This is a living, growing site. Come back often!

Arcata1.com on your desktop for a bigger view. Learn more about our city.

No menu items!
Saturday, February 4, 2023
HomeGateway PlanFor the Planning Commission & City CouncilMcKinleyville is transparent. Arcata is not.

McKinleyville is transparent. Arcata is not.

How is it that McKinleyville has all of the info for their Town Center plan in one location? 
And in Arcata, the same info is scattered all over the place — or is in obscure locations, so buried that it might as well not exist.  

Want to skip to the Solution?  Click here.

We can quibble with the wording and some aspects of the Humboldt County website page for the McKinleyville Town Center Master Plan, but, overall, what anyone is looking for is right there, on one page.

You can scroll down to see what the County website page for the McKinleyville Town Center looks like.  Or see it on their website, here.  Or read more about the Town Center plan on this website here.

What makes the McKinleyville Town Center website access better ?

We can note what the County webpage has:

And we can note:

 

The Arcata website has none of this.

  • A direct way to send an e-mail to the planner who’s in charge.
  • All the letters from the public that have been received — all listed by name & date — in one accessible place.
    McKinleyville received 94 letters in 6 months.
    The City of Arcata received 42 letters in 6 months… or maybe more, but they haven’t been posted yet, so we don’t know.
  • Results from their survey — both the raw data and a compilation.
  • Quick links to the zoning layout maps and to the some typical street layouts.
  • A 3D model “flyover” video.  Nice !
  • Links to 3D modeling of the Town Center buildout.
  • A list — all in one spot — of all the public meetings and videos (when if available).
    17 meetings.  Some with notes taken at the meeting.
  • Background information links.

Arcata has none of this.

Yes, the Arcata website has none of this.
Let me repeat that again:  Arcata has none of this.

The solution for us: 

Read this website.  Spread the word about it. 

 

Write and ask us for new articles about things you want to learn about. 

 

And point out to our City Council members: Information we need to make a conscious decision is absent.

As of June 1, Arcata has not released the results of its survey.
Arcata has not released the results of the Community Center Open House in January, which took place precisely for community input — over 4 months ago.

We’ve been promised at least some 3D modeling at least since February.  It should have been included in the December 2021 draft plan, but it wasn’t.  To learn more about why 3D modeling is so important, read the article about 3D modeling on this website, or watch the McKinleyville Town Center 2-minute video, here.

Arcata has the letters received buried in a PDF file of the agenda packet of a Planning Commission meeting.

The County website for the McKinleyvile Town Center is not “perfect” and I can think of a variety of ways in which it could be improved.  But in general it’s heads above what Arcata is providing.

 


What’s the solution ?

The solution for the City:  Compile the survey results; compile the Open House results; release the summaries and the raw data; have a webpage with links to ALL the letters, put up in a timely fashion; Get some 3D modeling images done and post them.  That’s for starters.  And then keep the webpage up to date.

The solution for us:  Read this website.  Read all the letters people have written here.  Look at the maps and images and articles that the City has left out.  Spread the word about Arcata1.com.  Write to us and ask for new articles on things you want to learn about.  And point out to our City Council members:  Information we — and they — need to make a conscious decision is absent.

Almost everything listed in the examples below is right here, on this website.  And the search on this website works.


The result is a lack of transparency

Even if you know what you’re looking for, it can be difficult, time-consuming, or close to impossible to locate.

The City of Arcata acts like the info we need is transparent and easy to find — but in reality it’s not.  Not at all. Even if you know what you’re looking for, it can be difficult, time-consuming, or close to impossible to locate.

Why would Arcata be making it so difficult for people to get information about the Gateway plan?

I can think of four explanations, but surely there can be other reasons too.

  • The Community Development Department doesn’t have enough people to take on such a big project as the Gateway plan.
    I can appreciate this.  I’ve been saying from the beginning that they don’t have sufficient staff to take on a project of this scope.  The Gateway is is a big plan, with lots of facets.  It takes a lot of work.
    The County did a successful webpage — they put the letters on-line, and the 3D modeling, and the meetings and the links.  It’s not like the County has lots of extra employees with time to spare.  Perhaps it’s a matter of priorities.  Is it important for people to read this material?  I think that it is.

Maybe they’re just not thinking of other people’s needs. 

 

There’s a table of figures about Gateway grant funding — figures people have been asking about for months — on page 217 of a 238-page PDF document.  There’s no table of contents to locate it within the  document and it has a section title of “Receive an Update on Infill Planning Efforts” that doesn’t really relate the the Gateway plan. Why be so obscure?

  • How about this:  They should have started this at the beginning, a couple of years ago.  It’s easier to add onto an existing page than it is to assemble all that material from scratch.
    True.  But it wouldn’t take too many hours to collect the material — letters, diagrams, documents, links to meetings — and put the links on a single page.  It’s not creating new documents; just assembling what is there in the files.
  • Maybe they’re just not thinking of other people’s needs.  There’s a table of figures about Gateway grant funding — figures people have been asking about for months — on page 217 of a 238-page PDF document  There’s no table of contents to locate it within the  document and it has a section title of “Receive an Update on Infill Planning Efforts” that doesn’t really relate to the Gateway plan.  Why be so obscure?
  • Could it be that the City doesn’t want people to find out about these things?

 

Suppose you’re looking for something specific….

Where is the letter from Andrea Tuttle on the Arcata website?
Answer:  It’s on page 55 of the 162-page Agenda Packet for the April 12, 2022 Planning Commission meeting.

How would I know that I had to look in the Agenda Packet on that date?
Answer:  You wouldn’t know.  Unless someone told you.

Can you search for that letter — or any letter — on the Arcata website?
Answer:  No.

How about other letters that the City has received after that April 12 PC meeting?
Answer:  Gee, I don’t know.  I did a search — nothing.  I looked through the packets for the three meetings after April 12th, up to the current date.  And under “Correspondence/Communications” — no letters.

You mean there haven’t been any letters received by the City about the Gateway plan since April 12th?
Opinion:  Oh, I wouldn’t assume there haven’t been any letters that the City has received.

Suppose I wanted to watch the video of, say, the February 8th Planning Commission meeting.  Can I do that ?
Answer:  Yes.  From the main page, click on “Departments.” Then select from the menu: “Committees & Committees” – “Commissions” – “Planning Commission.”  Click on the link under “Agendas & Archives.” Find the date that you want, and click on Video.

There was an Economic Development Committee meeting where they talked about economic impacts of the Gateway plan.  When was that?
Answer:  If you look through the Agenda packets for each meeting, you’ll find it.  It was on May 12th, 2022.

Could I have searched for that?
Answer:  No.

Can I watch a video of that Economic Development Committee meeting?
Answer:  Not on the City’s website.  If you contact Keala Roberts (Administrative Specialist, Community Development Department), she can put an MP4 file on DropBox that you can download. My experience is that she is very quick on this.
Or you could view it on the Arcata1.com website, here.

Could I have searched for a Planning Commission video on Arcata’s website?
Answer:  No.

How about searching for a Planning Commission agenda or packet — Can I do that?
Answer:  No, they’re not on the search.  You can reach it though the menu.

Where can I find an aerial view of the Gateway area?
Answer:  On the City’s website, doesn’t exist.  On this website, here.

Where can I find an image of what the Gateway area would look like if there were 1,000 or 2,000 apartments built there?
Answer:  Doesn’t currently exist.  A good architect or planner could put something together.  Look at the article about the what’s happening with growth in Vancouver, BC, here.  Very similar to Arcata, just bigger.  That article has lots of good 3D images of a buildout there.  And keep asking our City Council members for this necessary ingredient of the Gateway recipe.

I might make this very-much-needed image out of Lego blocks, or by pasting black rectangles on a Google Earth view.  It won’t be as neat as an architect’s program but it’ll get the point across.  Read the article about 3D images on this website for more information.

 


Below is the McKinleyville Town Center Master Plan page from the County website.
This is how the County does it for their project.

 

Home > Portal > County Homepage > Government > Planning & Building > About Us > Divisions > Long Range Planning > Long Range Planning Projects > McKinleyville Town Center Master Plan

McKinleyville Town Center Master Plan

McKinleyville Town Center

Section 2350 “Town Center” of the McKinleyville Community Plan calls for the creation of a unique identity for McKinleyville through the development of a viable town center that serves as a community focal point and contains a mixture of land uses with a center for social/community interaction that encourages bicycle and pedestrian travel and allows for convenient and safe automobile access.

Questions? Contact Michael Richardson: Email Michael using this link or phone (707) 268-3723

1
Revised Draft Zoning Regulations are available for public review

Planning and Building Staff have completed a revised draft of the Draft McKinleyville Town Center Zone to reflect the alternatives identified by the MMAC at their March 16th meeting.  Follow this Link to the Revised Draft McKinleyville Town Center Zone 3-18-2022.

2
October 2021 Draft Zoning Regulations

Follow this link to Discussion Draft McKinleyville Town Center Zone 10-29-2021.

If you would like to submit comments regarding the Discussion Draft McKinleyville Town Center Zone, please email comments to Michael Richardson at the following link: Email Michael using this link.  You may also want to send your comments to the McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee. If so, send you comment letter to the MMAC via the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, Clerk of the Board, 825 Fifth Street, Suite 111, Eureka, CA or using email to cob@co.humboldt.ca.us.  

3
Comments Received on Discussion Draft McKinleyville Town Center Zone

4
Town Center Survey is complete!

The McKinleyville Town Center survey was closed to responses on March 18th and the responses have been compiled.  Please view the complete survey responses at the following links:  

Follow this link to view the 1997 McKinleyville Community Plan Community Preference Survey Results (McKinleyville Community Plan Appendix F) which contains a summary of responses to the questionnaire, and the results of the Local Government Commission’s Planning a More Livable McKinleyville workshop.

5
Town Center Initial Design Studies

The following are to Draft Design Studies prepared by County’s consultant K. Boodjeh Architects . These designs are intended to support the continued conversations among the community the MMAC and the property owners regarding planning Town Center.

Zoning Layout Studies and Street Cross Sections for July 28th MMAC Meeting

Design Studies from January 2021. The initial designs below show pedestrian connections with consistent landmark features from McKinleyville Avenue through the natural resource areas and the Safeway Shopping Center and across Central Avenue to Pierson Park and north and south connecting the mid-town trail through an open natural area. Wetlands are protected or replaced on site and the combination of wetlands and natural areas are intended to achieve a ratio of 2:1. Details show Hiller Road near Central Avenue as a traditional main street with street-level shops and upper floor residences and how new residences and mixed uses are intended to transition from the core area to the surrounding neighborhoods.

7
Public Meetings

Next Meeting

Prior Meetings

Aerial image showing the McKinleyville Town Center area

 

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x