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New Fencing Approved For Isla Vista Cliff

Plans are in the works for a new line of protection in Isla Vista for students on edge.

The Santa Barbara Planning Commission unanimously approved new fencing this week along 1,400 linear feet of dangerous blufftop.

Assistant County Executive Officer Renee Bahl said it is a split-rail wood design with three bars, covered in a small chain-link mesh and would be four-and-a-half feet high. A few inches of chain-link fencing would pop over the top, making it uncomfortable to sit or stand on.

The design is similar to the fence currently overlooking the beach in Summerland.

The proposed IV fence will run through county park land and six parks including Sea Lookout, Walter Capps and Pelican.

Houses are in the way of the fencing zone so chain-link will attach to the permanent fences and fill any gaps.

“It will keep the person who would trip and fall from going over the ledge,” said Renee Bahl, Assistant County Executive Officer. “It’s not going to keep the determined person out. But we think this is a really good improvement. We had lots of positive comments from the community.”

An appeals process of the Planning Commission’s approval expires November 10.

Bahl said if there are no appeals, the next step involves notice of final action to the Coastal Commission, then, another ten day appeal process.

Bahl said in the best case scenario, the appeal process would end in about a month.

The county is currently working with partners, including UC Santa Barbara to secure the funds.

The cost for the new fencing is roughly $50,000.

Realistically, Bahl said the soonest it would go up would be early 2015.

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