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HomeArcataArcata & CommunityCreamery District meeting - May 16, 2023 - What the People want - Updated...

Creamery District meeting – May 16, 2023 – What the People want – Updated May 21

At their Tuesday, May 23rd “special meeting” the Planning Commission will receive a staff report on the goings-on of this May 16th meeting at the Arcata Playhouse. Be sure to come back to this article after that time for more information.

May 20, 2023:  More photos of postings/comments from the meeting. Click here to go to those new photos.

May 21: New articles on about the May 16th Creamery meeting.
What People Wrote at the May 16th Creamery meeting  All the posters and Post-It notes transcribed so you can read and scan what you wrote.
May 16th Creamery Meeting: The discussion is minimized in the Staff Report  
Prior to the May 16, 2023, Creamery District meeting, it was expected that the purpose of the meeting was to have an open discussion with Creamery residents, business owners, and interested citizens on the potential impacts of the Gateway Plan on the Creamery District. And then the Community Development Director would report back to the Planning Commission on what the people said. But that’s not what happened.

Original article:  May 16, 2023

The May 16th meeting – What happened

The Community Development Department held its neighborhood Creamery District meeting at the Arcata Playhouse on Tuesday, May 16th. City staff present were David Loya, Jen Dart, and Gillen Tener Martin. In addition to staff, about 42 people attended.

After a ~15 minute introduction from David Loya, people chose their spot at one of three tables. At Table #1 there’d be a discussion led by Jen Dart on the impact of the Gateway Plan on businesses, what would become of non-conforming business operations, and what might be involved in residential or business relocation (were that to occur). At Table #2 David Loya would lead the discussion on the community benefits program — what Arcata will receive as benefits to the City in exchange for the developers creating taller buildings — and what’s involved in the permitting process. At Table #3 Gillen Tener Martin would lead an open discussion “focused on kind of a little bit more fluff,” as David Loya put it. This would involve, basically, design, architecture, vision for the future — “cool things,” as it was put.

There was some agitation and grumbling among the participants during this intro. There were people present who thought that this meeting would be an open discussion about how the Gateway Plan might affect the Creamery District. Specifically, people wanted to discuss the question of the L Street Corridor Linear Park. Equally specifically, David Loya told the group that the Linear Park was not one of the topics on that evening’s list of topics to be discussed. But people could bring it up at the “Open Ideas” table.

And that’s exactly what people did. Below are images of all the comments that were brought up and discussed at that popular “Open Ideas” table.

In discussing how the meeting went, one person who engaged in a variety of discussions wrote this:

Many folks wanted to talk about building height and the linear park.

Even though those seemed relevant at the ‘cool things we want to keep’ and ‘design’ table—Gillen really pushed back on that and didn’t want it discussed. Community members kept finding ways to try and get it into the comments (by saying ‘keep the trail’, ‘make it a car-free area’).

Someone (I think Faye Honorof) also asked if they are tracking the turnout of these public meetings, and if they are showing not just comments from community members but also HOW MANY voice support or dislike of certain things. Gillen said no and something like it wouldn’t be a fair picture of community sentiment because not everyone comes to meetings. I thought that was interesting.”


Here are the images. There will be more dialogue on what was brought up at this meeting. We are also curious what will be presented to the Planning Commission and what the Commissioners are going to say.

Come back to for updates on all of this.






Here are the individual notes that people wrote and posted.
These are ALL of the notes. (I’m pretty sure I got all of them.)
That is, if you see “No L Couplet / Yes Linear Park” or other words to that effect, that’s what people wrote… and no one wrote “Make L Street into a major arterial truck route thoroughfare so we can get more traffic into the Creamery District.”


Added May 19, 2023: