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Saturday, February 4, 2023

The Gateway plan:  An Overview

An overview of what the Gateway plan is.
Click on any image to view that article or video.

If you are new to learning about the Gateway area, you may want to look at the website page “The Gateway plan: Getting Started” first and then return here.

The letter from by Andrea Tuttle, PhD (environmental planning). 

Originally written February 13th, 2022, it was submitted to the Planning Commissioners two months later.  Dr. Tuttle’s letter also appeared in the May 5, 2022 Eureka Times-Standard.

Excerpts: “3500 units is a mathematically-derived number. It is NOT a “factual” number that reflects the carrying capacity of the city to support such growth. It has no relationship to the ability – or desire – of the town and infrastructure to accommodate that many people.”

Building height and scale: With apologies to the drafters, the very idea of 8-story housing blocks in Arcata is an insult. It is disingenuous to propose a plan that is dependent on unrealistic building types.”

Here’s an assortment of aerial views of the Gateway area.  The borders have been drawn on Google Earth views, looking to the North, East, and West, from different viewpoints and altitudes.

If you only read one article on this website, please read this one. 

Yes, it is long.  All the commentary is in red and green.  You can easily skim through the article and just read the red and green — or, even shorter, you can skim and read the sidebars.

Reading the commentary will illustrate the degree of what are, in my opinion, misstatements and misrepresentations that run throughout this plan.

We are all aware that Cal Poly Humboldt is seeking to expand the size of the student body. How many more students (and faculty and support staff) will be here, and how many dormitories are they planning to build?

This article has the numbers.

In Arcata, 63% of the housing units are rentals, and 37% are owner-occupied.  Are you concerned?  What types of new development would be required so that we would have more opportunity to own our homes?

This article looks at the possibilities.  Hint: It’s not going to be easy.

Here’s the link for the actual “DRAFT Gateway Area Plan 2022” that was released to the public on December 1, 2021.  You can read it here.

110 pages PDF.

Letter from Nick Lucchesi of Pacific Builders in Arcata from January 15, 2022.


“My guess is that, should you have asked, not one person would have come up with the idea of 5-8 story residential buildings, limited car parking, traffic pattern changes, that are represented here. You have not asked us what we want. What this approach represents is a top down vision for the future of Arcata, with a belated attempt at getting buy-in from the public.”

“I am in favor of encouraging people to use cars less, but “encouraging” in this sense means providing not enough parking, so that people are essentially blocked from owning a car. Again, top down social engineering. You may encourage away, but you need to stop using that word when you mean denying people a choice.”

This Opinion article came out in the Times-Standard on December 8, 2021, very quickly after the “Draft Gateway Area Plan” was released to the public. The key points are:

  1. Do we really want Arcata’s population to increase by roughly 25% in the next few years?
  2. What will happen to all the businesses and jobs that will be rezoned or otherwise driven out of the area?
  3. Parking and traffic.
  4. Where are the city services to support this development going to come from?
  5. The plan touts sustainability as a core goal, but ignores at least one key issue: Sea-Level Rise.

Arcata’s Gateway Plan apparently includes humor and satire in its form-based code. Who would have guessed.
After all — what’s Life without a little Levity?

More humor is found here.