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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Building & Massing Presentation videos

Dated August 5, 2022; released to the public August 12, 2022

Here we have the “Building and Massing Presentation” — a 47-minute video that illustrates in excellent fashion the many facets of building height factors for development in the Gateway area.

Our collective hats are off to Community Development Director David Loya for this outstanding collection of useful information. For the first time we are seeing how the 3D modeling can aid us in envisioning just what construction in the Gateway area might look like.

This is considered a “MUST SEE” video for anyone and everyone who has an interest in the Gateway plan.

While not perfect (nothing ever is) and certainly needing some additional clarification in certain key spots, this is a great resource and tool for moving forward with our understanding of Arcata’s future.

There will be additional articles covering specific aspects of this video. In addition, I hope to have a transcript of the entire video available, for those of us who like to read while we watch.

Thank you, David !


A rendering by local architect Julian Berg of a possible arrangement (not an actual proposal) for where the Arcata Car Wash currently is, on K Street between 9th & 10th. At the upper-middle left is the Northcoast Children’s Services building; across the street from that is the Creamery building. The green area in the foreground is Jolly Giant Creek. This rendering seems to show K Street as a 2-way street and the L Street area preserved as a pathway and Linear Park. In a real building design, there would be height set-back requirements for buildings along the L Street park, so as to lessen the solar shading of the morning sun.  Image taken from time 15:35 of the video #1, or 15:58 of the full video — only displayed in color for a second or two, and so shown here so we can look at it more fully.

Here’s the above rendering adjusted for scale and placed onto a Google Earth image.  The perspective and sizings are not exact, but are fairly close. A handful of 4-story buildings (or 5-stories, with appropriate upper story setbacks) might be okay. If there were a strip of buildings of this size along K Street, it might be a bit odd.  The two structures here look to be about 80 apartments, plus the ground-level commercial spaces.  A total of six of these block-size buildings would yield about 500 apartments. We can note also that in this imaginary depiction, there are no (zero) parking spaces for the 150 or so driving-age residents.

How to watch the videos

The video is divided into five sections, and the full video is also here.

To change the speed of the video:  After starting the video, use the “Settings” tool button and change the speed to be 1.25x or 1.5x times faster.

You can watch the video in “full screen” mode by clicking the Square at the lower right of the YouTube screen. A message at the top will tell you how to exit the full screen — it’s the “Escape” key on a PC.


1: Current and Proposed Height Standards

16 minutes 36 seconds

2: Solar Shading

6 minutes 36 seconds

3: Proposed Setbacks and Massing Impacts

9 minutes 35 seconds

4: Height Ratios and Unit Calculations

6 minutes 32 seconds

5: Financial Feasibility of Development

6 minutes 53 seconds

The full Building and Massing Presentation video

47 minutes 45 seconds