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HomeGateway PlanCity PlanningForm-Based Code Workshop - February 23, 2023 - Streetscape, Mobility and Parking, and Privately-Owned...

Form-Based Code Workshop – February 23, 2023 – Streetscape, Mobility and Parking, and Privately-Owned Open Space Standards

Click here to go directly to the video of the workshop.

Details on this Workshop

This workshop took place on February 23, 2023, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
It was attended on Zoom by 26 participants, plus five members of the City Staff and the Form-Based Code consultant Ben Noble.

In total, Ben Noble spoke for 69 minutes (including in the three breakout rooms that he led); David Loya spoke for 31 minutes (mostly in the three breakout rooms that he led); and 18 members of the public spoke for a total of 51-1/2 minutes.

Some people spoke for 3 or 4 or 5 minutes total, over the 3 breakout room periods, and some people spoke for under a minute. For roughly 60% of the time the public spoke, people were asking questions. The other portion of the public’s time was actually offering their viewpoints, suggestions, agreement, and ideas counter to the Ben Noble’s Form-Based Code proposals.

In other words, there was a total of about 20 minutes or so that members of the public offered their viewpoints on the topics of Streetscape Design, Mobility and Parking, and Privately-Owned Open Space.

In my opinion, this is not the way to have the community involved in helping to make decisions that will change the form and life in Arcata. 
To put it more strongly, this is a travesty.

Below is the video of the workshop, including the breakout rooms and the three PDF files sent to us. The PowerPoint presentation slides are in the video.

I do have a complete transcription of the talk, with all the participants’ questions and requests from the breakout room. 

This page may be added to. The current revision is:  February 24, 2023.

The Survey in connection with this workshop can be accessed with the QR code, below, or at:





Maximum Parking Spaces

In the proposed standards for parking spaces, below, please note that there is both a minimum number of parking spaces required — Zero — and a maximum. In the proposal, the maximum number of parking spaces that a developer could provide for the tenants in the Hub and Corridor districts (the central area of the Gateway Area) is 1 parking space for every 4 units. So if, say, there were to be a building with 16 two-bedroom apartments — conceivably over 30 people of driving age living there — there would be a maximum of FOUR parking spaces allowed by this code. 


Examples of Privately-Owned Public-Accessible Open Space

As community member Sherri Starr pointed out, the examples shown are of open space that is adjacent to two-story and three-story buildings. In the third example, a photo of Paso Nuevo in Santa Barbara, there is what may be a 4-story building at the left side of the photo, and the movie theater building could be taken as a 4-story building, though with the streetside mass of two or three stories.

The Gateway proposal could include 4-, 5-, and 6-story buildings. As Sherri pointed out, what would the small “parklet” shown in the photo below look like if it were to be nestled among the vertical walls of 4-story buildings?

In the second example, the size seems to indicate that this parklet does not come from the land provided from the immediate neighbors. It looks to have been a separate lot that perhaps the city purchase for this purpose. 

Paso Nuevo (the third example) is of a size that is far beyond what we are discussing for the Gateway Area. It also is a meaningless example.



Video of the Workshop


Streetscape Design


Mobility / Parking


Privately Owned Publicly Accessible Open Space