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.
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.
The Westwood Garden Apartments project was approved by the Planning Commission on October 27, 2022. False and misleading information contained in the Staff Report apparently influenced the Commissioners in their decision. Ten days later, a group of citizens -- residents of the current apartment buildings on the site -- appealed this to the City Council. This letter presents the nature of that false information, and requests the City Council to waive the $1,867 that the residents collected for the Appeal Fee.
"The Planning Commission gave up on what could have been a win, win, win, project. The people of Arcata, specifically residents of apartments, rely on our elected and appointed officials to speak and look out for us." "In a win, win, win, scenario, the City has more and better quality housing, not because of luxury fixtures but because of exacting oversight that necessitated humane housing. This is where people's lives happen."
It seems that the public is not receiving the information that is our right to receive, under the law. Why the public is not receiving this information is anyone's guess. And why a citizen feels the need to read the opening lines of the Brown Act Law indicates that much is wrong.
EXCELLENT - A MUST READ LETTER --
"I am an Arcata resident and business license holder, and served on the Energy Task Force that preceded the permanent Energy Committee. The controversy over recusal at last night's meeting perfectly illustrates the kinds of trust issues the Plan now has. An advisory committee could make it clear to the community that key decisions are not being made behind closed doors by people with vested interests, and could turn skeptics into enthusiastic participants. Without such a committee, it's hard to see how the Plan could be anything but divisive."
August 16th Survey shows "Home Ownership" of supreme importance to the 50-or-so participants during the two minutes of voting. What's the possibility of Home Ownership Opportunities to be written into the Gateway Plan? Very likely to be Zero.
Urban leadership needs to develop a shared vision that guides residents on their individual and collective contributions. Urban residents need to be involved in achieving set goals. Reprinted from "The Conversation"
Is this really the Community Engagement Report? The one we've been waiting FIVE -- no make it SIX -- months for? It's supposed to be a summary of what Arcatans want. Oh well. There's no Summary, no compilation of what people have said. Do we want 8-Story apartment buildings in the Gateway area? It still might be a while before we find out -- from official sources -- what the community wants.
Unless, that is, we already know.
The "couplet" created by making K Street and L Street be one-way, one-lane streets seems unlikely to happen. And if it were to take place, the joyful humanity of the current L Street Pathway would be destroyed. Why does it seem that the City is not being forthcoming on this? Why aren't we presented with alternatives?
The City wants to destroy a quiet strolling pathway so that car and truck traffic will be split between L Street and K Street. Meanwhile, cities all over the world are attempting to get rid of car traffic in favor of walkable public spaces. A "Plan B" has been promised since January. So far, nothing.
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.
The letters to the Planning Commissioners are supposed to be in the PC agenda packets, so that the public can read them too. Unfortunately in Arcata, that hasn't always happened. Our city promises that this will get better, and that letters won't be lost. Can we believe them ?
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.
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.
Steve Salzman, former partner of Greenway Partners and co-founder of PlanIt Green, wrote this letter to the City Council Members and Planning Commission Members, submitted to the PC for the April 12, 2022 meeting.