Soccer players and organic gardeners may peacefully coexist in
Estero Park after all, thanks to a few creative neighbors. The
kitchen-table sketches presented by Pegeen Soutar and her cohorts
were greeted with enthusiasm not only by those intent on saving
Estero Park’s 30-year-old organic gardens, but by soccer
jersey-clad members of the public welcoming a multipurpose field
suitable for soccer. Just one week earlier, the Isla Vista
Recreation and Park District (IVRPD) board voted 3-2 to eliminate
plans for the field – despite a $1 million soccer field grant from
UCSB – in order to save the gardens, prompting director Logan Green
to resign in frustration. Soutar’s plans, among other things,
reduce the proposed community center from 30,000 square feet to
8,000 square feet by eliminating childcare facilities and a
library, which is more in keeping with the original vision,
according to neighbors. “The local community around Estero is
really sort of in the driver’s seat on this one,” said IVRPD
operations manager Jeff Yolles. The directors voted 4-0 to refer
Soutar’s plans to the district’s design firm for public review on
August 17.


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