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Isla Vista Foot Patrol Proposes Noise Ordinance Enforcing Earlier Quiet Hours

Officials pitch idea at recent community meeting to move weekend noise curfews from midnight to 10 p.m.

A proposed noise ordinance was announced at a recent Isla Vista Community Network meeting. It would prohibit residents from making noise or playing music after 10 p.m. Click to view larger
A proposed noise ordinance was announced at a recent Isla Vista Community Network meeting. It would prohibit residents from making noise or playing music after 10 p.m. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

It’s another battle between the Isla Vista community and law enforcement over noise complaints.

Isla Vista Foot Patrol officials recently proposed a new noise ordinance that would shift the weekend noise curfew from midnight to 10 p.m., prohibiting residents from making noise or playing music 100 feet from its property line after 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

It would impact all unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County, which already abide by a 10 p.m. weekend rule.

Lt. Ruben Cintron, community liaison deputy James McKarrell, and South County Commander Kelly Moore presented the idea on earlier this month at Embarcadero Hall.

Moore said supporting the new ordinance would aim to address the crime issues associated with drinking.

“We are not attacking their right to party, it’s about the responsibility and reduction of crimes as a result of people getting intoxicated,” Moore said. “We are going after the associated violent crimes and quality of life issues that result from people who are partying and having disregard for their neighbors.”

There has been a reduction in crime in the Isla Vista community over the past several years, but the area produces about 60 percent of the county's total calls for service, Moore said. 

“They are responsible for a fair amount of crimes and calls for service in the overall county,” Moore said. “This is one path we are taking and one tool we think will help encourage responsibility.”

After receiving criticism from students at the town hall meeting, IVFP suspended action to move forward with the proposal. 

To be implemented, the change must be approved by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. A later date to move forward has yet to be determined, Moore said. 

Moore said he and patrol officers were newly assigned to the case due to a change in command leadership that covers Isla Vista. He said enforcement officials plan to meet with residents and students regarding the proposal.

“We always want community input and have people involved with the process,” Moore said. 

The first-time fine for loud or unreasonable noise in an unincorporated area is $108, and can exceed more than $500. 

The 10 p.m. noise ordinance would follow in the steps of other college campuses. Noise levels must be maintained at a reasonable level on the UC Berkeley, UC San Diego and UC Merced campus, and in the city of San Luis Obispo and Lompoc. 

Isla Vista resident Vivian Li, 20, said the new idea has the potential to change college culture in the densely populated, half-square-mile town. She said music has become an integral part of the community and she’s concerned the new ordinance could hamper that.

The UCSB sociology student said she understood the concerns for neighbors, but she thought the stricter ordinance would not prevent parties.

“It’s a valid idea, but it’s a college town and we are all adults,” Li said. “Sometimes it would be nice to have it quiet, but I feel it might not end parties.”

Spencer Brandt and Ethan Bertrand, who are two of eight candidates running for a seat on the proposed Isla Vista Community Services District, organized the meeting.

“We all share the same goal — a safer, more cohesive Isla Vista,” Brandt said.

“The main thing people in the community were feeling was confusion. This proposal was made without even the semblance of a public process and our event was organized in such a short amount of time that the news kind of blindsided a lot of people.”

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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