Vista has passed out of the Assembly Local Government Committee, according to Lourdes Jimenez, Williams’ chief of staff.

“This is ultimately an issue of self-determination for the people of Isla Vista,” Williams said in a statement. “The formation of this bill has been happening at the local level in a way typically unseen in the Legislature. I’m glad the Assembly Local Government Committee has been respectful and supportive of our local process while being a helpful partner in the shaping of the bill thus far. Passing this bill out of committee is a huge step forward in moving this option for the community forward.”

AB will next move on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee before being sent to the floor for a full Assembly vote. It must pass off the Assembly floor by June 5 to continue moving through the legislative process in 2015.

If AB3 passes out of the legislature by September — and is signed by the governor by October — it will go to the county Board of Supervisors so they can place it on the ballot for voter approval, Lourdes said.

The next countywide election would be in June 2016.

District operations would be contingent upon passage of a Utility User Tax by two-thirds of voters, she said.

Williams crafted the bill after a series of community meetings in Isla Vista, where locals in his hometown have voted down Isla Vista cityhood attempts in 1972, 1975 and 1983.

AB3 calls for community services including a tenant mediation program, the ability to contract for additional police services, and the ability to exercise the powers of a parking district. Stakeholders were also interested in a Utility User Tax to financially support the CSD by imposing a tax for utility services consumed, such as electricity, gas, water, sewer, sanitation and cable television.

Because some of those services don’t exist under current CSD law, the county’s Local Agency Formation Commission could not authorize creating the CSD — something typically falling under its jurisdiction.

AB3 asks to form a seven-member CSD board, with five elected at large from within the district, one appointed by the county Board of Supervisors and one appointed by UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang.

Although LAFCO is less than thrilled about AB3 skirting its normal planning process, Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr, who represents IV, testified in support of the bill Wednesday in Sacramento.

“Given the demographics of the population of Isla Vista, having appointed seats will provide some much needed stability to the board,” Farr said in a statement. “The county and the university provide multiple services to the community and giving them representation on the board will help ensure the continued investment into Isla Vista while providing a platform to hear directly from the community.”

Williams’ staff said community meetings are ongoing, hosted from 6 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday in the IV Clinic building conference room at 970 Embarcadero Del Mar.

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.

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 using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.