Northcoast Journal article, September 1, 2022. Cal Poly purchases Arcata Creekside 16 acres; pays triple the appraised land value. The purchase eliminates this site from the housing and assisted living plans by the non-profit Life Plan Humboldt.
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.
The construction of a new dormitory at the site of the old Craftsman's Mall is of great concern to the Arcata Fire District. In summary, the proposed dorms will be two seven story buildings, and the Arcata Fire District has stated that they cannot provide adequate fire protection these structures.
An article from the Northcoast Journal from September 2022 concerning how the Arcata Fire District is not set up to provide fire and emergency protection in the taller buildings. ----- The proposed dorms are is not larger than the existing BSS building, but this does not mean that the dorms are safe. The AFD maintains that in the current staffing situation, neither the BSS building nor the dorms would be safe. -------To say that it "will built to the highest degree of fire safety standards, including full concrete and steel structures with a full sprinkler system" doesn't help either. Fatalities come from smoke inhalation. In a regular living environment there is plenty that will smolder and burn: Carpet, bedding, clothing, books, furniture, etc. The firefighters aren't concerned with trying to save the building. They are concerned with trying to save lives.
*** A MUST-SEE VIDEO *** 2-minute 47-seconds by Eric Black, taken from the January 10, 2023, Planning Commission meeting. Eric Loudenslager of the Arcata Fire District Board of Directors spoke on how the AFD is unable to provide adequate fire protection and emergency services to the residents of a building over four stories -- and even a four-story building is a dicey situation. The AFD is saying that no more taller buildings should be built until this situation is conclusively resolved. *** A MUST-SEE VIDEO ***
A section of the Arcata Fire District Board Meeting of December 13th, 2022 regarding the costs, staffing requirements, and potential response times involved for providing adequate fire and emergency protection in the Gateway area.
The Cal Poly's EIR says "Therefore, no additional fire protection facilities are anticipated to be necessary for AFD to adequately serve the project site, and no significant decrease in response time is expected. Impacts would be less than significant." -------- This is directly refuted by the Arcata Fire District. It is not safe for people to live in 7-story buildings that do not have adequate fire and emergency protection.
Dr. Tom Jackson has been the President of Cal Poly Humboldt since May, 2019. He writes a twice-a-month letter published in the Eureka Times-Standard. Dr. Jackson may be "thankful to be a community partner" but many people here in Arcata do not see Cal Poly Humboldt as being a community "partner" at all.
"I have many concerns regarding the safety, size, scale, appropriateness and wisdom of the project as it is being proposed. I have participated in several surveys, toured the area and written letters but I do not feel like the city (ie: David Loya) is addressing the legitimate concerns being expressed. The City Council is elected to represent the citizens of Arcata and I hope you will. I have not spoken with anyone in favor of this plan as it is being put forth. There are numerous issues that have not (and perhaps currently cannot) be addressed. I am specifically wondering how Cal Poly buying up so much of the available building land in Arcata will impact housing demand, public safety, traffic, parking, water and sewer usage, police and fire staffing and equipment, local infrastructure (our roads are already in desperate need of maintenance)...and who will be paying the tab?"