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More Fencing Goes Up on Isla Vista Bluffs

By John Palminteri, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Senior Reporter, johnp1250@aol.com
Published On: Jun 05 2014 09:42:20 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 06 2014 12:16:46 PM CDT

Protection could help areas where falls are sometimes fatal

ISLA VISTA, Calif. -

After years of discussion, fencing is going up on the Isla Vista coast where there have been many fatal and near fatal falls.

Plans for a fence were first discussed more than 20  years ago, according to those who are familiar with government discussion of Isla Vista safety plans.   No firm plan could ever be developed or funded.

The bluffs are about 30 to 50 feet above the sand, and at high tide, the drop ends up in the ocean.

The current orange "construction site" fencing along park lands and open space comes with a temporary 30 day permit.   After that it's unclear if there will be an extension or if a new fencing design will be ready for an approval.  Santa Barbara County and the California State Coastal Commission are working on a timeline and solutions.

In the meantime, the area will see a five foot plastic fence on the ocean side of the smaller wooden fence that is up.  That smaller fence, while appealing to some residents apparently has not stopped those who want to climb over and still go to the end of the cliffs.

"It really doesn't take much for something to go wrong," said Molly Morrison with the "Fence Isla Vista" organization.   "The guy who fell last Friday  it was reported that the cliffs literally crumbled underneath his feet so if it that easy to climb under that side,it perplexes me why this problem has been left untouched for so long."  

Morrison says she has worked hard to get the attention of county leaders and UC Santa Barbara.  The new fence is being called a joint effort with funding coming from the school.

A Marborg crew is working on the installation.

NewsChannel 3 reported recently that seven people have died from cliff falls in Isla Vista in the last 13 years.

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