Santa Barbara County officials announced this week that Isla Vista beaches will be closed Saturday and Sunday.
In 2009, the “Floatopia” beach party brought a swarm of revelers to the seaside community — without permits — leaving the area in unpleasant shape with debris and trash, plus several arrests and injuries.
“The beaches at Isla Vista were left strewn with trash and debris, including human waste,” according to the county’s statement. “This large-scale event with thousands of participants had no provision for the health and well-being of the public, including no facilities for human sanitation or refuse collection.”
The county has shut the Isla Vista beaches in anticipation of Deltopia since 2010 to prevent similar gatherings from happening again.
Officials close the beaches to public access in an effort to “protect public health and safety and to protect the beach from excessive waste and litter.”
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department will enforce the closure of the beaches, according to the county.
UCSB, in partnership with the county and Goleta, will close campus beaches Saturday and Sunday.
No overnight parking will be allowed on the college campus Friday and Saturday, UCSB spokeswoman Andrea Estrada said. Registered students with appropriate parking permits can use designated lots from 9 a.m. Friday to 7:30 a.m. Monday. Parking will be allowed in structure No. 22 and parking lot No. 30 only, Estrada said.
“All other campus lots are subject to closure and may be physically closed,” Estrada said in a statement.
In a letter sent this week to UCSB students, college officials stated, “We ask each of you to be a leader and to communicate to your friends that the social proximity of large parties and gatherings, especially one like Deltopia, is dangerous” because of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. “Doing the right thing now will give you the gift of another day, in the not too distant future, to enjoy with your friends and family.”
Parking in Isla Vista will be subject to potential closures beginning at 4 p.m. Friday.
Parking restrictions also will be in effect for nearby Goleta areas starting Friday night. Goleta restrictions will apply Friday and Saturday for locations including Hollister Avenue to the southern city of Goleta limit (generally Whittier Drive), from Cannon Green Drive (including cul-de-sac streets on the west side of Cannon Green Drive) to Storke Road.
Vehicles with valid permits on their car window can park on-street in the area from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday and from 7 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday. Restrictions will be lifted Sunday.
Isla Vista’s Deltopia event initially was scheduled to occur Saturday, according to Goleta officials.
“While the likelihood of Deltopia occurring is low since most students have moved out of Isla Vista and back home, the city wants to be prepared,” according to a statement on Goleta’s website. “Other areas have seen unsanctioned spring break events occur during the COVID-19 outbreak, and the parking permits are another measure to help deter that from happening here.”
The weekend’s weather forecast as of Thursday afternoon called for sunshine Friday and mostly cloudy skies Saturday in Isla Vista.