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Isla Vista beaches will be closed this weekend during the expected Deltopia event

ISLA VISTA, Calif. - Because of an expected unpermitted event known as Deltopia, The Santa Barbara County Community Services Department is closing all beaches in Isla Vista starting Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 7.

The previous version of this event known as Floatopia brought out thousands of people in 2009 with a social media blast.

It caused serious health, safety and environmental issues on the beach and in the ocean with trash and human waste. Since then, annually the beaches have been closed when the event is expected.

Santa Barbara County Code (Section 26-11) authorizes the Community Services Department to close any County recreation area, including beaches.

The county says the Sheriff’s Office will enforce the closure.

Some of the Isla Vista residents Tuesday had mixed reviews about a three-day closure.

Blake Keer said, "I think a lot has changed since then and I think it would be helpful to look at how things have changed  and maybe  instead of closing it completely deal with the problems  and they can make it safer instead of  shutting it down. "

Nerarby handing out with her friends, Natalie Mora said, "it's sad ,we love coming to the beach like whenever we can.  Maybe one day won't hurt but it kind of sucks. " 

Luke Sevier will be at Deltopia as he has before and says he understands why the rules have been in place in recent years. "But sometimes  I think it would just be better if they left it open for everybody. I understand it is a safety hazard.   Gotta see  both sides of things right?"

Deltopia continues to be popular with large crowds but new restrictions are in place.

They include a ban on charging admission into parties and charging for alcohol as if a night-club business were in place at the student-filled apartments.

The Sheriff's department normally offers a restorative justice option for someone with an alcohol violation such as an open container offense. That allows them to take a two-hour class to clear their record.

However, during Deltopia that option will be suspended.

"I think it might be a little bit over regulated I understand like for safety concerns," said Maisy Borun. But it is a one day event for the whole weekend to have no beach  access it's kind of extreme."

One resident is inviting friends from out of the area for the unique experience Deltopia has become.

Taylor Lewis said, "I just said it is like one big almost like block party,  it's  something fun to do and for them to see Isla Vista too."

A soon to be graduate Becky Ram said his Deltopia plan was "nothing specific. It's our last year we are seniors we just want to enjoy it one last time."

More information on the Isla Vista beach closure can be found at : IV Beach closure

Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department: Safe and local Deltopia

Santa Barbara County Outdoor Festival Ordinance

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
beach closures
community safety
isla vista
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara County Community Services Department
santa barbara county sheriff's office

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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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