Transcription of the Gateway Plan introductory video, with commentary and opinion. Watch the video while you read.
Revised and supplemented: May 28, 2022
Want to know what all those colors are, and why these buildings could never be built? Not just in Arcata — They wouldn’t be built anywhere on Earth, in my opinion.
It’s a depiction, not a reality. It’s what someone drew, but it does not represent any kind of a real plan.
Hint: Those purple squares are supposed to show where 8-story residential towers could be. The problem is: They are shown as less than the width of a city street — less than 50 feet wide. Do you want to imagine an 8-story building that’s only 45 feet wide — out there when an earthquake hits?
To the City Council members, the Planning Commissioners, and all others who want to explore many (but certainly not all) of the flaws in the details of this plan:
If you only read one article on this website, please read this one.
Reading the commentary will illustrate the degree of what are, in my opinion, misstatements and misrepresentations that run throughout this plan.
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.
This is transcription of the hour-long “Draft Gateway Area Plan Community Workshop Presentation Video” from December 13, 2021.
How to watch this video and read the transcription:
The video takes an hour to watch, if played at normal speed. The transcription can be read in less time. You can change the playback speed on the video.
After starting the video, use the “Settings” tool button and change the speed to be 1.25x or 1.5x times faster. The video is displayed in a small screen that stays in the lower right corner. If you want to watch the video on its own, you can enlarge the screen with the Square at the lower right of the YouTube screen.
This transcription is believed to be an accurate rendition of what was said. Any discrepancies between what was spoken and what is written here are unintentional and are not believed to alter the intent or meaning of the speaker. Many of the “uh” and “you know” and “um” words have been removed. Some sub-headings have been added.
The transcript is in black text. Highlights have been added as bold highlights. Notes and comments have been added in RED. Opinions are in GREEN. The comments and opinions are those of the author and are not presented as fact, but as opinion.
Draft Gateway Area Plan Community Presentation
December 13, 2021 presentation by Rob Holmlund, at that time with Planwest Partners
[The video starts] This is a presentation pre-recorded for the draft City of Arcata Gateway Area Plan. This presentation is brought to you by the City of Arcata, Plan West Partners, Ben Noble Consulting, and GHD. To acquire a copy of the Draft Gateway Area Plan, go to the City’s website under News and Announcements, you will find a link to a copy of the Draft Gateway Area Plan. [Or available at this link.] This presentation is going to review the Draft Plan in detail but it’s still highly encouraged that anyone interested in this topic download a copy and read the content for themselves. So just to start flipping into the document on Page 5, just an understanding of which part of the City of Arcata we’re talking about. So looking at the map on the right, the yellow is the Gateway Area Plan boundary and the blue line is the Coastal Zone and then the black dashed line is city limits. So the Gateway Area Plan is just on the west side of the City. For context, the Arcata Plaza is just outside of the Gateway Area Plan by a few blocks while the Creamery Building is inside of the Gateway area. Samoa Boulevard is on the south and K Street is on the east side of the Gateway area. If we go to that arrow and look south from an aerial this is what we would see. You’ve got Arcata Bay in the back, the Plaza is off to the left, the Creamery Building there is in the center. We’ve got Alliance Avenue [Note: It is Alliance Road] which transitions into K Street and then in the background we’ve got Samoa Boulevard. So the Gateway area is about there. We can see most of it from this view. Equivalent of 64 city blocks. There are some portions of it that aren’t fully complete with a grid system but the area is equivalent to about 64 city blocks. Some key landmarks within the Gateway area include the Mini-Storage. Here on the north end you’ve got Bug Press. Inside the Gateway Area some buildings you’ve probably driven by and would recognize: Patriot gas station, the Clothing Dock, we’ve got Dark Staffing Solutions, and the railroad, Portuguese Hall. Again, the railroad goes right through the center of the Gateway Area. Historic homes, the Arcata Car Wash, which includes a portion of daylighted Jolly Giant Creek, and on that same block (same parcel) is some more Mini-Storage here. Across the street from that is the Creamery Building — which the Creamery District is entirely contained within the Gateway area but only consists of about 10 percent of the Gateway area. So the Gateway is substantially larger than the Creamery District and completely contains the Creamery District within it. Got Pacific Builders, Holly Yashi, the Ten Pin Building, Arcata Trailer Court, Sequoia Gas [AmeriGas], a couple of other notable buildings, Bud’s Mini-Storage, and then the industrial site on the south that currently contains Wing Inflatables and a number of other businesses. So those are just some key landmarks within the Gateway Area. So if we go back to the beginning of the document …
Above: Page 8 from the draft plan. Illustrates the theoretical walking times. Well, one more thing for context here just so we understand the Gateway area in context to other parts of the City inside the document is Figure 2 which kind of outlays the context of the Gateway Area. And if we zoom in on this we see two white dashed lines that buffer the Gateway area. One is an approximately five minute walk to the Gateway area boundary and the other is a ten minute walk. So that we can see what’s in within walking distance of the Gateway area just for context. So the green parcels, the green shaded areas, are parks and the red are Commercially Zoned areas. Within a five or ten minute walk of the Gateway area we’ve got Arcata High School, a skate park. Humboldt State University is just within the 10 minute walking area. Wildberries, the bus terminal, the Co-op and Safeway. So a number of grocery stores with an easy walking distance of the Gateway area. The Plaza is just a few blocks away, the library, the Arcata sports complex is just within a 10-minute walk and the Arcata marsh. So and then all of those red Commercially Zoned lands. So Gateway area is really optimally located and is in within walking distance of a big portion of the city.
[“…is in within walking distance of a big portion of the city.” No, it’s within walking distance of the downtown area of the city. It’s about a 45 minute walk to Mad River Hospital, or an hour walk to Valley West. It’s about a 40-minute walk (for an adult) to Sunny Brae Middle School. It’s about 20-25 minutes walk to the Cal Poly Humboldt Library. It is not “a 10-minute walk.“]
[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.” If a person is living at the northern sections of the Gateway area, it would be a 25-30 minute walk. In some cases, it could be a 10-minute walk from the border of the Gateway area – but not from where people would be living.
From 5th & K Streets – which would be the entrance to a large portion of the proposed housing area, that currently industrial area along Samoa Boulevard – to the HSU Library is 1.1 miles, or a 23-minute walk. From the other end of that district, it’s 1.6 miles, or a 32-minute walk. From 10th & O, it’s 1.1 miles, 23 minutes also. Even from the closest spot, around M & Alliance, it’s 0.7 miles and 15 minutes.]
That context going back to the beginning of the documents. If anyone interested in this topic was wondering what is an Area Plan we’ll cover that in just a moment.
Why is this called the Gateway area and then why create an Area Plan for the Gateway?
Just to answer these basic questions. An Area Plan is a detailed addition to the General Plan that focuses on a specific part of town. So in this case it’s focusing on what we’re calling the Gateway area and it goes into more detail than a typical other chapter of a General Plan. So it covers all of the areas such as transportation and housing [that] the General Plan covers but goes into more detail for that specific area. This is called the Gateway area — has been for years now — because Samoa Boulevard, K Street and 11th street all currently serve as a gateway into the City from various points. And so this this area of the City currently serves as a gateway and then just a basis of its name.
Starting in 2000, the area of Samoa Boulevard from F Street to J Street (just shy of K Street) was called the “Samoa Gateway Project.”
As then-Community Development Director Larry Oetker explained in 2010: The area acts as a gateway for visitors and newcomers — the city could utilize it to point them to Arcata’s highlights with visible signs leading the way.
Opinion: It has been called the Gateway area “for years now” — because someone made up that phrase. The planners have said again and again that K Street is a “gateway” into the City of Arcata. I have yet to meet one person who considers K Street to be the gateway into Arcata. There wasn’t even a traffic light there until — when, fifteen years ago? The traffic lights were on G Street and H Street. When getting off of Highway 101 from Eureka or the South, if you’re going to, say, Westwood or Vaissades, sure, you’ll go up K Street. But that’s not downtown Arcata.
Starting in 2000, the area of Samoa Boulevard from F Street to J Street (just shy of K Street) was called the “Samoa Gateway Project.” See the City’s FAQ page on this here. Or the Times-Standard article from March 2, 2010 here. As then-Community Development Director Larry Oetker explained: The area acts as a gateway for visitors and newcomers — the city could utilize it to point them to Arcata’s highlights with visible signs leading the way. The Transportation Safety Committee first began considering the project about 10 years earlier, in 2000.
“…due to its easy access from Highway 101 via Samoa Boulevard.” You don’t think coming into Arcata on G Street is easier?
From the Draft Plan, page 7: “For many locals and visitors from the south and west, the Plan Area is the first impression of the City due to its easy access from Highway 101 via Samoa Boulevard.”
From the City of Arcata website Gateway FAQ page: “Thus, while the area has a lot of room for improvement with regards to general appearance and overall circulation flow, the area currently serves as a de facto “gateway” into the City.“
I don’t mind calling it “the Gateway area” but I say to the planners: Don’t insult us by calling this the “first impression” of the City, or the “de facto ‘gateway’ into the City.’” In the opinion of this author, this just is not true.
Then why create an Area Plan for the Gateway?
Hopefully this presentation will cover that in a lot more detail, but generally the adopted Housing Element adopted in 2019 [December 2019] specifically called for the creation of this plan called for a Gateway Area Specific Plan. [Note: He says “Gateway Area Specific Plan” — NOT “Gateway Area Plan.”] As we’ll show in a moment and then the Gateway area is optimal for housing and redevelopment as this presentation will show so that’s why the City is undertaking this Area Plan. And on the City’s website you can find the Strategic Infill Redevelopment Program sub-page of the City’s Community Development pages. Within that there is a page on the opportunity to get involved in development of this plan including some history of what has been done up to this point. The production of this Area Plan has actually been five years in the making.
[Opinion: False statement. It was a plan but not an “Area Plan” — this is a strong legal and planning distinction. It does not seem to be designated as an “Area Plan” in a public discussion until perhaps April 2021.]
So the City’s Sixth Cycle Housing Element which was adopted in late 2019 and obviously this sort of document takes a couple of years to produce. This document on Page 19 — Implementation measure 12 explicitly called for the Arcata Gateway Specific Area Plan. [Note: Now he says “Gateway Specific Area Plan” — NOT “Gateway Area Plan.” There is some confusion here.] So it was about five years ago that the City Council, the Community Development Department, and the community started identifying the Gateway area as an optimal location for redevelopment and for housing.
There’s a big planning and legal distinction between an Area Plan and a Specific Plan. Why would the Community Development Department allow a plan to be called a “Specific Area Plan”? There is no such thing as a “specific area plan.”
[Yes, the City identified this area as good for redevelopment and housing. The Sixth Cycle Housing Element came out in December 2019 — two years prior to this December 21 Draft Plan. “Public Engagement and Community Participation” started with visioning sessions in December 2020 — virtual meetings because of Covid. That was one year earlier. This draft plan came out in December 2021.
Further, the earlier reference to any Gateway plan were called, as is said in the video here, the “Arcata Gateway Specific Area Plan.” There’s a big planning and legal distinction between an Area Plan and a Specific Plan. Why would the Community Development Department allow a plan to be called a “Specific Area Plan”? There is no such thing as a “specific area plan.”]
So going back to the beginning of this Area Plan, now that we have some context of what it is why it’s being created and where it is within the City. If you were to only read three pages, one of the pages we recommend that you read of this 100 Page document is right behind the cover. It’s called the “Gateway Area At-A-Glance.” It’s a really good summary of just overall what is envisioned for the Gateway Area. It includes the vision statement, which we’ll go into more detail shortly, which is to grow opportunity and build community equitably. Also on this page is an overview of the Gateway area. The Gateway area is a dense residential and mixed-use neighborhood that reflects the community’s commitment to equity and sustainability. And so that’s a statement overview of what the Gateway area’s vision to become. If you were to read just two additional pages, the People’s Summary which is on Page 1 and 2 of the document is another really good overview that we tried to strip out all the technical components of this and really boil it down for a general audience to read and understand what this document’s all about.
Gateway area: An overview
9:18 If we can just zoom in on a couple of these highlights. The Gateway area is an optimal location for residential and mixed use development as we’ll show. The plan allows for the growth of up to 3,500 new residences in the Gateway area and projects that provide a higher level of community benefit are permitted greater densities. In other words, buildings that offer something to the community the community wants and desires will be allowed to be constructed taller or bigger than they otherwise would be. So we’ll go into the details about that. And then there are multiple strategies using the plan to ensure that housing is affordable to the full range of incomes and we’ll discuss that more in detail as well. So I encourage you to read this two-page spread. We’ve already looked at this map in the overall context of where the Area Plan is. The Gateway area is pages 9 and 10, show the relationship of the Gateway Area Plan to other documents such as the Zoning Code and the Local Coastal Program and the General Plan and so if you want to understand how this document relates to others that’s the page for you. And then to talk about some challenges and opportunities that both the City face in general and that this Gateway area faces and opportunities that this Gateway area can produce in order to solve the City’s overall challenges. There are eight challenges identified and we’ll look at each one of those in detail. One of the primary challenges that the City faces currently is housing needs and limited land. So we currently have an inadequate housing supply at all income levels. I think this is well known by nearly everyone. Projections indicate that this shortage is worsening due in part to in-migration. So because of climate change, wildfires, housing shortages in other parts of the state that are even worse than Arcata’s, people are moving here relatively quickly only worsening our housing shortage. Then there’s the HSU Polytechnic development which will further compound the challenge. So this plan has been under development for five years, well before the HSU Polytechnic idea was at least publicly announced or known to the City. The City was fortunate to have started this process before that but this new challenge will only increase the housing shortage. Then on the other end of this spectrum the City has a limited amount of developable land remaining there are only so many places left within city limits that are developable where housing can be produced. Gateway area is optimally located in a need of redevelopment both of those things lead to some real opportunities for this plan. As shown earlier it’s well within walking distance of a lot of commercial areas, parks, and other amenities throughout the city and so it’s an optimal location for new housing. Another challenge that the City faces is efforts to guide racial equity and social justice. So the City seeks to remedy our national legacy of racial injustice and social inequities. Race is a determinant of several quality of life indicators though it shouldn’t be. The City has the opportunity to stimulate development designed to ensure that race is no longer a determinant of life outcomes. Another challenge is market constraints. Development costs and the cost of housing in general are currently at an all-time high. Housing demand is outpacing housing supply which is a portion of the cause of that housing cost of being an all-time high. And even though infill and high density are called for in existing planning documents translating that housing need through the planning process has presented challenges in the past. There can be some reticence to seeing new levels of development in the City and that leads to a need for growth management which is both a challenge and an opportunity.
[There are many reasons why housing costs are “at an all-time high.” Demand outstripping supply is one cause. The actual cost of construction may be considered to be the larger factor. If developers could build less-expensive housing, they’d be doing it.]
The Gateway has many vacant and underutilized properties and there’s a lot of very low density uses that dominate large areas of the Gateway area making higher density infill redevelopment a viable option. The community nearly universally wants to preserve the green belts around the city. So if we’re going to have new housing and simultaneously preserve those green belts, then — as the community has indicated in past community planning efforts — infill redevelopment is supported by the City populace in general. Another challenge that every community is facing is climate change and sustainability. Development comes with environmental costs and so new development can be expected to perform at a higher level of environmental sustainability which this plan calls for. A more robust non-motorized transportation network can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One of the objectives of this plan is to provide opportunities to for residents to live a car-free lifestyle so as new residential development is implemented within the Gateway area, new non-motorized transportation systems can also be implemented in such a way that people that live in the Gateway area won’t necessarily need to own a car. Second to last, the challenges here is an unfulfilled identity. The Creamery District contained entirely within the Gateway area has implemented a lot of effort and heart invested into envisioning the Creamery district as a special arts and commerce district and a lot of progress has been made but the overall Gateway area is lacking a cohesive identity. Again, the Creamery District is contained within the Gateway area and there’s only a small portion of the overall Gateway area which at the moment doesn’t really have a complete identity. Fulfilling an identity for the Gateway area can further the goals of the Creamery District. Jobs and entrepreneur opportunities will also be a challenge. If the Gateway area grows in population through new residential units then there’s going to be inherently a demand for new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities will also grow. So there needs to be a balance of mixed uses in the Gateway area, it can’t just be purely residential. And then finally if the Gateway area grows in both population and jobs and businesses then an improved infrastructure circulation and partnering parking network will also be needed. So those are the challenges identified in the plan. Which leads to a Vision Statement for the future.
In terms of the impact of Cal Poly Humboldt on the wider community, we can expect to see 6,000 students + 1,200 faculty and staff + 2,000 people with indirect jobs.
That’s over 9,000 new people introduced to our area — or more.
This statement is worth noting: “If the Gateway area grows in population through new residential units then there’s going to be inherently a demand for new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities will also grow.”
Cal Poly Humboldt aims to increase the student population from around 6,000 in 2022 to over 12,000 in 2030. There is a projected shortage of student housing of about 2,500 to 3,000 beds – perhaps 1,000 housing units — by the year 2030, just 8 years from the current date (2022). Likewise, a shortage of housing for expected increase of staff and faculty of about 700 to 1,200 people.
Any population increase does not stand alone. It is estimated that for every increase of 100 jobs in education jobs, there will be an increase of an additional 180 to 230 jobs. This is the well-known job multiplier effect, valid when any employer increases (or decreases) its employment. There’s a wide range of jobs that make up a community: Schoolteachers, haircutters, barristas, auto repair, police, construction, lawyers, medical workers, retail, City staff, bicycle repair, food store personnel, garbage collectors, babysitters — all are affected (See here, search for colleges or universities.)
UC Santa Cruz has a calculated multiplier of 213 (see here or see here, search for colleges or universities.) As Cal Poly Humboldt adds, say, 1,000 paid faculty and staff, there will be an additional 2,000 or so jobs that are added to the wider community (i.e. Arcata, Eureka, McKinleyville, Blue Lake, etc.)
In terms of the impact of Cal Poly Humboldt on the wider community, we can expect to see 6,000 students + 1,200 faculty and staff + 2,400 people with indirect jobs. That’s over 9,600 new people introduced to our area — or more.
The Vision Statement
16:38 The Vision Statement is the broader vision statement: The Arcata Gateway area is a vibrant mixed-use community-oriented blend of transitional neighborhoods with the Creamery District at its physical core and entrepreneurial heart in its community center. The Gateway Plan lifts these values to grow opportunity and build community equitably. It is mixed-use, mixed-tenure, high-density, mixed-income thoughtfully-designed, pedestrian-friendly, community-facing sustainable, equitable, redevelopment. That leads us to the guiding principles for the development of this plan. So this table breaks this down for us in a useful way here. So here are the challenges and opportunities that we just looked at. Housing needs, market constraints, growth management, etc. Here are the 7 guiding principles of the document. This table identifies which guiding principles address which of the challenges and opportunities. So let’s go through these seven guiding principles one at a time. First is: The plan seeks to stimulate the creation of a volume and variety of housing. It’s well known that there’s a housing shortage in the City and this is an optimal location for the type of read of infill redevelopment that can provide a volume and variety of housing. Second one is to promote racial equity, social justice, and diversity through the production of this plan. Another guiding principle is to promote thoughtful and attractive development through form-based and streamlined development standards. The City’s not just seeking new buildings. We’re seeking buildings that the community can be proud of and that will be accomplished through what’s called form-based development standards where there are certain aesthetic requirements for any kind of development. The document seeks to promote a balance of mixed uses to create a neighborhood district that can offer a car-free lifestyle and to design circulation improvements to accommodate planned growth and minimize vehicle trips. The document also seeks to support the arts and celebrate cultural identity and finally to plan for environmental restoration and sustainability features. The document also draws inspiration from other communities. In parts of their cities that they have developed that the City can look to for inspiration. So some examples of quality streetscapes, some images that the City can look to for inspiration. For instance, building facades that are interesting to walk past and you know have high ceilings and a nice appearance on the street. Tree-lined streets and wide sidewalks. Some portions of the Gateway area could be like this.
[Note: There is ONE new street which could be built with these design principles – that is the street within the current industrially-zoned property along Samoa Boulevard. It is true that wider sidewalks may be established by requiring setbacks for the new construction – but it’s effective only if the site is a block-size parcel.]
When you cross the street on the left you can see mixed-use development with residential on the upper floors and retail on the bottom floors, whereas on the right side you can see that it’s purely residential at a medium residential density with a nice walking environment tree-lined streets. Or this in Windsor here with a little bit taller buildings, residential on the upper floors, retail on the ground floors, very skinny streets and really well-designed streets that make it for a nice pedestrian environment and a place where there are cute storefronts and a place that’s very highly inviting.
Note: The photo referred to is the photo on Page 33, 2nd row on the left. It shows 3-story buildings on the left and 2-story houses on the right. The houses are uniform and all have front porches. The street is a typical 2-way street, 1 lane in each direction with parking on both sides. In the Gateway area there is not a single street which would be constructed to look like this photo. Further, of the 24 photos shown on Pages 33 and 34, it is likely that NONE of them are representational of what could or would be built in the Gateway area (other than a strip around the new proposed plaza area.) The two pages are labeled “These images are provided for illustrative purposes only to display the types of development envisioned for the Gateway area.” But the photos are NOT representational of what could be build here. They are inappropriate examples.
Also note: Which of these images are photographs, and which are architect’s renderings (i.e. computer drawings) ? Could we please just see PHOTOGRAPHS of existing buildings and streetscapes?
And while there could be a higher density of buildings there can also be open space across the street or you know incorporated into the overall design so that there’s room to breathe. [There are currently no plans or any designation for open space that is located “across from the street” on any street in the Gateway area. It is anticipated that developers will give up portions of their sites, in exchange for density bonuses and other perks.] And a place that’s designed primarily for pedestrians and people instead of cars. So the Gateway area – obviously we need to accommodate cars but should be designed with people in mind first so that it produces a place that people want to be. That attracts crowds and attracts activity thereby making it safer and then also a place with outdoor seating and you know a lively environment. This Page shows some examples of buildings on the upper end of envisioned building heights.
To repeat: All but one of these buildings shown are what could or would be built in the Gateway area. Some are shown on urban-type wide boulevards with multiple traffic lanes, or from a distance as stand-alone buildings. The one which looks like it could be built in the Gateway area is the first row on the right. And the question is: Is this what we want Arcata to look like ?
Other parts of the document we’ll get into. How tall buildings are allowed to be? This page is just showing if there were going to be multi-story buildings what’s the level and quality of architectural design that the City would see as inspiration. So here are some examples of the type of buildings if they’re going to be multi-stories the level of quality that the City looks to is inspirational and all of these images are currently concepts in here awaiting public feedback and so these images certainly could change. Two more Pages of inspirational images. If there’s going to be multi-story buildings at least in some cases it seems like a good idea to have upper floor setbacks so that taller buildings don’t shade the street and so here are some examples of how upper floor setbacks have been done well.
Page 35: To repeat: Is this what we want Arcata to look like ? Of the six photos, the only one that is pertinent (IMO) is the bottom image, left side. And we will note that this is a 4-story building – not a 5 or 6 story building.
And then finally open space is really highly valued in Arcata and so can we have the type of development that is dense provides a lot of residential units ground floor commercial but also has a lot of green and landscaping and natural areas in it. And so here are some examples of how that has been done well.
Key Opportunity Sites 22:48 And that brings us to an identification and analysis of some opportunity sites within the Gateway area. Pages 37 through 40 show a table and map of some key opportunity sites within the Gateway area. If we zoom in on the map on the right well first looking at this table each one of the sites has a reference number, a reference letter. For instance if we were to look at reference Site N and pull up the map reference site is there. So I’m going to take the map away for a moment just so we can look at this table and how it works. Pages 37-40, below: “Key Opportunity Sites” You can scroll through this document.
Opinion: The figures shown on this chart are mathematically derived and are bogus.
Note: In the table for Key Opportunity Sites, above, the numbers for “Residential Unit Capacity” are mathematically derived. The stated units per acre is 18 to 50-plus. Thus, a 1-acre site (Site H) has a Residential Unit Capacity of 18 to 50+. The largest parcel, Site K, has a total number of acres at 20.3, so it shows a Residential Unit Capacity of (20.3 x 18) to (20.3 x 50) which multiplies to 365 to 1,015+.
To repeat: This figures are mathematically derived. For the build-out as shown, it requires that every single existing structure on that plot be torn down and replaced with new construction. (Or an apartment building could be built above an existing structure, in theory.) Please think about the implications of this. Look at the map of Opportunity Zones on Page 40 (above), and look at the maps and aerial views on this website. Imagine those buildings torn down and replaced. Continue reading the transcript below for how these figures were arrived at.
The table also identifies the approximate number of acres for each reference site. In this case Site N is just under half of an acre. [Note: Site N is the southeast corner of 5th & K Streets, across the street from Bud’s Mini-Storage. The building formerly housed the St Vincent de Paul thrift store.] The number of parcels for that reference site this one happens to be just one parcel. Then an analysis of existing conditions, constraints, and assets and analysis of the opportunities of what could be done on the site and possibly most important in this table is the residential unit capacity. So this particular half an acre site has the potential to produce somewhere between 8 and 22 residential dwelling units on this property and then also has the potential for non-residential mixed use on the ground floor as well. Overall all of these sites have the potential to produce between 1,000 and 3,000 residential units and that’s from medium density. All those parcels developing at a medium density residential to a higher density residential. If we zoom in on one of the opportunity sites to look at this in detail — Well, before we do that — so the plan estimates that the opportunity sites could produce up to between 1,000 and 3,500 new residential units. How is that? Well, the analysis assumes that each of the Opportunity Sites could develop between 18 new dwelling units per acre and 50 new dwelling units per acre and that each of the dwelling units are an average of 950 square feet each. So there can be really big units and there can be really small micro units of 300 square feet but on average altogether an average of 950 square feet for each unit. If all of those units say the 3,000 upper range were in four-story buildings, the new building footprints would cover about 20 percent of these opportunity sites.
“… the new building footprints would cover about 20 percent of these opportunity sites.”
The footprint is where the structure of the building actually is. But the building does not exist without sidewalks, a walkway to the entrance to the building, landscaping, perhaps some community outdoor space, and so on.
That space is part of the building. The building could not be built without it.
Let’s look at this. The figures sound very suspicious. “If all of those units say the 3,000 upper range were in four-story buildings, the new building footprints would cover about 20 percent of these opportunity sites.”
- The plan is promoting commercial space as the ground floor of new buildings, so, right off the bat, the buildings wouldn’t be 4 stories. Either they’d be 1 story commercial + 4 residential (5 stories) or else 1 story commercial + 3 residential (4 stories) — which would give 75% as many housing units per acre. So let’s call them 5 stories, for staters.
- The plan is promoting wide-sidewalk setbacks, landscaping, outdoor amenities for the public, outdoor seating, and more. And even if there’s a minimum amount of parking for the residents, that adds to the area of the building. The statement says “the new building footprints” but the use of that phrase is a bit misleading. The footprint is where the structure of the building actually is. But the building does not exist without sidewalks, a walkway to the entrance to the building, landscaping, perhaps some community outdoor space, and so on. Yes, those outdoor spaces are indeed “open space” but it is not space that could be utilized in any other fashion. That space is part of the building. The building could not be built without it.
- The total acreage of the Opportunity Sites is 60.1 (after taking out an estimate 6.1 acres for marshland or greenspace). This includes all of the Wing Inflatables building, all of the R&L Lumber mill area along Samoa Boulevard, the old SoilScape building (now used as site for homeless people), Arcata Mini-Storage in the north, Bud’s mini-storage in the south, the old lumber mill in the north off of M Street, Bug Press on M Street, the current Open Door Clinic site (formerly Tomas Jewelry), the AmeriGas site, the car wash, the trailer court, the Ag Sales building, Rich’s Body Shop and other businesses on K Street, and more.
- The recently-completed 4-story apartment “Sorrel Place” in Arcata, on 7th Street between I and J Streets gives us a good example of how an apartment actually is. It has 44 units — 83 bedrooms — with 15 parking spaces, or about 1 parking space for every 3 units, or 1 space for every 5-1/2 bedrooms. The footprint is a bit under 14,000 square feet, and the total portion of the lot used by the building is a bit under 30,000 square feet. That is, the footprint is a little under half (47%) of the land used.
- Sorrel Place is 44 units. The building density is 64 units per acre. If it were built at a density of 50 units per acre, as the example in the Draft Plan proposes, there’d be 34 (rounding off) units.
What is the possibility of all those buildings being torn down and replaced with apartments — in order to get the 3,000 units proposed?
Opinion: There is ZERO possibility that anything close to 3,000 units will be built. And if they were, their footprint would take up half the area — not 20%.
- If you wanted 3,000 units at 50 units per acre, and the “Sorrel Place” 4-story buildings had 34 units, then it would require 87 apartment buildings, each of of a “Sorrel Place” sizes. Even at 64 units per acre, that’s 44 apartment buildings.
- At a footprint of 30,000 feet, a quantity of 87 “Sorrel Place”-size apartments would take up 31 acres — just the footprint. That is HALF of the open space — not 20%. If you include the entire building, with landscaping, a minimum of parking, a sidewalk setback, and so forth, it takes up 60 acres — that is, ALL of the gross total size of the Opportunity Sites.
- In other words, ALL of the buildings listed above — the Wing Inflatables building, lumber mill area along Samoa Boulevard, the old SoilScape building, Arcata Mini-Storage in the north, Bud’s mini-storage in the south, Bug Press, the Open Door Clinic/Tomas Jewelry building, the AmeriGas site, the car wash, the trailer court, the old lumber mill in the north off of M Street, Bug Press on M Street, and on and more — would have to be torn down and replaced with 87 “Sorrel Place”-sized apartment buildings in order to get 3,000 units at a density of 50 units per acre.
- What is the possibility of all those buildings being torn down and replaced with apartments — in order to get the 3,000 units proposed? Opinion: There is ZERO possibility that anything close to 3,000 units will be built. And if they were, their footprint would take up half the area — not 20%.
25:26 So let’s look at an example of what that would look like. If we go down here to this one which is currently this industrial site here, 20% of the site is currently covered with buildings. So you can imagine the same overall footprint of building area but with 4-story buildings then you’re imagining the range of development that would be able to produce the amount on the upper end of residential units produced in that table that we were looking at. This would result in the same overall amount of open space remaining on this site. As an example of what that looks and feels like, just to the north is the FedEx Building. If we zoom out it’s here on 8th Street, the Greenway Building. If we look at this site which is not an opportunity area but if we look at as an example it is also currently 20% of the site covered by a building. No matter where we move that building, 80% of the site is still not containing buildings. So 80% is open space: Parking, trails, trees, vegetation, etc. Coming back to this site: If we use this image as a guiding example of what could be done on the property and actually our analysis actually has the buildings more spaced out and quite a bit more open space than this but just using this as a visual example of the quality of development we could be imagining. Or this example here.
How many existing viable buildings in the Opportunity Sites would have to be torn down to make 60 acres, to build 3,000 units?
The answer is: All of it would have to be torn down to build 3,000 units.
Asking the reader to imagine the density – why not show a rendering? Please note that a parking lot is considered to be “open space.”
Opinion: It is believed that a rendering would show that the statements are false. “If all of those units say the 3,000 upper range were in four-story buildings, the new building footprints would cover about 20 percent of these opportunity sites.”
To build 3,000 housing units would require 68 Sorrel-Place-size buildings — at a density of 64 units per acre. Can you imagine what 68 block-long buildings would look like ? The Gateway area is 64 blocks — subtracting for wetlands, it’s 58 blocks.
If we were to use 50 units per acre, that would take 60 acres for 3,000 units. There is not 60 acres of open space in the entire plan. In fact, the acres of ALL the parcels in the 138-acre plan adds up to about 105 acres. (Streets are about 20 acres.) How many existing viable buildings in the Opportunity Sites would have to be torn down to make 60 acres, to build 3,000 units? The answer is: All of it.
As of June, 2022, it has been six months since the publication of this plan. There have been no renderings or visualizations of the plan released. Opinion: Accurate 3D modeling is a necessary component for public evaluation of any plan. Without good 3D modeling, the potential build-out of a plan cannot be properly assessed.
Below is “Visualizations” — Page 41 of the Draft Gateway Area Plan. As you can see, it is blank.
Opinion: Please stop calling it the “Barrel District”
27:49 One thing that the site would need is transportation access at various modes. If we put in a couple of roadways call the big one there on Barrel Street — we’ll come back to looking at that in detail — and say that we do some wetland restoration ponds, and then some 3-story buildings, some 4-story buildings, some 5-story buildings, 6-story buildings, 8-story residential towers down there on the south and some parking lots, and then this area a public square we’ll call it Barrel Square because this area was formerly a barrel manufacturing plant, at least in its earliest days.
This is what was said: “…we’ll call it Barrel Square because this area was formerly a barrel manufacturing plant, at least in its earliest days.”
In its “earliest days” this was not a barrel manufacturing plant. Please ! Opinion: Possibly give it a name based on Wiyot heritage. Or based on its siting or natural resources. Sure, “Bayside” and “Bayview” are taken. Even “Samoa District” is better.
But please reconsider: Not “Barrel District” or “Barrel Road” or “Barrel Square.”
Opinion: Proposed Build-Out depiction is 100% false
Opinion: Here’s where this video description is bankrupt. The image below is taken from at 28:25 in the video. It shows a representation of a possible build-out in the currently-industrial site along Samoa Boulevard. The notes were added.
The video says: “…and then some 3-story buildings, some 4-story buildings, some 5-story buildings, 6-story buildings, 8-story residential towers down there on the south and some parking lots…“
There is no scale on this depiction. But we can go by this: The streets in Arcata are built on a 50-foot-right of ways — that includes the sidewalks. The black lines shown in this depiction are streets about 50-feet wide. You can compare their size with the Arcata streets on the right. The widths of the buildings are also about 50 feet. The purple 8-story towers that are shown seem slightly smaller than an Arcata street. That makes those towers about 45 feet wide, 45 feet deep… and 8 stories tall. The red 6-story towers are not much bigger.
Opinion: While it is theoretically possible to build a building on those dimensions, it would be a very inefficient use of space, and just would not be done. This is a plan that could never be built. There are no 3-dimensional renderings in the plan. Why? A 3D model of this depiction as it would show the folly of an 8-story building that is just 45 or 50 feet square, or of apartments that are 400 feet long and 50 feet deep. And think of what Winter sunlight the Community Plaza would receive when surrounded by 4-, 5-, and 6-story buildings on the east, south, and west sides.
And so envisioning this area being called the Barrel District, this could be called Barrel Square. It’s about the same size — this is the same scale as the Arcata Plaza, so think of the Arcata Plaza and the red lines that image there showed building edge to building edge so you can see that Barrel Square in some dimensions would be slightly smaller from building edge to building edge than the Plaza in some dimensions slightly larger, but as envisioned wouldn’t have any streets or parking in it so it would be a very large generous area there with buildings all around it. In these green areas would be restoration ecological restoration wetland restoration and you know green areas open space and then these white ones are foot paths throughout the districts some of them going straight through buildings, through breezeways. So that you know bigger buildings are broken up and not barriers for pedestrians to walk through or around. So just looking at some of the more technical stats of this that is 24 site coverage of the buildings the floor area ratio is about 1.1 which is relatively low, the average unit size in this case we looked at average residential units of 1,000 square feet. We could have just over 1200 residential units in this concept with no residential units on the ground floor. There are existing businesses in the existing buildings and those could be located in the ground floor of this conceptual development here so that none of the existing businesses would need to be relocated if they could be arranged to be on site. So there’d be about 77,000 square feet of non-residential uses on the ground floor in this mathematical concept here and almost 270,000 square feet of underbuilding parking. 29:26
Quote: There are existing businesses in the existing buildings and those could be located in the ground floor of this conceptual development here so that none of the existing businesses would need to be relocated if they could be arranged to be on site.
The video is proposing that the industrial building where Wing Inflatables is now located be torn down, replaced with a community plaza, and that Wing Inflatables could be relocated into the ground floors of new apartments. Reader: Do you think this would happen?
So the ground floors could consist of commercial, some light manufacturing, and quite a bit of underbuilding parking, so there’s not a whole lot of parking lots.
[Note: When the term “underbuilding parking” is used, it does NOT mean below ground. It means parking in the lower 1 or 2 stories of the building. A typical design is to have commercial spaces along the perimeter of the building on the ground floor, and parking on the “inside” of the ground floor. There are two other references later in the video. “And then each one of these buildings with an “R” on it could be purely residential with just parking underneath.” And: “… a lot of the buildings as shown in this concept have underbuilding parking.”
The numbers given here of “… almost 270,000 square feet of underbuilding parking” would yield approximately 675 to 900 parking spaces, at 300 sq.ft. per to 400 sq.ft. (average including entry, back-ups space, etc.) per parking space. But it is doubtful that there’d be 270,000 feet of underbuilding parking space. That’s over 11-1/2 acres.]
And then just looking at the green areas relative to the building and road footprints there’s nearly twice as much green area as there is road building footprints. So quite a bit of opportunity there for restoration, ecological restoration. And then each one of these buildings with an “R” on it could be purely residential with just parking underneath. And then each one of these that have a more direct relationship with Barrel Square and Barrel Street could be mixed use, you know industrial light, industrial retail on the ground floors and mixed use. Up here on the relationship with l and 8th Street and then looking at Barrel Street. This is relatively unique in that the rest of the district really is covered with a square grid whereas in this bigger and there’s only the one street going through, so it would need to serve a lot of purposes.
Streets: Traffic lanes, parking, bike lanes, sidewalks
31:05 So let’s look at it in detail. We can imagine buildings being allowed right up to the back of the sidewalk and we’ll come back to those buildings in a moment. Let’s just look at the right-of-way from the back of the sidewalk to the back of the sidewalk. So there’s a lot going on here so I’ll break this down. And right now we’re looking as though we are standing on the street looking down the street but let’s also at the same time look at it from above. So here we’ve got the sidewalk and you can see that that lines up with the sidewalk there, and we’re looking at the top of a person’s head as they’re walking on the sidewalk. So the image on the top is going to show the whole street from above whereas the image on the bottom we’re looking at it as though we’re on the street looking down the street. We’ve got trees on the sidewalk, we’re looking at those from above. Here’s the bike lane, I’m looking at the pavement or the bike lane marking and the bikers from above. Okay, then we have planter strips, we have angled-in parking, then a travel lane vehicular traveling, a center landscaping median strip with trees, another traveling in the other direction, angled and parking in the other direction, landscape strip, bike lane, and then sidewalk. So we expand this to the with trees on the sidewalk there so we expand this. So to look at this in a little bit more detail, so we have a little more room. Look on the right side of the image, we have a woman that wants to cross the street which currently looks like a really intimidating street to cross, so not all that pedestrian friendly, but every 100 to 200 feet we can do a couple of treatments that actually make this a really pleasant and easy place to cross. So for instance as she walks up to the bike lane we can install crosswalk in the bike lane so she looks and safe to cross and then take up two parallel or two angled in parking spaces and create a concrete raided elevated pedestrian refuge island. It could have vegetation in it or benches, you know, parklet — could have outdoor seating for restaurants that are just off to the right of the sidewalk to the right side. A lot of opportunities there for quite a bit of area taking up two parking spaces. But now we have a full pedestrian refuge islands, a really safe place for a pedestrian to be, then a crosswalk. So now our pedestrian so far has only had to cross one lane of vehicular traffic, another crosswalk, but has a pedestrian refuge island in the middle and so it’s safe to cross there — and then another two parking spaces taken up with another pedestrian refuge island which could be vegetated or include a number of potential amenities, crosswalk across the bike lane, and now our pedestrian is safely on the other side of the street. So again this treatment could be done every couple of hundred feet so that it’s easy to cross and the standard city block is you know about 300 feet, 250 feet long, so it would be about a city block that we could do this treatment, you know, down Barrel Street. So very pedestrian friendly with two separate vehicular crossings for the street. Also if we go down the street a little bit we can install bus stops. So if we take up four of these angled in parking spaces and create a bus stop and a nice bus shelter with some solar panels on top then the bus can pull up and people can, you know, get on transit and then the bus continues on to the vehicular lane.
This is a nice layout for that part of the Gateway that currently is roadless. But not for any other part of the Arcata streets, because they are too narrow for this kind of treatment.
The document says this treatment is applicable for “Barrel” Street, but in the drawing for that street (Figure 10-L, Page 91) it shows a different street design.
And while this design is certainly ideal, it is dependent on alleys behind the buildings for such things as delivery trucks, garbage pickup. Look at the depiction of this area, shown above. There’s no room for alleys. The proposed buildings have commercial and “light industrial” spaces in the ground floors, and apartments above. Without alleys, how will delivery trucks make deliveries? They just stop in the street and hold up traffic? Where do the garbage trucks stop?
For that matter, with bike lanes on both sides of the street, we can assume there are no driveways or entrances. This design really requires alleys to work.
Opinion: Parking spaces highly exaggerated
34:48 So this can have a full suite of mobility modes and in addition given its length and the number of angled in parking spaces designed into this it could have approximately 500 on-street parking spaces which greatly reduces the need for off-street parking lots. This is the most efficient way to provide parking spaces which diminishes the need for more asphalt, allows us to have more green space with those buildings and a lot of the buildings as shown in this concept have underbuilding parking.
[Note: The figure of “approximately 500 on-street parking spaces” is considerably exaggerated. An angled parking space requires 9 feet minimum width – 10 feet being more common. The phrase “curb length per stall is the number of linear feet that a parking stall requires. With a 9-foot stall width (the minimum) and a 45-degree parking angle, each stall requires 12’8” of curb length. A 10-foot stall requires 14’2”. (Disabled parking is a 14-foot wide stall, and 19’8” of curb length.)
So: 500 parking spaces would require approximately 6,300 or 7,000 curb feet, or 3,150 to 3,500 linear of roadway (i.e. parking on both sides of the street). Then we must factor in bulb-outs, pedestrian crosswalks, driveway openings, bus stops, etc. Just the actual linear feet of actual parking is about 3,150 to 3,500 feet to give us 500 parking spaces. Site K (Opinion: It cannot with good conscious be called “the Barrel District”) extends from L Street to where Q Street would be – 5 blocks long and 2-1/2 blocks wide – so about 1,500 feet long. As a rough estimate, the total roadway in this Site K might be, let’s say, 2,000 feet, with perhaps half of that eligible for actual parking. That rough estimate leaves 1,000 feet of roadway — times 2, for both sides of the street, 2,000 linear feet of parking. Which indicates about 140-160 parking spaces.]
And then obviously this would all have a nice relationship with the neighboring buildings which would provide residential on the upper floors and opportunities for jobs and retail on the ground floors. And like I said these treatments bus stops or pedestrian crossings could occur every couple of hundred feet across the entire length of Barrel Street. And this could be a very green tree-lined street so that it is a open space amenity in and of itself in its entire length. So that’s just one example looking at a couple of these opportunity sites collectively in the area that we’re calling the Barrel District which currently looks like this from Samoa Boulevard and that is “Site K.” Looking at other opportunity sites, just a quick glance. Looking up at the north at “Site A,” looks like this. A lot of opportunity there for redevelopment. “Site G” has great opportunities for redevelopment and restoration. this is still “Site G.” [Site G is where the Arcata Car Wash is, at 10th & K Streets.] “Site J” currently residential and could be affordable housing residential where all of the current residents could be provided opportunities for equivalent-priced residential units but at a higher level of density. [Site J is the Arcata Trailer Court, at 7th & K Streets.] Then you’ve got this gas site here right in the heart of the district, walking distance to the Plaza, definitely a great opportunity for redevelopment. And this Mini-Storage, same thing, a whole city block, single parcel. [Sites L and M are blocks where AmeriGas and Bud’s Mini-Storage are, at 4th-5th-6th and K Streets.] So there are a number of great opportunities in the Gateway area.
37:14 What those opportunity sites can do and all of the parcels within the area comes down to the land use designations that would be applied through this plan. Which there are four currently envisioned and proposed. So one of them is the Gateway Barrel District that we just talked about, and so that would allow that campus-style kind of development with a single street, bigger buildings, lots of open space, a real opportunity there for this overall site to provide quite a bit of housing and a really unique enjoyable addition to the City. Then the Gateway Hub is kind of in the center of the Gateway area. I also envisioned for higher levels of density and it contains some real good opportunity sites in there. The Gateway Corridor is along Samoa Boulevard, K Street, and L Street. As we talk about mobility in a moment and the transportation network, the Gateway Corridor is likely to have the kinds of requirements that ground floor retail is required on street corners and so that it’s designed more for people that are coming and going throughout the district or the area. And then Gateway Neighborhood land use designation is our buffers from the other land use designations between the other areas and existing residential neighborhoods so that they buffer any potential taller buildings or denser development. So those are Gateway Neighborhood. So the details of each of those can be found on Page 43. I encourage you to read those. The same chapter also looks at target land use mixes probably most importantly the target maximum number of dwelling units identified in each one of those land use designations with substantially more residential units and visions in the Barrel District and the Gateway Hub with the Corridor and the Neighborhood having fewer residential units.
The figure below is from Page 50 of the draft plan. This map is a nice color-coded rendition of the “sub-areas” within the Gateway area, but what is missing in the draft plan? What is missing is what these colors actually are. Opinion: Putting 500 units of 5-story apartments into a residential neighborhood will ruin that neighborhood. 500 units is about TEN block-long 5-story buildings.
Opinion: These are not empty industrial lots. These are thriving neighborhoods.
And then this gets into the policy chapters of the Area Plan. And so just as an example, we can’t go over all of the policies which just take too long, just as an example of what policies are, what they look and feel like, Policy 1-E is form-based design standards so the City should apply form-based design standards that allow high density multi-story buildings while simultaneously requiring a vibrant community oriented street-facing built environment designed to fit a human-centered scale. And so it’s basic guidance for the City on how to envision development in the Gateway area. And then many of the policy chapters also include land use programs. They are more or less “action items” for the City, and so this one is for the City to adopt a Gateway Zoning Code as a section of the City’s land use code to implement the policies of this plan. And so policies provide general guidance this program says that the City needs to adopt a specific zoning code just for this Gateway area. To get in the detail of what buildings should look like and how tall they can be and other development details the next policy chapter is community benefits and development standards. This both identifies in a general sense the level of development that could occur and what buildings would have to provide to the community in order to achieve those levels of development. And this all would need to be detailed out in the pending Gateway Zoning Code that I just mentioned so the categories of community amenities are the things that a developer can provide basically break down into these the creation of different kinds of housing which goes into a number of details on what kinds of housing the City is looking for. Arts and cultural amenities, open space amenities, green buildings, and sustainability, active and alternate transportation enhanced architectural features in exterior design, and retail and job creation. So these are categories of areas that a lot of the committees and commissions of the City have identified as the types of things that a development can provide to the community in exchange for enhanced development potential.
“Bonuses” in exchange for taller buildings
41:23 So the next page shows us an example of detail of how this could work. And so looking at Table 7 here [Page 49], I encourage you to look at that in detail, we’ll look at it more but this may be an easier way to look at it. So if we zoom in on this and break it down, we’ve got a sidewalk and we’re looking on a profile here, we’ve got a person on the sidewalk there’s a property line, street tree so they’re facing the street, it’s a parallel parked car two lanes of traffic just for context and this person standing next to a 1-story building. We can say 2-story building, you’ll see how that the second floor is a little smaller than the first floor. So we can have a standard that the first floor has a certain required floor-to-ceiling height. This probably would be the case along the Gateway Corridor where buildings are going to have a more prominent relationship with the street. And then a 3-story building and 4-story, so this is as tall as buildings are currently allowed in the City and so that’s our base standard up to four stories. So you know under the current zoning code and current requirements this is what developments concurrently provide. This Gateway Area Plan envisions an enhanced system in which if someone provides a certain level of community benefits then they can go an additional story beyond what they’ve been allowed up to this point. So just as a really basic example, it would be more requirements than this and more detail. This is a basic example — if they provide indoor bike lockers so that people that work or live in the building have an easier time utilizing bikes then they could potentially build an additional story. Then there’s a community benefit bonus “Tier Level 2” where if they provided something like ground floor retail spaces of a certain design aesthetic then they could go up to six stories. And up to seven stories if they provided some amount of affordable housing units, say 20% or 30% of the overall units in the overall building are deed-restricted affordable. And then potentially even in some of the land use designations, such as the Barrel District, go up to eight stories if they provided rooftop solar. And so collectively have to provide all of these things in order to get each of those additional floors. But then there’s things to think about or the system could be changed so that the base standard is three and you can only go up to seven or you know you know there’s two and you can only go up to six. There’s a lot of different ways to arrange this.
As many people have pointed out, giving bonus points for “amenities” that should really be requirements in this day and age is both silly and unnecessary. Any new apartment building should have indoor bike lockers, electric bike charging, electric car charging, rainwater management, and so forth. Bonuses for affordable housing, for “owner-occupied multi-family development” – yes, these are areas the City wants to promote with bonuses. To offer a bonus for building “small units (which are naturally more affordable)” is insulting. See below for more on “small units.”
With a 6-story maximum building height, essentially the City has lost their negotiating power, and the whole concept of giving increased density for community amenities is lost.
There’s a major, simple problem with this system of awarding a “community benefit bonus” in this fashion. This will be gone over in a subsequent article. In brief, it’s this: In the proposed plan, there is a “Base Tier” of 4 stories and a maximum height limit of 8 stories (depending on the neighborhood). Within that range of 4 to 8 there is a lot of room to negotiate the upward expansion of height for a density bonus. But what if the height limit for this plan becomes 5 or 6 stories, as has been hinted (May 2022) might happen, as a result of substantial community input, the range then is smaller: 4 to 5, or 4 to 6. Moreover, because building codes and construction methods, there’s a big jump in per-square-foot costs when you go from 5 to 6 stories… so there has to be a BIG advantage to the developer to choose 6 stories rather than 5.
The upshot is that when you have a range of 4 to 8, there is lots of room to negotiate. A developer can say “Okay, I’ll include 30% affordable housing if you let me build 8 stories.” If they can’t go above 6, the builders will choose 5 for cost reasons. With a starting point or 4 stories and a practical maximum of 5 stories, the City offer a developer only ONE extra bonus story. In the amenities/bonus arrangement in the Draft plan, the City can offer developers FOUR extra bonus stories. With a 6-story maximum building height, essentially the City has lost their negotiating power, and the whole concept of giving increased density for community amenities is lost.
Table 6 and Table 7 (partial) from Pages 48 and 49. Blue ellipses added.
Note that Design Review and other committee approvals are required for Base Tier (4-stories) buildings, and are not required for taller buildings.
Solar Access and Solar Shading
Note: The information in this section of the video is so misleading that it warranted a separate article on this website. Here in Arcata (latitude 40.8 degrees N), with the low elevation of the sun in the wintertime, Solar Access and Solar Shading are highly important for people to have a happy, enjoyable existence.
The section of the video allotted to solar shading runs from 44:31 to 45:30. In that one minute, there are 5 different angles of the sun shown, from 38 degrees to 64 degrees. The sun elevation closest to true Winter daytime sun height shown in the video corresponds to March 17 (at the very end of Winter), and the worst example — 64 degrees — being high noon on May 11.
Why not be realistic and show solar shading angles, for, say late October or early February? On that day, no amount of setback will help the solar shadowing. For over 100 days of the year, the street and the sidewalk will be in shadow the entire day — even at high Noon.
44:31 And another thing to think about is solar access and shading and shadows. So if, just as an example, a three-story building cast a shadow out into the street, you know, in the Winter. And where a fourth floor would be would start to cast a shadow that would touch the building across the street, we can have additional setback standards that can apply above their third floor, So that the fourth floor only casts a shadow onto itself [i.e. onto the roof-deck of that same building] and has no additional shadowing impacts than a three-story building would have. And then an additional floor would also not have any additional impacts. Another floor above that maybe is at the point at which it reaches the building across the street.
Note: The approximations of solar shading are wrong, and severely misrepresent reality. Here in Arcata in the wintertime, doing a setback at a height above 3 stories will not have the lessen the solar shadow — the sun is too low in the sky for there to be any difference. Also, the illustration shown is of a street that is ~77 feet wide. If a standard 50-foot street were shown, it’s clear that the sun-shadow would indeed reach the building on the other side of the street.]
The video still above shows the sun at 38 degrees. The sun elevations in the video range from 38 degrees to 64 degrees. This is the angle of the sun at Noon on October 22 or Feb 19. For a third of the year — 120 days — the sun at Noon is LOWER than what is shown.
45:15 And so these kinds of details are really what needs to be developed in the Gateway Zoning code. But this document calls for that sort of analysis and you know says that there should be some level of additional setback standards above the third floor. So how would this community amenity program work in more detail at a conceptual level? If we zoom in on this this says that the maximum number of stories that these different community benefit bonus tracks can provide is somewhere between four and eight and as we indicated the current system is four. So a developer would not need to necessarily even entertain anything above 4 they could just work under the system that currently exists. But if they were interested in starting to provide some of these identified community amenities then they can start exploring the possibility of going up to additional stories. In some of those land use designations — obviously not in the Gateway Neighborhood couldn’t go up to eight floors. And then each one of these community benefit tracks require a certain number of points that you have to acquire through a system of community amenity points. So if we look at another table here which is conceptually — and this we need to be developed in detail in the Gateway Zoning code. There’s these categories we looked at, those categories of community menus. Before one of them was housing creation, so for instance if a developer produces owner-occupied housing so it’s condo-ized so that people can actually buy their unit even if it’s in what will be thought of as an apartment building. You can look at the percent of total residential units that are owner-occupied and the higher the percent that are owner-occupied the higher the number of points issued to the developer. And that incentivizes people to make some of the units owner-occupied so that they can add extra floors, or certain percent are de-restricted affordable housing or a certain percent are small which makes them inherently more affordable so there’s deed restricted affordable housing.
Note: From Page 1 of the Draft Plan: “This includes promoting a range of residential unit sizes and types, including studios, which are affordable because of their size….
A small studio unit indeed might be more affordable than a larger unit, but it still might not actually be affordable.
A market-rate apartment will be priced based on the cost of construction and other existing marketing realities.
A studio is not affordable just because of its size. A small studio unit indeed might be more affordable than a larger unit, but it still might not actually be affordable. A market-rate apartment will be priced based on the cost of construction and other existing marketing realities.
Put another way: A small unit in a fancier building will be higher-priced than a larger unit in a less-costly building. That fact that an apartment is smaller does not inherently make a unit affordable. And to say that it is “more affordable” is a misuse of language.
At the current time (2022), there are new apartment buildings in Santa Cruz with 300 sq.ft. small studio apartments renting for over $2,500 — not affordable without a high-paying job. Santa Cruz is pricier than Arcata, but the same principal applies. Just because something is small does not by definition make it affordable.
Where the, you know, the developer is required obligated by law to make sure that the units are only so much in rent. There’s another way to do that so that’s not deed-restricted but they’re just inherently smaller which makes them inherently more affordable. So looking at those just as an example owner-occupied the percent of total units say five percent of owner-occupied units can be one point and 25 percent of owner-occupied units could be five points or deed-restricted, you know, certain percents, the more percent increase the more points you get. All of those percentages are adjustable in the Gateway Zoning Code — that’s to be developed. Some other examples: active and alternative transportation amenities so electric vehicle charging or parking stations or parking spaces. So you know the number of parking spaces per square footage of building area or the amount of the linear feet of creek daylighting could add up to a certain number of points. Or murals that are built into a project, total square feet of murals or LEED certification or equivalent of LEED certification so that’s green building standards. So that’s generally how the community benefit program would work in concept, which is all laid out here in this document and indicates that the Gateway Zoning Code really needs to develop the details of how that is actually implemented. Then there’s a policy chapter on housing – oh, the community benefit program you know the action item here to create that program and then to review it periodically to make sure that it’s actually working. And then housing — just as an example of a couple of the policies here plan for an approximate maximum of 3,500 new residential units, encourage a range of unit sizes from micro units to units with three or more bedrooms, encourage a mix of both owner-occupied and rental housing, so that’s just a sampling of some of the housing policies. There are also policies on employment and policies on encouraging and incentivizing arts and culture. There’s policies on open space conservation which we can look at just briefly so this plan.
49:43 I envisioned four different types of open space within the Gateway area, and those are shown here on this map. So if we just look at this legend here, there are linear parks and there is a new community square, the location to be determined somewhere in the Barrel District, and then there are passive open spaces, kind of, you know, more wet denser you know willow wetland restoration areas that are kind of hard to access but good for wildlife. And you can have trails next to them and then this red box area would be private open space requirements built into the Gateway area code that requires the developments that occur in that particular area to include some privately-owned, publicly-available open spaces. So there are many parks and other open space amenities inside of private development. And so there’s a number of open space and conservation policies and programs.
50:49 And then finally looking at the mobility system of the overall Gateway area. This is a detailed section largely because you know 20% of the overall Gateway area is public right-of-way. And so while the City can set standards for what happens on private development private parcels, the City really needs to set the tone for the public right-of-way. And you know what the City chooses to do in the public right-of-way is really going to influence how the ultimate development of the overall Gateway area occurs. And so this section has those details to set the tone for the City and these two maps side by side show the vehicular circulation and the active circulation systems as envisioned. So let’s just go over each of these in detail here. So in this map the white are existing and yellow are proposed so let’s look at this just so we can understand it. The Plaza there is outlined in red, and G Street is one- way northbound and H Street is one way southbound, so that these two parallel roadways serve as what’s called a one-way couplet. There are two roads that function as one with north and southbound traffic, separated by an entire city block. Likewise 8th Street and 9th Street — westbound one-way up to I street and eastbound one-way from I street to its extent on the east side. The fact that the Plaza is surrounded by these four one-way roads is part of what makes the Plaza feel special. It’s a central hub where these one-way roads all come together. and so if we look at G Street as it exists, and just to understand it a little bit better, we’ve got a building frontage zone which is at the back of the sidewalk, then we have this the pedestrian or sidewalk zone. We have a parallel parking zone, two lanes of vehicular travel, a bike lane, parallel parking zone, the pedestrian zone sidewalk, and then the building frontage zone. So putting all those together, a lot of that total right-of-way is currently taken up by vehicular circulation, parking, and travel lane. So we’ll come back to that, just understanding the general right-of-way as it exists on G and H Streets. As I said this plan envisions some changes to the areas in yellow so let’s look at those. Up to this point I’ve been showing you things in white that are existing, so this plan envisions continuing the one-way of 8th and 9th Streets to the west, so that all of 8th Street is westbound one way and all of 9th Street is eastbound one way.
53:48 And so we can look at this and so, just as an example, 9th Street has a sidewalk and then a bike lane, one-lane of westbound vehicular traffic, and then angled in parking so by taking all the parking that was formally or is currently parallel parking on both sides and putting it all on one side you end up with the same amount of parking generally but all of the cars are on one side of the street making it easier for the bike lane to function. This also provides the opportunity to have these enhanced bulb outs so that crosswalks are half the length they otherwise would be. And the same general treatment is done for 8th Street with some modifications to angle on versus parallel parking depending on sidewalk width.
Note: This is misleading and in many ways false. “…putting it all on one side you end up with the same amount of parking …” You do NOT end up with the same amount of parking. Why? Because the angled parking is just on one side of the street. Going from parallel parking on both sides to angled parking on one side — you’ll lose parking. Angled parking will provide more spaces per lineal feet of roadway. If angled parking were to be on both sides of a street, then, yes, there’d be more parking than if there were parallel parking on both sides. But on just one side? You lose a minimum of 27% (likely larger), even before taking into account driveway cutouts.
With angled parking on one side only, we go from 20 to 13 spaces — a loss of 35% of our parking.
But what is said here is an exaggeration, and the image from draft plan shows this. In the image we can see 13 angled parking stalls on 9th Street on the M to N on-block segment (the left-side block). Looking the same M to N block on 8th Street, there are 10 parallel parking stalls. If parking were to be on both sides of the street on 8th, there’d be parking for 20 vehicles. Clearly, 13 is not the same as 20.
According to accepted figures for standard parallel and angled parking, a 9’ angled parking stall requires 12.7 feet of road length, while parallel parking requires a minimum of 18 feet. As an example, over a 200-foot uninterrupted distance, there will be with angled parking on one side of the street, there will be 16 spaces. Take away some at the ends for safety, and you have 13, as shown here. With parallel parking there would be 11 spaces in 200 feet (or, more realistically, 10) and so there’d be 20 spaces for parking on both sides of the street. With angled parking on one side only, we go from 20 to 13 spaces — a loss of 35% of our parking.
There are lots of advantages to angled parking, but if going from parallel parking on two sides and changing to angled parking on one side, you do NOT “end up with the same amount of parking” — it’s simply not true.
Important: The drawings shown are theoretical depictions only – they do not show the streetscapes as they actually are. These drawings do not show all the driveways and entrances to buildings. When asked about this, Community Development Director David Loya said essentially that these images are just depictions of what could be — not accurate maps of what will be.
Without accurate depictions, how can the plan be evaluated properly ?
Parking on 8th & 9th Streets, between L & N, showing how driveway entrances affect the real number of spaces. Black rectangles are entrances not shown on the draft plan page.
The theoretical 23 spaces in the draft plan image becomes 9 spaces — a loss of 61%.
On the north side of 9th Street between L and N there are 2 entrances shown; in reality there are 4 entrances. On the south side of 9th Street there are no entrances shown; in reality there are 2. On 8th Street the drawing shows 1 opening for a driveway on the north side and none (zero) on the south side. In reality, there are 4 on the north side and 4 (in the future, likely 5) on the south side of 8th Street.
For the section on 9th street between M and N the drawing shows 13 spaces, and on 8th street between M and N the drawing shows 10 spaces. When the driveway entrances are taken into account, this becomes 5 and 4. The theoretical 23 spaces in the draft plan image becomes 9 spaces — a loss of 61%.
It’s not difficult to actually count the parking spaces on a few blocks of the plan. Counting parking on all the streets wouldn’t take too many hours. At the open house at the Community Center on January 21 & 22, 2022, this was discussed briefly with Community Development Staff Joe Mateer and David Loya (separately).
Opinion: The notion in the draft plan of an emphasis of on-street parking to compensate for a lack of off-street parking is not supported by fact.
Putting in diagonal parking does provide a theoretical increase of 27% over parallel parking on one side of the street (providing that there aren’t too many driveway cut-outs). When comparing diagonal parking on one side of the street with parallel parking on TWO sides of the street, it’s a different picture.
A rough estimate of an overall loss of street parking is at between 25% to 40%. Opinion: It is suggested that this be studied thoroughly.
On some blocks it’s far worse. On K Street between 8th and 9th there currently are about 16 parking spaces, by actual count. Looking at the traffic layout in the draft plan — Figure 10-e on Page 84 (see below) — there are six parking spaces shown… but 4 spaces shown are in front of existing driveways.
On K Street between 8th and 9th there are about 16 parking spaces currently. If the parking layout as proposed in the Draft Plan were put in place, there would be 2 spaces.
This also provides the opportunity to have these enhanced bulb outs so that crosswalks are half the length they otherwise would be. And the same general treatment is done for 8th Street with some modifications to angle on versus parallel parking depending on sidewalk width. Then we’ve got K Street and L Street. And so currently L Street is segmented so that it only exists in some portions. Envisioned to extend the entire length of its right of way. And K Street is currently two ways, two lanes — one in each direction. But it would change so that it’s northbound only up to this segment of Alliance and then L Street would in its entirety be southbound only. So they would function as a one-way couplet as well. And that is detailed on Page 74. And if we just look at a little cross section here we have sidewalk, parallel parking, vehicular traveling, a buffered bike lane, and sidewalk again. And again this provides opportunities for enhanced bulb-outs and shortened crosswalks the north end of K and L Streets. How they all come together is relatively complex so just looking at this: Alliance is if you were coming southbound on Alliance you would turn on to L Street and continue all the way southbound until you got to Samoa Boulevard. If you’re coming northbound on K Street, it’s only northbound until you get to this point in Alliance at which point it becomes 2-way again. So that’s generally the traffic flow that you would see for K and L and Alliance. And all the other roads stay exactly as they are, which is two ways in both directions. So that it’s only the roads in yellow [on Page 65] that would change in the Gateway area and all the others their vehicular flow would stay as they are. So just an example of how this would all work — Suppose you were at the Plaza and you wanted to get to the Creamery Building, what would your experience be like as a pedestrian walking from the Plaza to the Creamery Building? So this wouldn’t change. 9th Street would be the way it is. So you’re on the sidewalk and walking along the sidewalk, it’s at this point at I street where it changes from one-way vehicular to two-way vehicular but as a pedestrian, you know, that changing from one-way to one way wouldn’t really be a big experience or change for you still traveling along 9th Street until you get to K Street. Let’s suppose you’re right here on this corner of 9th and K and you want to cross the crosswalk. So we’re looking at K Street and you’re just in the bottom right hand corner here and wanting to cross over there so let’s put you back here and see what your experience would be like from looking from above. So again you’re at that spot our picture was just taken from that angle looking in that direction. So you want to cross this crosswalk. Well, currently the way it’s set up is there are two lanes of vehicular travel, one in each direction so you have to think about cars coming from both directions and parallel parked cars on both sides and some bikes in the sharrow there. As envisioned, though, K Street would only be northbound only — one lane of vehicular traffic coming in one direction – and 9th Street is also one way. So there’s only one lane of travel traveling in that direction westbound, so that you only have to worry about two lanes of traffic. Whereas currently you’re worried about four: northbound, southbound, eastbound, and westbound. And the system allows these enhanced bulb-outs so that your pedestrian crossing distance is half of what it otherwise would be. So right now as it currently exists as you’re crossing that street you have to worry about westbound cars potentially taking a right to go northbound, you have to worry about northbound cars on K Street, southbound cars on K Street, and eastbound cars on 9th Street taking a left onto K Street to turn northbound. Whereas in the envision system you only have to worry about right westbound cars on 9th Street taking a right and northbound cars on K Street. So it really makes the whole experience a lot easier and more pleasant for a pedestrian to cross K Street. And then as you’re traveling along 9th Street you get to L Street which is currently theoretically officially the same as K Street — vehicular traffic in both directions on both streets. So even though it’s narrower and doesn’t really look like it in this segment this officially is a two-way street with parallel parking on that side there. And this would change so that it’s only southbound and with southbound parallel parking, and so that vegetative strip would stay the same. The rail-to-trail would stay the same, the vegetative buffer would stay the same, and the sidewalk on the other street would stay the same. So the only thing that would really change is that the traffic would be officially one lane southbound with one lane of parallel parking, and this is detailed on Page 76 and here’s a diagram. Unfortunately it’s upside down relative to the perspective we were just looking at so if we flip that over we’ve got the landscaping strip, the railway trail, the vegetated buffer vehicle lane vehicle parking, and sidewalk. So we’ve got the landscaping railway, trail vegetative buffer, the vehicular lane, parking lane, sidewalk.
On the L Street pathway, what is the City’s definition of :
“some minor modifications”
“the rail-to-trail would stay the same”
“So the only thing that would really change …”
The pathway is changed.
The L Street pathway, as a quiet place to congregate, is ruined by this plan.
[From the City of Arcata website Gateway FAQ page, as a response to the a question about the L Street pathway: “Yes, some minor modifications are proposed.”]
[From the transcription, above: The rail-to-trail would stay the same, the vegetative buffer would stay the same, and the sidewalk on the other street would stay the same. So the only thing that would really change is that the traffic would be officially one lane southbound….”]
[What is the City’s definition of “some minor modifications” and “the rail-to-trail would stay the same” and “the only thing that would really change ? In the couplet proposal of the plan, the traffic on K Street that is now in both directions would be changed, with K Street handling the traffic going north, and L Street handling the traffic going south. ]
[Currently the L Street “rail-to-trail” pathway is a quiet place to stroll, meet people, talk, have a snack or a lunch at one of the picnic tables. It’s alongside L Street which in theory is a street, but it operates more as an alley — hardly any traffic. The pathway is a place where it’s easy to meet a friend, sit on a bench, enjoy the outdoors. ]
[Reader, you have driven or been on a bike on K Street. All that traffic going south will now be on L Street. Trucks coming from Westwood, the population of western Arcata, the traffic along Alliance — when they want to get on the freeway, they’ll be coming down L Street.]
[You can look at Page 76, just above. In the sense that there will be a 4-foot wide or an 11-foot wide sidewalk on which to walk, then, yes, the pathway will have “minor changes” — it will be a strip of concrete or asphalt where you can walk. In the sense that it will remain an open space where people meet, hang out, relax, chat, and enjoy the quiet — the way it is now –then, no, it will not be the same, not at all. The L Street pathway, as a quiet place to congregate, is ruined by this plan.] So that summarizes the Proposed Vehicular Circulation. Looking at the Active Circulation [page 66], at first glance this map looks really complex. But one way to just really simplify it in your mind is to note that it’s only the dashed lines that are proposing something to change. So all of the solid lines are showing what’s currently existing for pedestrian facilities, pedestrian bike facilities. So if we just look at the dashed lines for what’s being proposed I’ll simplify it. So generally we’re talking about 8th and 9th Streets now having full bike lanes where they currently do not, and this segment of the rail-to-trail would shift slightly so it would still be in the general location but just shift over 10 feet or so. And then all of these green lines here would be new trails like the rail-to-trail. So that the total length of trail rail to trail in the Gateway area would nearly triple. Then on 6th street here there’s a right-of-way but it is not currently developed and so a concept for a shared vehicular pedestrian what’s called a “Woonerf” or shared street. [Woonerf: from the Dutch, meaning “living street.” Shared space for bicycles, pedestrians, and low-speed vehicular traffic. Pronounced VONE-erf.] So that’s the that’s a summary of the Active Transportation System throughout the Gateway area. So the rest of the mobility section has a lot of detailed policies and concepts. I encourage you to read this and look at the intersection design concepts. And there’s also a series of maps that show panel by panel of the overall circulation system in its entirety.
Above: Page 92 of the Draft Plan. “Image 3 illustrates the components of a pedestrian-oriented streetscape design”
This streetscape does not correspond to any existing street in Arcata.
Is there a single block of roadway in the Gateway area where this could be done?
Note the incorrect location of the property line on the diagram. The incorrect property line implies that the street is ~90′ in width. Using the actual property line, it assumes a sidewalk setback of 14-16′. Is there a single block of roadway in the Gateway area where this could be done?
This streetscape does not correspond to any existing street in Arcata. A new street in the roadless industrial section along Samoa Boulevard could be designed similar to this, but in looking at Figures 10-L and 10-K on Pages 90 and 91, they are shown with bike lanes on one side — that is, not like this diagram. Opinion: This diagram is an irresponsible depiction. It does not represent anything that could be included in the actual Gateway streetscape. Nearly at the end here, looking at Streetscape Policies strategies. Zooming in on this we’ve got policies that call for providing sufficient on-street parking to minimize off-street parking to reduce the amount of parking lots in the overall gateway area so that that maximum amount of parking or optimal amount of parking is provided on the streets. Also policies to prioritize pedestrian circulation and walkability, to provide sufficiently wide sidewalks for outdoor seating, business display areas, sidewalk sales, bike racks, trash receptacles, and other amenities.
There is NO policy in the plan to provide “sufficient” on-street parking – just platitudes and wishful thinking.
[The video presentation talks about “policies that call for providing sufficient on-street parking to minimize off-street parking to reduce the amount of parking lots in the overall gateway area so that that maximum amount of parking or optimal amount of parking is provided on the streets.” There is NO policy in the plan to provide “sufficient” on-street parking – just platitudes and wishful thinking.]
Provide room for street trees, locate buildings at or close to the sidewalk to support a pedestrian-friendly public realm, require main building entries to be visually prominent and oriented to the public street or pathway, to create varied street-facing building facades with human scale design details, and finally to set back upper floors to ensure sunlight access to the street below.
For a building above 3 stories, a setback will NOT result in sunlight on the street below. There will not be sunlight on either side of the street.
[“…to set back upper floors to ensure sunlight access to the street below.” This is a false statement. With a 4-story (or higher) building, in the Wintertime, there will not be sunlight on the street below, regardless of the set-back.
As presented here above, and discussed in greater detail in a forthcoming article about Solar Access and Solar Shadowing, the angle of the sun here in Arcata for four months of the year — a third of the year — is lower than what is shown here. For a building above 3 stories, a setback will NOT result in sunlight on the street below. There will not be sunlight on either side of the street.
As an example of what a 4-story building feels like, you can drive, bike, or walk on 7th Street (between I and J) where the new 4-story “Sorrel Place” building is located. In the Winter, the sun-shadow definitely extends to the other side of the street. The street feels like a canyon.]
And there are policies detailed about those as well as design and architectural standards including a number of different design and architectural standard categories on how buildings should be designed all of which will be detailed in the Gateway Zoning Code. It’s a section on Historical Resources. The map [Page 100] on the right, the orange just shows existing buildings, the red and blue show designated and potential historic structures. And then finally infrastructure and services and how the City would alter the infrastructure system, other than the circulation system to provide for all of this growth.
Note the Infrastructure Policies, Page 102: GA-11d. University Contributions to Infrastructure Costs. “Given that the City is planning for substantial residential growth in the Plan area in part to accommodate the planned growth of Humboldt State University, work with the University to explore ways in which the University can contribute to the infrastructure costs associated with the planned growth.”
Opinion: This is an acknowledgement that the residential growth projections of this draft Gateway plan are indeed to accommodate Cal Poly Humboldt’s growth needs.
And then a summary of the implementation strategies throughout the rest of the document. And that brings us to the end of the Gateway Area Plan. So going back to the beginning I encourage everyone to get a hold of this document, read through it, be prepared for public comment. You can find it on the City’s web page under News and Announcements Thank you for taking the time to view this. This was brought to you by the City of Arcata, Planwest Partners, Ben Noble Consulting, and GHD. Thank you,