Proposed noise ordinance divides SBCC student senate


OTHMAN MECHKOR, Channels Staff

The Student Senate was divided on a discussion about Santa Barbara’s potential new noise ordinance at the meeting on Friday.

George Buell, Santa Barbara’s community development director, addressed the student senate about the new noise ordinance that he will be presenting at the City Council Meeting this upcoming Tuesday.

The new noise ordinance has been in the works for some time, and would mimic one that San Luis Obispo has in place to deal with similar issues.

“Neighborhoods around the college about five or so years ago were quiet, family oriented places,” Buell said.

Then students from around the world began to flood the areas around City College.

“Fridays turned into Thursday’s, and sometimes the partying lasted from Thursday nights till Sunday,” said Buell.  

The solution suggested was a new noise ordinance that would change the crime for violating it from from a criminal offense to a citation, giving officers the ability to give fines.

“The first offense will result in a $300 fee to both the tenant and the property manager,” Buell said. The fine would rise for each following violation.

Buell and his team are working with the management of student housing to include in their lease agreements that the students would also be responsible for the fees issued to the landlord.

Emily Gribble, student trustee, was in support of the ordinance, but against the hefty fines.*

“If we want to throw a party on a Friday night, I don’t have $600 to get in trouble for that,” said Gribble. “For the generation above us who got to party it’s not fair to us to lose that experience.”

In 2014, the student senate agreed with the ordinance, however the new senate does not have the same sentiments.

“The last time I spoke to one of your representatives, I had complete support from the student senate,” Buell said. “And now there seems to be some disagreement.”

The $300 fee issued to the landlord that would be imposed on the tenants would act as a “hidden fee,” Gribble said.

“Adults can complain and we get in trouble by the police,” Gribble said. “When they’re up at 7 or 8 a.m. mowing their lawns and taking their dogs for walks we can’t call the cops on them.”  

President Isaac Eaves was not completely in support of Gribble.

“People shouldn’t have to start their day later in the morning for us, some people have to work early,” Eaves said.

Members of the student senate will be attending the City Council meeting where they will be discussing the new ordinance. The council will meet at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9. 

*Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article stated Gribble was against the noise ordinance. We have since corrected the error and apologize for any confusion.