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Students and residents advised to stay off balconies in Isla Vista

Storm damage impacts another Isla Vista balcony

ISLA VISTA, Calif.-An Isla Vista balcony that took a beating in the last storm fell during the most recent storm over the Presidents Day weekend.

It happened on a deck next to the property where Santa Barbara City College student Benjamin "Benny" Schurmer,19, of Ojai fell to his death over Labor Day Weekend last September.

Damaged portions of properties have been taped off but Santa Barbara County Planning Director Lisa Plowman clarified in an instant message that the housing along the 6700 block of Del Playa were not red-tagged and students were not required to vacate the structure.

Students are concerned about the bluffs and many came out to Walter Capps Park on Monday to try to see the damage for themselves.

High tide covered the debris.

"That was really unfortunate, kind of scary like the fact that we are living here fort we are not on dp but it is a scary thing we have friend who are on D.P. and we are concerned for them, " said Jesselin L of the UCSB Triathlon Club.

"None of us live actually on the water, so we wanted to see what if any damage the rain has been crazy no one has been in class," said UCSB student Lindsey D.

Students chose to use their last initials rather than their full names.

During low tide is was easier to see the damage and the erosion.

The county planners and and Supervisor Laura Capps recently met with the Isla Vista Community Services District and one planner said he should have put a storm warning flyers on these properties during the last storm.

They did post notices on 16 Del Playa properties before this storm advising people not to go on balconies.

They used red tape but that did not mean they were red tagged.

The balcony that fell is one that had students evacuate during the last storm and then they were allowed back inside.

Property owners are being asked to get some structural studies done and make repairs.

More than a dozen people, including an alumni, have been killed in falls since 1994.

Article Topic Follows: Safety

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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