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New, higher, six-foot fence goes up on the Isla Vista bluffs to prevent cliff falls

ISLA VISTA, Calif. – Protection in the form of a six-foot high fence is going in at the Walter Capps Park in Isla Vista that sits on a cliff with a drop of about 40-feet.

It is also the site of several falls with fatalities and injuries over the years.

Recently, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Laura Capps came out with an eight point plan that urged an accelerated response. That included new fencing, signage, lighting, education and enforcement.

The county staff is working in collaboration with the Isla Vista Community Services District leaders and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

Some residents in the area are relieved to see the improved safety. Ivy Franks said, "I think it is a really good precaution and I think it is definitely needed I think college kids when there is a little tiny fence it is really easy to hop over and they don't realize how dangerous it is."

The timeline to get this work done now was in advance of the Deltopia unsanctioned street party expected after Easter. Thousands come out for the event and flood the streets, parks and businesses with activity.

Around the area,  you can find someone who knows about someone who was hurt or died in a fall on the bluffs in recent years.

MaKenzee Roeder lives on Del Playa Drive. "One of our house mates actually knew the guy who fell at the beginning of the year and the girl a month ago or so she fell off the cliff and she got saved.  She was on the divit part that was at my friends house over there."

The parks are closed at 10 p.m. and the Sheriff's office using the Isla Vista Foot Patrol enforces the rules which also helps to prevent falls.

The new fencing is being installed by the Fence Factory Company. It is going in about ten feet back from the existing smaller fence. The work should be done Monday.

A resident nearby said, those who get near the edge have to get past a fence small or large. MaKenzee Roeder said, "what ends up happening is people fall off the cliff, they are at not from a house party  they are just drunk and like walking DP and they just  great idea to go over the fence but I think that making it taller is good. You have to like  make that action to go over  you don't just fall."

Seeing the safety measures taking place, Tommy Myers said, "it's really nice to hear that and hear there's steps being made to better our lives  and safety and that's more comforting. "

(More details, photos and video will be added here later this week.)

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
isla vista
Isla Vista bluff safety

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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