The improvement project for Pardall Gardens recently got the OK from the County Planning Commission.
The improvement project for Pardall Gardens recently got the OK from the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission. Credit: Julia Vaughan / Noozhawk photo

The restoration project for Pardall Gardens in Isla Vista is moving forward after getting approval from the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission.

The Pardall Gardens parcel has been the property of the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District since 1977. It is located on Pardall Road only a few feet from the main bike entrance to the UC Santa Barbara campus.

In its current state, a green tarp and a chain link fence ensnare the parcel, with red and white notices for the proposed development zip-tied around the perimeter.

Peering through the gaps, a forest of overgrown weeds, bushes and flowering plants crowds around what once were cement pathways and a splintering sign with the words “Pardall Gardens” inscribed upon it. One lone wooden bench can be seen in the far corner.

Renovations to the parcel include accessibility improvements, resting spots and a large canopy structure for shade, drought-tolerant landscaping and biosoil, and a variant of soil that is nutrient-rich and good at dealing with potential drainage issues.

“This is the largest effort to renovate and improve the space to date,” Sam Brodersen, the assigned planner of the project, said at the Planning Commission meeting in April.

The project is compliant with all zoning regulations as well as community and coastal plan policies, the applicants said. No rebuttals were made in response to the project during the meeting. In fact, mostly praise followed the presentation on the project proposal.

“I can remember living in Isla Vista when I was at UCSB and it was kind of hard to find some open space,” said John Parke, chairman of the Planning Commission. “I think this is really important for the public welfare, and I applaud you folks for doing this project.”