Isla Vista Coastal Bluff Retreat

Isla Vista is an unincorporated residential neighborhood near the University of California, Santa Barbara campus. The neighborhood homes along Del Playa Drive are student rentals and residences that border a marine terrace bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The marine terrace bluff typically ranges from approximately 30 to 40 feet in height and is experiencing ongoing deterioration and retreat, exposing many properties rear-yard improvements to bluff instability. The loss of bluff has resulted in need for structural improvements to meet the requirements of the recently revised County of Santa Barbara’s Isla Vista Bluff Policy (IVBP). Langan provided geotechnical and geologic services for 34 residential properties that border the marine terrace bluff. Our consultation included site visits and field documentation of existing conditions, historical research of documented cases of bluff failures, and review of the IVBP and comparison to similar policies for other Southern California jurisdictions, among other primary items.