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Friday, September 30, 2022

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The Brown Act: from the opening paragraph

The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.

In the State of California, the Brown Act is the law. It is my observation that members of City Staff have been withholding information that the People require in order to make an informed decision. Not just the letters from the public, although that is an obvious example. Real and meaningful information is being withheld, misrepresented, disguised, and dismissed. Read more about my take on this situation in the August 18th, 2022, Editorial here.


 

Friday, September 30, 2022

Arcata, we can do better.

Arcata needs an infill and redevelopment plan, and needs to provide more housing — no question there. The draft Gateway plan is a start. But it’s filled with aspirations and empty promises, and we need more of what’s real.

As is said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” And that’s what good planning is all about:
Creating our future.

The promises of affordable housing — of home-ownership —
of an equitable, environmental, walkable, bikeable, vibrant and alive community.

Let’s make those promises real. Let’s be bold. Let’s be creative and innovative and courageous. That is what we want.
Let’s put Arcata on the map as a shining star in America.

 

Newest Articles

L-K Street Couplet – Transportation Safety Committee meeting, September 20, 2022

The Transportation Safety Committee at their September 20, 2022, meeting discussed how the City Council had asked the members to revisit and reconsider the strong recommendation to not construct the L Street - K Street Couplet. Instead, the TSC committee stated, the L Street Corridor should become a permanent Linear Park.

The L-K Street Couplet — An Engineer’s View

The joint City Council / Planning Commission study session introduced big problems when an elated City Council considered the Transportation Safety Committee's strong recommendation for an L Street Pathway and Linear Park and tossed it out the window -- well, sent it back to the TransSafetyComm for them to review. This presentation was the cause. Is it filled with misleading and possibly false information? Read it, and you decide.

Arcata L Street Pathway and Linear Park: Portal / Links

A special page for the L Street Pathway and Linear Park -- and a great place for all readers to learn more about the Gateway Plan. This page will be updated regularly. Come back for more!

The L Street Pathway

The L Street pathway could be a community jewel in the heart of the Gateway area. The City wants it to be a high-traffic road, taking all the southbound car and truck volume from Alliance Road to Samoa Boulevard.

Top Stories

Cal Poly Humboldt – Expansion

Cal Poly Humboldt looks to expand by 6,000 students, and that may be 3,000 students more than they are building housing for.

Cal Poly: Craftsman Dorms

At the site of the Craftman's Mall, Cal Poly Humboldt plans to put in dorms for 1,050 students. Is that good? Well, 5,500 dorm beds are needed.

McKinleyville is transparent. Arcata is not.

How is it that McKinleyville has all of the info for their Town Center plan in one location?  And in Arcata, the same info is scattered all over the place -- or is in obscure locations that so buried that it might as well not exist. Read more here.

Rentals Percentage in Arcata: “Do the math”

Arcata's Gateway plan could add 3,500 apartments to our town, as Cal Poly Humboldt expands. Unless more than 60% of all new apartments are owner-occupied condos, Arcatans will have small chance of owning their homes.

Letters  •  Community Input

Steve Railsback – Times Standard opinion – December 8, 2021

Dr. Steve Railsback points out 5 major questions with the draft Gateway plan. A thoughtful and concise summation. From December, 2021.

Letter from Andrea Tuttle, Ph.D. — February 13, 2022

READ THIS LETTER ! Arcata resident Andrea Tuttle Ph.D. environmental planning, former Director Calif Dept. Forestry (CDF), past Calif Coastal Commission & North Coast Water Quality Control Board, principal consultant State Senate.

Letter from Nick Lucchesi – January 15, 2022

A letter from Nick Lucchesi of Pacific Builders, dated January 15, 2022. ** A must-read letter. **

Letters to the Planning Commission — April 12, 2022

The Community Development Staff packet for the April 12, 2022 Planning Commission meeting had correspondence received by the City about the Gateway plan. Some letters were over 4 months old, not previously available to the public or the Commission.

City Planning

Three things California must do to address Affordable Housing

Changing the RHNA allocation and Tax Credits could do more to help build Affordable Housing. An article from The Marin Post.

Redwood City Downtown Plan

Redwood City's Downtown Precise Plan includes Form-Based code and Planning Commission review. It all took 4 years to develop. The code can serve as a model for Arcata.

Vancouver, British Columbia: 40-story buildings proposed

A plan for Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia involves new building heights of 40-stories, seriously changing the existing neighborhood.

Transcript: Planning Commission meeting — February 8, 2022

Transcript with added commentary. Includes misguided views on the cost of housing. Public comment from Carlisle Douglas.

Maps  •  Aerial Views

News  •  Media  •  Arcata City documents

“Arcata News” video of the Gateway Plan

Excellent brief video about the background and basis of the Gateway plan. Date: January 16, 2022. 3 minutes 42 seconds

Facebook Conversations #1: April 9, 2022

Here are some citizens' views, as expressed on Facebook. From April 9, 2022. Tom Wheeler, Chris Richards, Aaron DeBruyn, Meredith Matthews, Bonnie Carroll, Lee Torrence.

Useful Links

A list of useful links, including links to the City of Arcata documents, Community Visioning workshops, and many interesting and valuable websites.

Business Uses in the Gateway Area – Jennifer Dart

10-min video by Jennifer Dart, Arcata Community Development Dept. Condensed version from May 12, 2022 Economic Development Commitee meeting.

Opinions  •  Facts  •  Articles

Three things California must do to address Affordable Housing

Changing the RHNA allocation and Tax Credits could do more to help build Affordable Housing. An article from The Marin Post.

Redwood City Downtown Plan

Redwood City's Downtown Precise Plan includes Form-Based code and Planning Commission review. It all took 4 years to develop. The code can serve as a model for Arcata.

Vancouver, British Columbia: 40-story buildings proposed

A plan for Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia involves new building heights of 40-stories, seriously changing the existing neighborhood.

Transcript: Planning Commission meeting — February 8, 2022

Transcript with added commentary. Includes misguided views on the cost of housing. Public comment from Carlisle Douglas.