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Merritt Perry — Fortuna City Manager will be Arcata’s new City Manager

Merritt Perry has been the city manager in Fortuna for more than years. Prior to that he worked as City Engineer and director of Public Works in Fortuna for four years. He became interim City Manager following the resignation (after a second DUI) of former Fortuna city manager and Arcata city councilmember and 3-time mayor Mark Wheetley.

What a destructive fire in a 4-story apartment building looks like

Three videos of the fire from June 19, 2024, in Miami. "I did get a chance  to speak to one gentleman who tells me he was actually sleeping at the  time. He awoke not because he smelled the smoke, not because he heard the commotion, but because he heard a firefighter knocking at his front door. That's what prompted him to get up, get outside."

Sunset-101 Roundabouts — Let’s improve the design and make it SAFE

The traffic crossings are not safe. IT WILL ONLY TAKE ONE FATALITY to have us wishing that we'd thought about this more and done things differently. WITH PHOTOS of 3D images, models, and flashing beacon lights.

Sunset-101 Roundabout discussion – Video and transcripts — City Council, February 21, 2024

Video and Transcriptions on the Sunset-101 Roundabout discussion. From the City Council meeting, February 21, 2024. "If you can make those changes -- the full separated bike and pedestrian facilities, the additional traffic calming measures, and getting rid of the slip lanes."

The Sunset-101 Interchange design — It’s unsafe, and someone will be hurt

The letter that sent to the City Council, to request that the Sunset-101 Interchange funding be removed from the Consent Calendar, so that it can be further discussed. From the letter: "I believe there are unsafe elements to this design -- and that the design can be improved to make it safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. The design is good for vehicle traffic flow -- but not so good for bikes and walkers. My strong concern is that with this design there will be vehicle - bicyclist collisions.  *** My concern is that someone will get hurt.***

Part 4 — Sunset/101 Roundabouts — How can this possibly be safe for bicyclists and pedestrians?

The Sunset-101 Interchange design: What is wrong with it. Can this design be improved? Is it safe?

Part 1 – Sunset and LK Wood / Highway 101 roundabouts — Where are the bike lanes?

Here are images of the design of the roundabouts for the multiple-lane intersection of Sunset Avenue, L. K. Wood Boulevard, and the four on-ramps/off-ramps for US Highway 101. The question is: WHERE ARE THE BIKE LANES?

Part 2 – Sunset and LK Wood / Highway 101 roundabouts — Will this work? Is this safe?

Part 2. The multi-road intersections of Sunset Avenue, L. K. Wood Boulevard, G Street, H Street, and the four on-ramps/off-ramps for US Highway 101 are an acknowledged difficult situation. The solution that's provide is not, in my view, a good solution. I think this design would be the source of all kinds of problems. I believe there must be a better solution for us at this intersection. We can do better.

Part 3 – Sunset and LK Wood / Highway 101 roundabouts — Letter to the City Council

The letter sent to the City Council. This item was on their agenda for the February 21, 2024 meeting. The overall design of this interchange does not seem safe -- not safe for bicyclists, for pedestrians, and not even safe for cars. WE CAN DO BETTER,

Trying to watch the Council’s General Plan approval at home? The public is being robbed.

If you tried to watch the live video stream of that May 29th meeting or wanted to review it by video, you may have felt some frustration or confusion. On the live video stream or in the video, we can hear the City Council -- but we couldn't see the Council. Some times for long stretches in the video -- up to 19 minutes in one case -- there is no image of any human being. With a SUGGESTION to correct this.

Arcata Fire District letter to the City Council, May 28, 2024: Don’t approve Gateway

From the Arcata Fire District May 28, 2024 letter: "We are writing to request that approval of these elements be denied at this time and put on hold until the AP Triton Standard of Coverage (SOC) for the AFPD is completed and the Arcata City Council and AFPD Board of Directors achieve consensus on a plan for the likely expansion of the District's capacity."

Suggestions for May 29, 2024: Gateway Area Plan, Gateway Code, General Plan, and EIR

To the City Council for the 1st public hearing at the Council on the General Plan, Gateway Area Plan, Gateway Code, and Program Environmental Impact Report. --- "As you must be aware, the Council is in a difficult situation here. You are being asked to approve a set of documents that are incomplete." With 5 very important topics suggested for review, and 5 other lesser but still very significant topics.

Gateway Plan and General Plan Updates – Newsletter – May 27, 2024

THIS NEWSLATTER WAS SENT OUT ON MONDAY, MAY 27, 2024. The two scheduled public hearings with the Arcata City Council take place on Wednesdays -- May 29 and June 5, 2024. If needed, the public hearing meetings will be continued. The City Council will consider, take public comment on, discuss, and perhaps vote to adopt the Gateway Area Plan, the Gateway Zoning Code, the Arcata General Plan 2045, and the Final Environmental Report.

The Gateway Singers — “The Ballad of Sigmund Freud”

Fresh from 1958, we have The Gateway Singers. Included here is the video and lyrics for "The Ballad of Sigmund Freud." Missing are the Gateway Singers performances of "Let's all Room Together" and "Supply and Demand."

Four-Story Buildings do not belong in the Bayview, Sunset, and Upper I & J Street Neighborhoods

The LU-9 Implementation Measure in the draft General Plan would allow 4 and 5-story buildings in the Bayview, Northtown, Upper I & J Street, and Sunset neighborhoods. A rezoning would allow "Local-serving commercial uses such as corner grocery stores and coffee shops" throughout those neighborhoods. **** LU-9 does not belong in Arcata's General Plan **** WITH IMAGES OF WHAT COULD BE BUILT.

Do we want 5-story apartments in a residential neighborhood?

What happens when a city's zoning allows 5-story buildings in an established residential neighborhood? "When new residential architecture enters into an established neighborhood, the results are often unpredictable. The towering next door apartments upset the smaller scale of the older houses."***** "It makes me wonder if developers will eventually gobble up the remaining houses for nothing but apartments."

General Plan, Gateway Area Plan, Gateway Code: Latest versions

Keeping track of the latest General Plan, Gateway Area Plan, Gateway Zoning Code is not a simple matter. There have been three different versions of the General Plan in one week -- twice. ------- The City Council is reviewing the General Plan, Gateway Area Plan, Gateway Zoning Code (and also the Final Environmental Impact Report), with public hearings set for May 29 and June 4, 2024. These are the versions of these documents, as leading up to those dates.

General Plan, Gateway Area Plan, Gateway Code: How many versions are there?

Keeping track of the latest General Plan, Gateway Area Plan, Gateway Zoning Code is not a simple matter. There have been three different versions of a General Plan document -- within one week. And this has happened twice. This article shows how these document-handling procedures are inadequate and poor, and differ from what is done by professionals in every field, all over the world. A solution is proposed.

An absolutely awful building design for L Street and the Gateway Area Plan

THIS COULD BE BUILT right next to the woonerf or linear park. A form-based code does not prevent bad design. Utilizing the current Gateway Code, here are images of what could be built along the L Street corridor linear park and woonerf. HELP! To create a jewel of a woonerf, we need to improve the Gateway Code.

A good building design for the L Street corridor woonerf

Could we have buildings with human-scale design elements here in Arcata? Yes we can. Unless we specify what we want for the buildings along the L Street corridor, then it's a free-for-all situation. This potential jewel of Arcata will look like whatever developers want. With a list of GOOD DESIGN ELEMENTS and images of a building project that would fit into the Gateway area.

Marin County Form-Based Code

The Marin County Form-Based code is a thing of beauty. In addition to being a great code for Marin, it is also a valuable teaching tool, for us to read and learn about what a good form-based code can be. Includes samples of the specifications for one neighborhood type, the Core Main Street, somewhat corresponding to Arcata's Gateway area.

L Street – 2010 Rail with Trail Feasibility Study

In June, 2010, the City of Arcata published a 160-page document titled "Arcata Rail With Trail Feasibility Study and Operations Plan." This detailed study is significant now for the Gateway Area Plan because of its depiction of how L Street would be converted into a Linear Park. With images and street designs. **** THIS IS A "MUST SEE" DOCUMENT by the Planning Commissioners, the City Council, and all citizens who want to see how exciting and desirable an L Street Corridor Linear Park could be.

Director Loya provides misleading information to the Planning Commission on the Arcata Fire District’s letter

The Arcata Fire District wrote a letter that they wanted the Planning Commissioners to see. The Community Development Director did not send them the letter. Instead, he wrote a watered-down summary -- leaving out what is important, and adding in a summary that is not what the AFD said.

To the Planning Commissioners: The missing letter from the Arcata Fire District

3 MINUTES TO READ -- On April 9, 2024, the Arcata Fire District Board sent a letter to the City Council, stating that the AFD cannot ensure the safety of people living in a building that is over 40 feet tall — a three-story building. On April 18, 2024, the Arcata Fire District Board wrote to Community Development Director with a simple request:  To provide that April 9, 2024, letter to the Planning Commissioners. Director Loya did not honor this simple request.

A simple request from the Arcata Fire District — David Loya denies it.

The Arcata Fire District sent a letter to the City, stating that the AFD cannot ensure the safety of people living in a building that is over 40 feet tall, which would be a three-story building. A subsequent letter requested that the earlier letter be provided to the Planning Commissioners. The Community Development Director David Loya did not do this. Instead he wrote a watered-down version as a summary, and created a summation that was not in the letter.

Why the decision on the L Street Linear Park is so important — and so crucial

An open message to Arcata's City Council, and to every living, breathing person in Arcata who cares about our future. ---- Does a decision need to be made as to the fate of L Street, whether it's going to be a park or a thoroughfare street, prior to Ben Noble formulating much of the Form-Based Code? ---- This is the Council's chance to take an appropriate leadership position. To act otherwise is hypocrisy.

The L Street Corridor — It’s a goldmine, waiting to happen

“L Street will be where the city and the trail converge, creating a vibrant community gathering space.”  ---- “Implementing the Arcata Rails With Trails] will help the region achieve a world-class recreation and transportation system. A multi-use trail facility will result in expanded recreation and mobility options for Arcata, Eureka, and Humboldt County residents and visitors, especially those who seek to integrate a healthy lifestyle into their daily activities.”

Gateway Code: What is new — and wrong — in the “May 14, 2024, Version 5” version

This “May 14, 2024” version contains changes that the Planning Commission has never seen or discussed. It contains changes where the Commission said not to change. It contains inadequate changes for things that the Commission wanted changed. It's still missing many things that the Commission brought up and did not fully resolve. It has Inclusionary Zoning wrong. And still no planning for the L Street woonerf and linear park.

The Gateway Plan process: A thousand and one topics got lost in the wilderness

There has been no economic Analysis of Gateway construction -- even though the Commissioners requested this. In June, 2023, Planning Commission Chair Scott Davies asked for an economic analysis about cost feasibility -- what it would take to build in the Gateway area. It has never happened.

At the Planning Commission’s first review of the Gateway Code, they asked questions for only 2-1/2 minutes.

WITH VIDEO 44 minutes. The Planning Commissioner's first review of the Gateway Code took place on June 13, 2023 -- 8 days after the first draft of the Gateway Code was released. In this review, the Commissioners spoke and asked questions of Community Development Director David Loya for a total of 2-1/2 minutes. When the time came for questions for Ben Noble, the Gateway Code's author and form-based code consultant, the Commissioners had nothing to ask him.

General Plan 2045 — the 2nd “May 14, 2024” draft

This is the Public Hearing draft of Arcata's General Plan 2045. It is the second "May 14, 2024" draft.

To the Council and Commission: The draft General Plan is not ready

This message was sent to the full City Council, the Planning Commissioners, City Manager and ComDev Director. Thi is a critique of the initial look at the latest draft of the General Plan. The General Plan 2045 draft and the Gateway Area Plan draft are supposed to be ready for a Public Hearing on May 14th. In my view, these documents are not ready.

Video: Planning Commission discusses the Gateway Code – April 23, 2024

What was slated to be a “final” review of Arcata’s Gateway Area Code took place at the April 23, 2024, Planning Commission meeting. On May 14, 2024, is the Public hearing on the General Plan 2045, the Gateway Area Plan, and the Gateway Code. Also on May 14 is a Planning Commission review of the three documents and the Commission's recommendation to the City Council. *** The full-steam-ahead pedal-to-the-medal accelerated pace will result in a sub-standard Gateway Code.

David Loya explains why the L Street linear park and woonerf is not in the Gateway Plan or the Gateway Code

4 MINUTE VIDEO -- David Loya attempted to explain why the proposed L Street corridor linear park was not in the Gateway Code. “We’re implementing the direction that we received in September,” he said. That is, he believed the City Council had said "No" to having the linear park in the Gateway Area Code -- or so it seemed. This is a 4-minute segment of the video of that the meeting. It's a monologue from David Loya. I regard this four minutes as a string of falsehoods, one after another. Video plus annotated transcript.

2022 CALGreen Electric Vehicle Charging Requirements

How many electric vehicle chargers are required for new apartments and non-residential buildings? The quantity is tied to the number of parking spaces that are built. In the Gateway area, the minimum parking required is zero... so there well could be no charging stations there too. ------ This fact sheet summarizes 2022 CALGreen requirements for residential construction, including single-family, multi-family, and hospitality (hotels and motels) facilities, as well as nonresidential new construction.

Gateway Code Greenways are wrong. David Loya is not doing his job.

The "greenways" concept as expressed in the Gateway Code is not well-conceived. It is not written clearly, and contains numerous major errors. This was evident from the 1st draft of the Code. There have been no changes in this through the 2nd and 3rd drafts. For how long has David Loya been aware of these deficiencies and errors -- and done nothing?

What does the Gateway Code say about Tenant and Employee bicycle parking?

What does the Gateway Code say about Tenant and Employee bicycle parking? The section of the Gateway Code on long-term (over two hours) bicycle parking is yet another part of this document that has the appearance of being copied from somewhere else and never really thought about. ------- With photos of just what the Gateway Code requires, and what a developer could give us for tenant bike parking.

The Gateway Code – Specific Issues

A guide to separate articles about specific issues in the Gateway Code.