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Gateway Code form-based code – September 22, 2023 version — What’s changed

Reading time:  15-30 minutes. -- The second draft of the Gateway Code (form-based code) came out on September 22, 2023. This article compares the details of this draft as compared with the June 5 1st draft. There is much that is missing. This Gateway code is in need of much work. In my view, it is inadequate, and will lead to sub-standard results. 

The Gateway Code (Form-Based Code) – 2nd draft from Ben Noble, September 22, 2023

This is the 2nd draft of the Form-Based Code for the Gateway Area Plan, as delivered from the City's consultant Ben Noble. Dated September 22, 2023. You can view both the 2nd version and the 1st version here.

Please measure apartments by number of bedrooms, not number of units

Reading time: 2 minutes. -- If we measure our success in producing housing for people by counting the number of bedrooms, this will have the effect of rewarding builders of studio and one-bedroom apartments at the expense of two-, three-, and larger dwelling spaces. I propose that this is not what we want as a community.

Density: How many units per acre for apartments around Humboldt

Here are examples of the density, shown in units per acre, of local known buildings in Humboldt County and specific buildings outside of our area. Includes a discussion of Net units per acre vs. Gross units per acre, and number of bedrooms vs. number of units.

Louis Sauer, architect: Low-rise dense housing in an urban setting

Reading time: 5 minutes -- The architect Louis Sauer specialized in high-quality, high-density, low rise housing. His urban designs were typically just three stories tall, with configurations of intertwined townhomes, set in patterns so that each home had a separate and private yard. 

Tabatha Miller – Divesting Fossil Fuel corporations from pension investments

Read 21 minute video or Watch slides and listen to audio -- A presentation to the City Council on 9/20/2023 by Tabatha Miller, Finance Director for the City of Arcata. SUBJECT: Recent State bills involving the divestment from fossil fuel investments, and how this may affect Arcata's pension funds. This is a superb summary of the situation, with clear easy-to-understand graphics. Overall an excellent presentation. Thank you, Tabatha!

Caltrans looks at Sea Level Rise along Highway 101 – a presentation

A presentation by Clancy De Smet, Caltrans senior specialist and Climate Change Adaptation Branch Chief, with a discussion of sea level rise and actions by Caltrans in this area. With many graphic images and commentary from Clancy De Smet. From the September 20, 2023, meeting of the Arcata City Council.  With discussion from the City Council and public comment. 24-1/2 minutes.

GHD proposal: Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Planning Services

On September 20, 2023, the Arcata City Council awarded a contract for $154,890 to the Eureka branch of GHD for Arcata Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Planning Services. This article contains the video of that section of the meeting, the staff report on this business item, and the GHD proposal, dated September 7.

To the Council/Commission: A high-density building, the State Density Bonus Housing Law, and reducing regulatory costs

Three new articles: A high-density building, the State Density Bonus Housing Law, and reducing regulatory costs. The State Density Bonus Housing Law and how it affects us here in Arcata is the single most important issue facing the Planning Commission with regard to the success of the Gateway Plan.

Can better public spaces revolutionize the way we live?

What happens when an expert in building public spaces is given the reins of a European capital? “If you design better public spaces, you change the relationship residents have with a city, and also with each other.” -**** When the mayor is an architect, a civic activist, and an advocate for fewer cars and better bike lanes, this is what can happen. ****

State Density Bonus Housing Law — How it affects us here in Arcata

Reading time 12 minutes -- "Project proponents will be driven by the Density Bonus provisions. And our design standards and Community Benefits programs are unlikely to be implemented due to waivers and concessions." So said David Loya. We need to look at just how the State Density Bonus Law will affect the Gateway Area Plan, and what decisions can be made so we get housing built in the form that we want.

“Mio” apartments in Seattle — Density of 205 units per acre

Reading time: 5 minutes -- The "Mio" apartments in Seattle are 41 units with a density of 205 units per acre. I present it here not as something we can copy for Arcata, but as an example of what can be done. I do not like all of the design choices, nor believe that this design in its entirely would be suitable for us. Yet I feel we can learn and profit by looking at its design.

“Gateway Housing” Open House meeting: September 25th, 4 to 6 p.m.

The City of Arcata is holding an open house on “Gateway Housing” at the D Street Neighborhood Center, on the university side of 101 at 13th & D.  This will be on Monday afternoon, September 25th, from 4 to 6 p.m. If you are not able to attend that meeting , you can enter your comments here on

Enter your Comments on the Gateway Area Plan

Enter your Comments on the Gateway Area Plan -- Arcata is holding an open house on "Gateway Housing" on September 25th, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the D Street Neighborhood Center. There will be a comment box there for you to submit your views, suggestions, and ideas. OR ENTER YOUR COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, VIEWPOINTS, AND IDEAS HERE. Thank you !

Dr. Wendy Ring: The Scotia Biomass power plant operation needs to be shut down

Presentation from Dr. Wendy Ring on the carbon emissions, pollution, and health hazards of the Scotia biomass-burning electrical power plant. 21 minute video plus 15-minutes reading material.

Previously on the Home Page….

A collection of images from front pages on in the past.