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Saturday, February 4, 2023

CATEGORY

Gateway Plan

Berkeley modular “village” housing with rooftop garden

Garden Village is a 77-unit student-orientated apartment building located in Berkeley, California completed in August of 2016. Designed to echo the massing and rhythm of the community, the innovative design departs from the standard single-volume building. Instead, 18 distinct building volumes are spread out in a garden and linked by exterior walkways in a design that seamlessly integrates into the surrounding fabric of the community.

Pre-Fab Modular Housing – a dozen articles and more

Modular housing could be an answer to state housing crisis. A collection of articles from other sources, and lots of photos. Modules can be assembled into apartment buildings 40% more quickly and 20% cheaper than traditional construction. ------- From factories in Vallejo, Sacramento, Klamath Falls OR, Idaho, Canada, and China.

OLLI Presentation: The Affordable Housing Challenge – December 12, 2022

Danco president Chris Dart and Rural Communities Housing Development director Beth Matsumoto discuss the challenges of creating affordable housing. Chris Dart specifically discusses how buildings over 4 stories are not feasible, and that market-rate non-subsidized housing is a financial impossibility. Hosted by Jane Woodward as an OLLI "Brown Bag Lunch" Zoom presentation. With video and full transcription.

Craftsman Mall Dorms Environmental Impact Report is flawed

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.

Berkeley approves housing plan, with pledge to upzone wealthy neighborhoods

The Berkeley City Council voted  unanimously to approve their 656-page Housing Element, an eight-year housing plan. The plan shows how Berkeley will add at least 8,934 new homes over the next eight years. The plan commits to rezoning several major streets in an effort to encourage denser development in some of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods.

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.

Fire Danger in Arcata High-Rises — Three-minute video from Eric Black

*** 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 ***

“Gulliver’s Travels” map from 1726 depicts Arcata and the Brobdingnagian Gateway Plan

Is the Gateway Plan an example of how "the can-do spirit of the times that led people to devise a number of illogical schemes that would purportedly solve social and economic ills." ****** See Arcata on a fictional map from the 1726 satirical novel "Gulliver's Travels."

Draft Gateway Plan WordCloud

Which words are repeated hundreds of times in the draft Gateway plan? And which words are conspicuous by their absence? Hint: You won't find the word "sun" or "sunshine" there. Or "solar shade" or "solar shadow" either. There are over 28,000 words in this document. "House" and "Home" do not appear even once.

Will we see 7-story buildings in the Gateway Area ?

Three local experts are telling us that tall buildings can not feasibly be built in the Gateway Plan: the Arcata Fire District, Danco president Chris Dart, and renown sea level rise specialist Aldaron Laird. Has the time finally arrived that we might want to listen to people with knowledge and experience?

Fred Weis speaks to the Planning Commission on Sea Level Rise – January 10, 2023

Aldaron Laird is a recognized expert on Sea Level Rise and its affects on coastal California and, particularly, on Humboldt/Arcata Bay. Here is a synopsis of a small part of his knowledge, as presented by Fred Weis at the January 10, 2023 Planning Commission meeting.

Emerging Groundwater Report from the SF Bay Area

A 67-page report prepared in 2022 for Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties. "Low-lying inland areas could flood from below by emergent groundwater long before coastal floodwaters overtop the shoreline.... Rising groundwater can destabilize foundations... Contaminated Sites:  The interaction of rising groundwater and contaminated sites could pose challenges for public health and the environment. ... The areas most at risk of liquefaction are generally located ... in former floodplains, wetlands, mudflats ... that were filled for development.

Arcata Fire District presentation to the Planning Commission – January 10th, 2023

Arcata Fire District Board Director Eric Loudenslager spoke at the Planning Commission meeting of January 10, 2023. Includes discussions of costs, staffing requirements, and potential response times involved for providing adequate fire and emergency protection in the Gateway area and throughout Arcata.

Arcata Fire District Director: Eric Loudenslager – August 4, 2022

Eric Loudenslager, Board of Directors member of the Arcata Fire Protection District, weighs in on some of the challenges of the Gateway Plan, and some requests for information and involvement.

Cal Poly ignores Arcata Fire District response to the Draft EIR

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.

Arcata Fire District Board Meeting – December 13th, 2022

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.

Steve Salzman: Let’s answer the basic questions first

Arcata resident, retired professional engineer, and former Greenway Partners partner Steve Salzman asked some basic questions in March, 2022.  What happened to the public input element of Planwest's Scope of Work? Why are we working on an Area Plan before updating the General Plan? How much additional wastewater treatment capacity will be required, how much will it cost and how will it be paid for? Sea Level Rise:  Update the Local Coastal Plan based on the most recent and relevant scientific studies and planning efforts.

Sea Level Rise – the basics

Sea Level Rise could affect plans for the Gateway area. See maps here of what Sea Level Rise looks like.

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.

The Five Biggest Myths of the Gateway Plan

It’s fun to talk about dreams. The Gateway Plan has lots of goals. It’s aspirational. But I’m a pragmatist. I want to talk about dreams that can really happen. Arcata needs housing. We know that. Maybe the Gateway Plan could provide an answer.

Appeal of the Westwood Garden Apartments – January 4, 2023

At the City Council meeting on January 4th, 2023, the Council took up the matter of an appeal of the Planning Commission's approval of the 102-unit Westwood Garden Apartment project. The video shows the portion of the City Council meeting concerning the appeal.

Appeal of the Westwood Garden Apartments – January 4, 2023

At the City Council meeting on January 4th, 2023, the Council took up the matter of an appeal of the Planning Commission's approval of the 102-unit Westwood Garden Apartment project. The video shows the portion of the City Council meeting concerning the appeal.

City Council selects two new Planning Commissioners – January 4, 2023

Videos and discussion of the City Council's process of selecting two new Planning Commissioners. Choosing a new Planning Commissioner for Arcata is an important task. The ideas and opinions and visions that are promoted (or withheld) by the two new Planning Commissioners in the discussions on the Gateway Area Plan will have the potential to change the look and feel of Arcata for the next 50 or 100 years. 

Appeal of the Westwood Garden Apartments – January 4, 2023

At the City Council meeting on January 4th, 2023, the Council took up the matter of an appeal of the Planning Commission's approval of the 102-unit Westwood Garden Apartment project. The video shows the portion of the City Council meeting concerning the appeal.

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.

Letters and Comments

Includes letters not published in the City of Arcata City Council or Planning Commission packets, and not published on the City's website. From the most recent to the oldest. Summaries of each letter are being added. Please return to this page for updates.