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Saturday, February 4, 2023
HomeCommunity InputLetters & Public InputLetter from Nick Lucchesi - January 15, 2022

Letter from Nick Lucchesi – January 15, 2022

Cafe Brio on the Arcata Plaza. One of many projects from Pacific Builders.

Nick Lucchesi of Pacific Builders, from January 15, 2022. A must-read letter.

Excerpts:

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

“Is any feedback obtained at the open house going to be carried back for integration into the plan?”

“Although there may be a version of the plan that may make sense, we are not there yet.”

“Why is it a given that Arcata needs to grow this much at all?”

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

“My wife and I … are considering buying a home in town at some point…. But is there going to be a home in the plan for me? At least an 1,800 square foot condominium, and even better, a place with a yard I could call my own. And at least one parking space. I say this because I have never been unique in my life; I bet I am not unique in this matter either. Housing needs to work across the economic spectrum.”

“Where did this plan come from? Did it come from the planning department only, or
have property owners or developers driven this in some way? I would like to know
about significant communications with the public regarding the plan prior to its
publication.”

“Grandfathered uses. I understand that people’s fears about not being able to sell their buildings when they retire may be unfounded, but only somewhat so. …. And what about an addition or remodeling? What if Tony and I needed to add office space? Would we be allowed to, as an existing nonconforming user?”

“You may be able to get the votes of the council, as they represent a pretty narrow range of the political spectrum. But ultimately you will need the buy in of a larger group of community members for the development plan to work the way you envision it. They will “vote with their feet” or their pocketbooks, and just live elsewhere.”

“This is not a conclusion I come to with any satisfaction; this is my town. It’s time to turn this around and find out what the people in this neighborhood and the rest of the town think about its future. Explain the problem you are trying to solve, and invite suggestions as to how to solve it in an equitable manner.

 

2022-04-12 PC - Nick Lucchesi letter