IV noise law to be reviewed
Writer: John Stark
November 8, 2006
Filed under Uncategorized
As Halloween nears, the Isla Vista Foot Patrol is gearing up for the loudest weekend of the year.
If the City College student senate has its way, future weekend parties could continue the noise an additional two hours past the current midnight curfew.
Currently, any sound created after midnight on weekends which is audible from 100 feet away from property lines is subject to citation.
City College Senator Keith Russell, vice president of external affairs and author of the proposal, said the current law gives Isla Vista Foot Patrol too much power to harass students. Currently a violation could essentially result from a loud conversation, Russell argued.
The existing ordinance states that Sunday through Thursday, people cannot make excessive noise from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. On Friday and Saturday it’s from midnight to 7 a.m.
The proposed ordinance breaks Isla Vista into three separate zones, each with its own noise curfew. In one section noise enforcement would kick in at 10 p.m., in another section it would stay the same at midnight and the third section would allow noise until 2 a.m. The 2 a.m. sectors would be the 6500 block of Del Playa Drive and El Nido Lane.
“The advantage is simple,” Russell said via e-mail. “Put all the loud people on one side of IV and all those who want to sleep on the other.”
Opponents of the amendment, including Isla Vista Foot Patrol, argue that with the current midnight shut-off it takes until around 2 a.m. to quiet down the town. If the amendment passes it could take until 4 or 5 a.m. to settle things down and could lead to more crime, said Isla Vista Foot Patrol Lt. Sol Linver.
“If we moved back the ordinance we would see an increase in DUIs, violent crimes, alcohol overdose and things of that matter,” said Foot Patrol Deputy J. Rivlin.
“Violent crimes are related to alcohol consumption and in IV people will drink with or without music,” Russell said. “This law has been counter-productive in the sense that at midnight, students stop dancing and start playing drinking games.”
While Lt. Linver opposes moving the hours back, he also recognizes the Foot Patrol’s responsibility to the community.
“If the community moves it to 2 a.m., so be it. That’s what the community wants,” Linver said. “We enforce the laws, not write them.”
According to Russell’s amendment request, in 2005 the Foot Patrol received 37 loud party calls and issued 556 noise citations, resulting in $90,000 in fines.
Russell submitted the resolution to 3rd District Supervisor Brooks Firestone and brought it before both the UCSB and City College student senates.
“[I am] very confident [it will pass]. Brooks Firestone is up for reelection [in 2008] and he can’t afford to turn his back on 13,000 students,” Russell said.
In order for the amendment to pass, Firestone, who is the supervisor for Isla Vista, will have to bring it before the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. Then the five voting members of the Board will have to pass the amendment.
“Since this law only really affects IV, we anticipate [the board] will support Firestone’s decision,” Russell said.
The UCSB and City College student senates are co-sponsoring a petition drive to support the amendment, targeting 3,000 signatures in 30 days. There will also be a town hall meeting about the ordinance at 7 p.m., Nov.15 at the Magic Lantern Theatre at 960 Embarcadero del Norte, Isla Vista.