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    Coast Commission Grants Events Facility Approval

    By Brad Owens, Daily Nexus, February 16, 1977

    SAN DIEGO—The California Coastal Commission voted 10-1 with one absentation Tuesday night to approve the building permit for a 60,000 square-foot Events Facility to be completed on the UCSB Campus in November, 1978.

    The permit had been approved in December by the South Coast Regional Coastal Commission after the University accepted several conditions imposed by the Commission on the proposed building. A subsequent appeal by I.V. Planning Director Larry Kimmett brought the issue before the State Commission meeting in San Diego yesterday.

    The Regional Commission had approved the $3.5 million facility on the condition that it meet state building standards, use low-water-use landscaping, that the facility and Rob Gym not be used simultaneously for major events, and that large-scale daytime events be held on weekends only.

    The Regional Commission also stipulated that the University would have to submit a parking management plan to insure that the facility would not create traffic and parking problems in Isla Vista. The University also agreed not to hold any major public events in the new facility until the campus Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) was approved by the Regional Commission.

    The conditions were amended at the State meeting to include the requirement that the facilities be used only for intramural and drop-in sports until the Local Coastal Program is developed and certified by the Regional Commission.

    The proposed structure, to be located West of the ROTC building, will seat 5,400 persons, but is primarily intended to be used for intramurals and drop-in sports.

    Dick Jensen, UCSB director of planning, analysis and budget, told the commission that the facility would also be used for concerts, convocations and intercollegiate athletics.

    Kimmett opposed the facility primarily on the grounds that it is the key element of the campus LRDP which has not been reviewed by the Commission. “Full consideration of UCSB’s LRDP is needed,” Kimmett said.

    Chris Gautschy, Kimmett’s attorney, told the Commission that the LRDP could cause increased student population in Isla Vista which would displace low-income families residing there.

    Joseph E. Bodovitz, staff executive director for the Commission advised Commission members that approval of the Events Facility did not carry an implicit approval of the entire LRDP.

    Corey Dubin, director of Students Against Wasteful Spending (SAWS) presented the Commission with a petition signed by over 2,200 persons opposing construction of the Events Facility. Ken Katz of the campus Student Lobby Annex appealed to the Commission to deny the permit until the LRDP had been reviewed. Bodovitz told the Commission, however, “the issue before the Commission is not whether the building is a good idea or whether students want it or don’t want it, but whether this building violates the Coastal Act.”

    After the vote was taken, Kimmett said, “We intend to continue fighting the LRDP every step of the way with every means available.”

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