Deltopia 2023 | Credit: Brandon Doherty

After spending the weekend observing vehicles parking illegally in the Bill Wallace Open Space as thousands of out-of-town partiers descended on Isla Vista for “Deltopia weekend,” one is reminded that these stupid, dangerous, illegal, unsanctioned megaparties must be eradicated.

That job falls to Supervisor Laura Capps, who, unlike the majority of students and out of town partiers, actually grew up in Santa Barbara County and must understand the danger of Deltopia. For first time in over three decades, political pandering to student voters is no longer necessary. In Capps’s 2nd District, transient students are not the swing vote. There is no reason to grovel for voters who care not a whit for local politics — why would they?

Isla Vista is finally out of the 3rd District. That means going soft on law enforcement is completely unnecessary. Capps can instruct police to inform owner/managers that their buildings are being used for “contract parties.” There is a housing shortage in I.V. and plenty of tenants lined up to replace those violating their lease agreements by contracting with the Poppin party app. Poppin and their “hosts” need to be investigated and held responsible for injuries at these parties.

Capps can take a page out of Willy Chamberlin’s book and end Deltopia in one swift blow. In 1993, during his brief tenure as 3rd District Supervisor, Chamberlin posted officers at every entrance to I.V., checked addresses, and turned away the horde of up to 25,000 that traditionally attended Isla Vista’s “Halloween.” Ending unsanctioned, illegal parties in residential neighborhoods is not rocket science. Limit access, hand out tickets, arrest lawbreakers, and make I.V. the place not to be on the first weekend of Spring Quarter.

I.V. suffered through decades of these idiotic parties as a succession of 3rd District Supervisors groveled for student votes. That pandering led to the creation of Isla Vista’s Community Services District (CSD). This outfit collects $1 million a year from a special tax on our utility bills. The majority of students have no idea this district exists let alone that they pay for it monthly. Last year the CSD spent $85,000 on a Deltopia party that a hundred people attended. This year they threw a $75,000 party with door hangers announcing free food and bands. Talk about throwing gasoline on a fire.

Lieutenant Te Slaa of the Isla Vista Foot Patrol, who spent the weekend handing out 151 citations, making 23 arrests, and responding to 60 medical calls, is understandably puzzled at the CSD’s decision to support and encourage partiers on Deltopia weekend. Longtime residents are on record asking the CSD not to pay for Deltopia parties. It is time Supervisor Capps and UCSB take a hard look at the composition and actions of this special district. Districts that throw sanctioned parties on Deltopia weekend financed with taxpayer dollars need to end.

Isla Vista is a beautiful, fun place where my children grew up. That said, any local parent who lets their high school–age child attend parties here is taking a serious risk. My yard was invaded by drunk out of town partiers this weekend, and I knew from experience that calling the normally responsive Food Patrol was not an option. They were busy engaging a mob.

Your child is not safe in Isla Vista. The number of partiers is overwhelming, large quantities of drugs and alcohol are being consumed, and the inebriated crowds are uncontrollable. Take a look at the aerial shots of Del Playa balconies in the Daily Nexus and imagine one of those collapsing.

Supervisor Capps must end decades of ignoring Isla Vista megaparties and stop putting Santa Barbara taxpayers at risk. You can claim these parties are “unsanctioned,” but then why does the county make huge expenditures on extra police and emergency medical personnel year after year on Deltopia weekend? People get hurt at this non-event, and taxpayers’ foot the bill.

A Deltopia weekend with “2014 Numbers” is a red flag that must not be ignored. In 2014 I saw carloads of unseemly characters offloading into I.V.’s residential neighborhood. Later that evening I watched eerie live video on national TV of thousands rioting two blocks from my home. Nobody wants that. Delete Deltopia by limiting access to Isla Vista and enforcing the law.


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