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Maps, 3D, and Aerial Views

Part 1 – Sunset and LK Wood / Highway 101 roundabouts — Where are the bike lanes?

Here are images of the design of the roundabouts for the multiple-lane intersection of Sunset Avenue, L. K. Wood Boulevard, and the four on-ramps/off-ramps for US Highway 101. The question is: WHERE ARE THE BIKE LANES?

Part 2 – Sunset and LK Wood / Highway 101 roundabouts — Will this work? Is this safe?

Part 2. The multi-road intersections of Sunset Avenue, L. K. Wood Boulevard, G Street, H Street, and the four on-ramps/off-ramps for US Highway 101 are an acknowledged difficult situation. The solution that's provide is not, in my view, a good solution. I think this design would be the source of all kinds of problems. I believe there must be a better solution for us at this intersection. We can do better.

Part 3 – Sunset and LK Wood / Highway 101 roundabouts — Letter to the City Council

The letter sent to the City Council. This item was on their agenda for the February 21, 2024 meeting. The overall design of this interchange does not seem safe -- not safe for bicyclists, for pedestrians, and not even safe for cars. WE CAN DO BETTER,

Four-Story Buildings do not belong in the Bayview, Sunset, and Upper I & J Street Neighborhoods

The LU-9 Implementation Measure in the draft General Plan would allow 4 and 5-story buildings in the Bayview, Northtown, Upper I & J Street, and Sunset neighborhoods. A rezoning would allow "Local-serving commercial uses such as corner grocery stores and coffee shops" throughout those neighborhoods. **** LU-9 does not belong in Arcata's General Plan **** WITH IMAGES OF WHAT COULD BE BUILT.

Maps of the neighborhoods: Sunset, Bayview, Downtown, Northtown

Maps that show the near-downtown neighborhoods of Arcata. With links to articles about the proposed "Implementation Measures" in the Land Use Element of the General Plan -- to re-zone these neighborhoods for high density housing, including 4-story buildings.

Maps of the Gateway Area – Selected Articles

Maps of the Gateway Area - Aerial Views - 3D images

3D images from the Gateway Code — and no Linear Park !

For two years we have been waiting for 3D images of what a build-out might look like for the design of the Gateway Area Plan. Finally, here in February 2024, we have some 3D images of what multiple buildings in the Gateway area might look like.

The Gateway Barrel District “Illustrative Plan” of 1,500 apartment units

The new General Plan 2045 draft Environmental Impact Report contains an image of an "illustrative plan" that shows a possible build-out design for the Gateway Barrel District. We've been waiting two years for what a potential build-out might look like. This image, plus the new images from Version 3 of the Gateway Code, have finally given us a clue.

The 3D images in the draft Environmental Impact Report

A series of 3D images that show the potential construction of four buildings in the Gateway Area. Rare views of a partial look of potential 7-story buildings. ******** MUST SEE ********

“Infill Opportunity Zones” — What are they, and where are they?

Reading time: 5 minutes -- There are many references to the City's four "Infill Opportunity Zones" as identified in the 2019 Housing Element. "These infill zones were areas designated for high-density redevelopment to help meet the housing objectives the City has." The actual map is not so easy to find. Here is the map, with detailed views and some commentary.

New Commissioner Matt Simmons proposes huge changes to established neighborhoods

Planning Commissioner Matt Simmons proposed a change in the zoning of established Arcata neighborhoods, from Residential Low Density to Residential High Density. What is behind his rationale? Would such zoning change help people find housing?

Solar Shading Impacts – video and still images

Three 35-second videos - QUICK to watch. Plus descriptions, images, and commentary on Solar Shading situation. Arcata's northern latitude makes for a low angle of sun in the Winter months. Any building will make a shadow in the space next to it. The taller the building, the longer the shadow. *** In terms of determining what the solar shading caused by taller buildings on specific sites, unless we have some kind of images of the extent of the solar shading we are "flying blind." 

David Loya “Solar Shading Impacts 3D GIS Analysis” video

Reading/viewing time: 6 minutes -- Transcription and all images from the video of Shading Analysis. This is a step in the right direction, but completely inadequate. It fails to fully illustrate what the results of solar shading would be with multiple 6-story buildings in the Gateway area.

California Coastal Commission hears about the Gateway Area Plan

Reading time: 4 minutes -- At some point in the approval process of the Gateway Area Plan, State law requires that the plan come to the California Coastal Commission for review. This is a short introduction of the Gateway Area Plan, as presented to the Coastal Commission on September 7, 2023.

Planwest 3D Massing Diagrams are non-existent — No 3D diagrams to evaluate the Gateway heights and massing

Reading time: 4 minutes -- The "Gateway Area Form-Based Code Enhanced Content & Outreach" contract amendment with Planwest for $118,000 was approved at the December 21, 2022 Council meeting. The "Plan Area Massing Diagram" would be especially useful at this time, as we are discussing massing and building heights. Eight months later, and it's never been delivered.

3D Modeling and Visualizations have been removed from the draft Gateway Area Plan

The 3D Modeling and Visualizations have been removed from the draft Gateway Area Plan. There was a placeholder page titled "Visualizations" (Page 42) and now that page is gone. On Tuesday, August 22, 2023, the Council & Commission are being asked -- once again -- to discuss building heights. And they do not have the basic tools that any planner would need in order to accomplish this.

Where are the 3D images? We need them now, more than ever before.

Solar shading, building massing, and the "feel" on the street are easily and quickly seen in a 3D image. Without the 3D image, every design aspect becomes theoretical. With 3D images, the proposed buildings become more real. Despite this, the city planners have provided practically no 3D images.

3D image showing step-backs on the the St. Vinnie’s parcel

This image was presented as a one-page handout at the June 13, 2023, Planning Commission meeting. It is a still image from the video presentation “Building and Massing” of the St. Vinnie's site on K Street.

Councilmembers, Commissioners: What do we want our buildings to look like?

What do we want our buildings to look like? Do we want a boxy building with 5-story walls that go straight up and completely shade the adjoining houses? It is all decided by the Form-Based Code. **** A very brief article with IMAGES that show our choices.

Will upper floor step-backs vanish from the Gateway Code?

During the past more than one-and-a-half years of discussion on the draft Gateway Plan, we've seen a variety of important aspects of the plan come and go. Critical issues seemed to have arrived as firm promises and later vanished like smoke following a Planning Commission conversation of just a minute or two. Or vanished with no conversation whatsoever. *** An area that's near and dear to the hearts of Arcatans are building heights and the set-back and step-back requirements for new buildings.

138 acres of Gateway: What is actually buildable?

At the June 13, 2023, Planning Commission "special meeting" Chair Scott Davies asked the question "And do you know or have you looked at what percentage of the actual buildable parcels in that 138 Acres is the ratio of those orange parcels to the total acreage of the Gateway Area?" **** This question is critical for understanding development in the Gateway area. The key is the phrase "the actual buildable parcels."

3D Modeling: We’re still waiting

Original article: June 16, 2022 --We've been promised the 3D modeling for at least four or five months now. *** ONE AND A HALF YEARS NOW **** Why is 3D Modeling so important? Look at the pictures here and decide for yourself.

What is “walking distance” from the Plaza or from Cal Poly Humboldt?

The City planners consider walking distance as an "as the crow flies" distance -- NOT a real-life walking distance. This a entire “10 minute walk” map is very misleading. It is a computer-drawn map with no regard to actually walking along a street. Yes, the Gateway area is close to town, and, yes, it is walking distance to many locations. But it is not true that “the Arcata sports complex is just within a 10-minute walk.” A person has to cross Highway 101 on 7th Street to get to the Sports Complex.

Re-Zoning Arcata: The Big View and aerial images

Proposed rezoning areas -- Maps and aerial views. -- The Alliance & Spear proposed rezoning area, the Craftman's Mall proposed rezoning area, the 17th & Q proposed rezoning area, and the Gateway proposed rezoning area are all shown highlighted on this map.

Getting oriented: The Creamery Area

This map provides an orientation for some of the buildings and business locations in the Creamery area. The background is taken from the Draft Gateway Plan, and shows the proposed street parking situation. However, this parking plan is very inaccurate -- it is "high level" and does not incorporate driveway cutouts, business frontages, and other aspects of reality.

Planning Commissioner Matt Simmons calls Arcata neighborhoods “segregated”

Why did new Planning Commissioner use the word "segregated" when describing existing Arcata neighborhoods? Was his purpose to inflame the discussion? To add confusion to the conversation? -- Unless what Matt Simmons means is racial segregation, there is no valid use of this word -- other than to create controversy.

L Street Pathway: Aerial Views and Photos

This page contains an assortment of photographs and aerial views of the L Street Pathway area. It will be updated as new images come in, so be sure to check back to see what's new.

Building and Massing 4: Height Ratios and Unit Calculations

The Building & Massing Presentation that arrived on August 12 provides so much needed information, along with the first glimpses of the long-awaited 3D modeling. 4: Height Ratios and Unit Calculations

Building and Massing 3: Proposed Setbacks and Massing Impacts

The Building & Massing Presentation that arrived on August 12 provides so much needed information, along with the first glimpses of the long-awaited 3D modeling. 3: Proposed Setbacks and Massing Impacts

Building and Massing 2: Solar Shading

The Building & Massing Presentation that arrived on August 12 provides so much needed information, along with the first glimpses of the long-awaited 3D modeling. 2: Solar Shading.

Building and Massing 1: Current and Proposed Height Standards

The Building & Massing Presentation that arrived on August 12 provides so much needed information, along with the first glimpses of the long-awaited 3D modeling. 1: Current and Proposed Height Standards.

Building & Massing Presentation – Overview

The Building & Massing Presentation that arrived on August 12 provides so much needed information, along with the first glimpses of the long-awaited 3D modeling.

Building & Massing Presentation videos – August 12, 2022

An excellent presentation of Building Height and Massing in the Gateway area. 47 minutes. With 3D modeling. A "must see" video.

Maps: Building Height Districts

Maps of the "Land Use Designation" zoning districts of the Gateway area, with a proposal for a new district around the Creamery Building. The line through the central portion is a potential "L Street Pathway" linear park and walking "mall" that would extend from Alliance Road at the north and go to Samoa Boulevard at the south. It would be a car-free area, adjacent to the Creamery District arts area, alongside The Pub restaurant and many future restaurants and shops.

Gateway Needs Parks!

Sure, there's open space.  But where are the parks? Gateway needs parks! How is Arcata going to supply adequate parks for 2,000 people? Parks = Community. Places to meet, talk, hang out. Children's playgrounds too. If we don't insist on this, it's not going to happen.

3D Images and Aerial Views

3D images and Aerial Views combined with 3D images. Get a visual representation of development in the Gateway area. Includes an imaginary proposal by local architect Julian Berg for the car-wash site.

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.

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.