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

No menu items!

 65 times viewed

The 99 Most Popular Articles

Especially for you

The First Ten

11 though 20

21 through 30

Gateway Videos and Media presentations

Excellent brief video about the background and basis of the Gateway plan. Date: January 16, 2022. 3 minutes 42 seconds

David Loya on Supply and Demand — and how that relates to Affordable Housing

"So the way that we add equity into our community... is by increasing the demand." David Loya speaks at the Feb 12 2022 Planning Commission on housing supply and demand. This article was originally written May 30, 2022 -- over a year ago. It exposes the vast misunderstandings and distorted viewpoints of David Loya, Arcata's Community Development Director, with regard to what determines the costs of housing. Please read and see if you can make any sense out of what Mr. Loya is proposing for Arcata.

Cal Poly Humboldt – Expansion

Cal Poly Humboldt looks to expand by 6,000 students, and that may be 3,000 students more than they are building housing for.

David Loya Trashes the Creamery Discussion – May 16, 2023

The Planning Commissioners asked for a meeting with the Creamery community. At the time, Community Development Director David Loya agreed. But when the meeting occurred, it was not what the Commissioners had requested. As we have seen so many times, Director Loya did what he wanted to do. And once again Director Loya disregarded the expressed wishes of the Planning Commission -- and disregarded input from our community.

Robert Crumb: A Short History of America

The classic Robert Crumb 12-panel masterpiece of a history of America, as seen from a single street-corner. Video 1 minute 12 seconds.

Arcata Fire District Director: Eric Loudenslager – August 4, 2022

Eric Loudenslager, Board of Directors member of the Arcata Fire Protection District, weighs in on some of the challenges of the Gateway Plan, and some requests for information and involvement.

“Dwelling Units per Acre” – Another terrible way of measuring housing

Since the aim of the Gateway plan is to provide housing for lots of people, then we’d want to see as many dwelling units per acre as possible, right?  To achieve more dwelling units per acre, we can do two things:  Build taller apartments or have more units on a floor (or both). And how do the number-crunchers make more units on a a floor?  They make smaller units.

Creamery District Gathering – Wednesday – May 10th – 5:30 p.m.

Businesses, Residents, Workers, and Visitors ** Come with questions, thoughts, and recommendations regarding the future L Street Linear Park and its enhancement for the Creamery District -- and for the entire Community. ** Wednesday, May 10th ** 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. ** The Playhouse Theater in the Creamery Building ** 1251 9th Street (9th & L ) in Arcata.

Useful Links

A list of useful links, including links to the City of Arcata documents, Community Visioning workshops, and many interesting and valuable websites.

Maps: Building Height Districts

Maps of the "Land Use Designation" zoning districts of the Gateway area, with a proposal for a new district around the Creamery Building. The line through the central portion is a potential "L Street Pathway" linear park and walking "mall" that would extend from Alliance Road at the north and go to Samoa Boulevard at the south. It would be a car-free area, adjacent to the Creamery District arts area, alongside The Pub restaurant and many future restaurants and shops.

31 through 40

Redwood City Downtown Precise Plan – Form-Based Code

Redwood City's Downtown Precise Plan includes Form-Based code and Planning Commission review. It all took 4 years to develop. The Form-Based Code can serve as a model for Arcata.

Gateway Needs Parks!

Sure, there's open space.  But where are the parks? Gateway needs parks! How is Arcata going to supply adequate parks for 2,000 people? Parks = Community. Places to meet, talk, hang out. Children's playgrounds too. If we don't insist on this, it's not going to happen.

Pre-Fab Modular Housing – a dozen articles and more

Modular housing could be an answer to state housing crisis. A collection of articles from other sources, and lots of photos. Modules can be assembled into apartment buildings 40% more quickly and 20% cheaper than traditional construction. ------- From factories in Vallejo, Sacramento, Klamath Falls OR, Idaho, Canada, and China.

UPDATED Creamery District / Gateway Meetings — May 16th & May 23rd

COME - PARTICIPATE - LEARN - ASK QUESTIONS - SHARE YOUR VIEWS **** A meeting with businesses, owners, workers, and all residents in the Creamery District Combining Zone on Tuesday, May 16th, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. There will also be a meeting of the Planning Commission on Tuesday, May 23rd, starting at 5:30 p.m. to "discuss this topic." *** Includes maps and the letter sent out by the City.

The Gateway Area Plan: A modest proposal

Partial build-out of the Gateway Area Plan. The Plan was finally adopted in 2031, following nine years of discussion and community input. A minor typographical error in the final version resulted in a 70-story maximum height, rather than the previously agreed-upon 7 stories. As anticipated, many developers opted to build smaller buildings than the allowable maximum.

Sea Level Rise – the basics

Sea Level Rise could affect plans for the Gateway area. See maps here of what Sea Level Rise looks like.

Vancouver, British Columbia: 40-story buildings proposed

A plan for Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia involves new building heights of 40-stories, seriously changing the existing neighborhood.

Your neighborhood is at risk of being rezoned for High Density housing

Do you want your neighborhood rezoned as Residential High Density? **** Come to the City Council meeting on Wednesday, April 5th, and tell our City Councilmembers what you want and do not want for Arcata. The citizens of Arcata have not been informed. **** If you care about your neighborhood, please come and speak. ****

Study Session – City Council and Planning Commission – August 23, 2022

The Joint Study session of the City Council and Planning Commission - August 23, 2022. "There were loudspeakers babbling but nothing was said."

Gateway Plan needs inclusionary affordable housing requirements, says Rebecca Buckley-Stein

Rebecca Buckley-Stein spoke to the City Council on March 1, 2023, about the need to have inclusionary affordable housing as part of the Gateway Plan. What is Inclusionary Zoning? Your questions answered, plus additional resource links.

41 through 50

Survey says Home Ownership is what’s desired — in a big way

August 16th Survey shows "Home Ownership" of supreme importance to the 50-or-so participants during the two minutes of voting. What's the possibility of Home Ownership Opportunities to be written into the Gateway Plan? Very likely to be Zero.

How to contact Arcata’s City Councilmembers & Planning Commissioners — and how you can speak at a meeting

How to contact Arcata's City Councilmembers & Planning Commissioners, and how to attend a City Council or Planning Commission meeting -- in person, via YouTube, via Zoom, or on the phone.

Planning Commission or 1-Person review?

Which does Arcata want? Ministerial review, to smooth the way for developers, or Planning Commission and public input, which allows for greater oversight? We can have both.

Couplet on L? The L Street Pathway as we know it and love it will cease to exist

The City wants to destroy a quiet strolling pathway so that car and truck traffic will be split between L Street and K Street. Meanwhile, cities all over the world are attempting to get rid of car traffic in favor of walkable public spaces. A "Plan B" has been promised since January, 2022. An inadequate discussion of alternatives finally emerged in August 2023, over a year and a half later.

3D Modeling: We’re still waiting

Original article: June 16, 2022 --We've been promised the 3D modeling for at least four or five months now. *** ONE AND A HALF YEARS NOW **** Why is 3D Modeling so important? Look at the pictures here and decide for yourself.

New Commissioner Matt Simmons proposes huge changes to established neighborhoods

Planning Commissioner Matt Simmons proposed a change in the zoning of established Arcata neighborhoods, from Residential Low Density to Residential High Density. What is behind his rationale? Would such zoning change help people find housing?

Les McCann & Eddie Harris: Compared to What?

The President, he's got his war. Folks don't know just what it's for. Unreal values, crass distortion -- Unwed mothers need abortion. Tryin' to make it real, compared to what?

Arcata plans for future influx of residents – January 30, 2019

Arcata State of the City 2019 report. "“Other parts of the state are going to become uninhabitable,” David Loya said. “We aren’t going to prevent people from moving here; there’s going to be climate migration, so we need to plan for it.”

Meriam Park, Chico: Where Form-Based Code didn’t work out so well

Why the Chico Meriam Park development in Chico is a terrible example of Form-Based Code

Discarding the democratic process even further: The Planning Commission meeting – April 11, 2023

The full video of the April 11, 2023, Planning Commission meeting. **** Calling this a special meeting allows, by law, an allowable reduction in the manner in which input from the public is taken. Far more people were in the audience at this Planning Commission than at prior Planning Commission meetings. At this meeting, there were TWENTY-ONE members of the public WHO SPOKE.

51 through 60

Aerial Views of the Gateway area

Here are some aerial views of the Gateway area. The aerial views give a more clear vision of the size of the Gateway area, relative the area of Downtown and Northtown Arcata.

Quimby Act Dreams — How do we get parks in Gateway?

The "plan" for human-access parks in the Arcata Gateway area is woefully inadequate. To make the Gateway area livable for thousands of people, we need real parks.

Nick Lucchesi letter from January 2022 — now 16 months later

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

To Dr. Tom Jackson: You can do more — Please.

An open letter to Dr. Tom Jackson, president of Cal Poly Humboldt. Listed are some concrete actions that can be taken, for the benefit of all people in Arcata.

Cal Poly: Craftsman Dorms

At the site of the Craftman's Mall, Cal Poly Humboldt plans to put in dorms for 1,050 students. Is that good? Well, 5,500 dorm beds are needed.

Robert Crumb: City of the Future, 1967

A single panel from "City of the Future" as imagined by Robert Crumb in 1967. "Everyone will be tuned in to everything that's happening all the time!" Note the captions on the buttons on the electronic devices: Economy, Politics, Science, Literature, Art, Facts, Fancies, Opinions, Ideas, Notions  -- just like a modern website news page.

Paul Simon: American Tune

Paul Simon's timeless song. Eight versions plus lyrics and notes. ----- Many’s the time I’ve been mistaken -- And many times confused -- Yes, and I’ve often felt forsaken -- And certainly misused -- Oh, but I’m all right, I’m all right -- I’m just weary to my bones -- Still, you don’t expect to be -- Bright and bon vivant -- So far away from home, so far away from home.

Video: Planning Commission meeting — February 8, 2022

Video of the February 8, 2022, Planning Commission meeting. Includes misguided views on the cost of housing. Public comment from Carlisle Douglas.

“It was the Red, White, and Blue making war on the poor”

Richard & Mimi Fariña -- House Un-American Blues Activity Dream. It was the red, white and blue making war on the poor. Blind Mother Justice on a pile of manure

61 through 70

A possible 6-story design for Arcata

Here's a 6-story building that could work in Arcata, with some modifications. Originally proposed for Santa Cruz, it incorporates many of the design elements and features people here have said are important.

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.

Will upper floor step-backs vanish from the Gateway Code?

During the past more than one-and-a-half years of discussion on the draft Gateway Plan, we've seen a variety of important aspects of the plan come and go. Critical issues seemed to have arrived as firm promises and later vanished like smoke following a Planning Commission conversation of just a minute or two. Or vanished with no conversation whatsoever. *** An area that's near and dear to the hearts of Arcatans are building heights and the set-back and step-back requirements for new buildings.

Uniontown Revisioning: Put housing over CVS and Safeway

In May, 2020, six HSU students created a proposal to build apartments in the space above Uniontown Shopping Center, at 7th and F Streets.  With a height limit of 35 feet (3 stories) the plan included 66 apartments of sizes from 350 square feet to 1800 square feet. The report also includes a discussion of Form-Based Codes and required design elements and considerations.

8th and 9th Streets: Where’s the parking?

8th & 9th Streets are proposed as one-way streets with bike lanes. That sounds good. But it comes with a 30% reduction of parking on those streets. That sounds bad.

The L Street Linear Park Petition – over 1,000 names so far

James Becker and Patricia Cambianica have been collecting signatures of people in favor of the L Street Linear Park. As of May 9, 2023, they have gathered over 715 people's names. At the March 14, 2023, meeting of the Arcata Planning Commission, Jim showed the commissioners just what these signatures look like. 

Draft Gateway Plan WordCloud

Which words are repeated hundreds of times in the draft Gateway plan? And which words are conspicuous by their absence? Hint: You won't find the word "sun" or "sunshine" there. Or "solar shade" or "solar shadow" either. There are over 28,000 words in this document. "House" and "Home" do not appear even once.

City’s Open House “Engagement Report” is finally (almost) here

Is this really the Community Engagement Report? The one we've been waiting FIVE -- no make it SIX -- months for? It's supposed to be a summary of what Arcatans want. Oh well. There's no Summary, no compilation of what people have said. Do we want 8-Story apartment buildings in the Gateway area? It still might be a while before we find out -- from official sources -- what the community wants. Unless, that is, we already know.

Petition to establish the L Street Linear Park

A citizens' petition to permanently establish the L Street corridor as a Linear Park, creating a walkable quiet open space running the length of the Gateway area.

Steve Railsback – Times Standard opinion – December 8, 2021

Dr. Steve Railsback points out 5 major questions with the draft Gateway plan. A thoughtful and concise summation. From December, 2021.

71 through 80

The Village Project: What went wrong?

Arcata's Village project was stalled in public comment for almost 2 years. A year after it was eventually approved, the developers withdrew. What went wrong?

Bad Stop-Sign news from City Engineer Netra Khatri — and how to create a positive outcome

Utilizing stop signs to regulate vehicle speeds and create traffic calming and pedestrian safety are the prescription that the Transportation Safety Committee and the Planning Commission have asked for. But City Engineer Netra Khatri is telling us that those stop signs might not be so easy to put in.

The Draft Gateway Area Plan – July 2023 – Version 3

The July 11, 2023, 3rd draft of the "Draft Gateway Area Plan." In chapters for easy viewing. Also includes the 2nd draft from October 2022, and the 1st draft, from December 2021.

Steve Salzman: Let’s answer the basic questions first

Arcata resident, retired professional engineer, and former Greenway Partners partner Steve Salzman asked some basic questions in March, 2022.  What happened to the public input element of Planwest's Scope of Work? Why are we working on an Area Plan before updating the General Plan? How much additional wastewater treatment capacity will be required, how much will it cost and how will it be paid for? Sea Level Rise:  Update the Local Coastal Plan based on the most recent and relevant scientific studies and planning efforts.

Traffic Studies, Anyone?

We've been promised to see Traffic Studies for getting close to a year. Do they exist? Have they been started? Can we see them? What is going on?

Organic Food Waste: It’s very considerate of people….

"It's very considerate of people to separate their trash." Perhaps require new construction to accommodate or have collection services for food-waste -- as is done in Korea currently.

The Five Biggest Myths of the Gateway Plan

It’s fun to talk about dreams. The Gateway Plan has lots of goals. It’s aspirational. But I’m a pragmatist. I want to talk about dreams that can really happen. Arcata needs housing. We know that. Maybe the Gateway Plan could provide an answer.

Transportation Safety Committee Chair says: Our Linear Park recommendation is not accurately shown in the Gateway draft plan

“Revise circulation plan to eliminate L Street as being considered for new streets and car traffic. This area is recommended to become a car-free linear park that prioritizes people.”  ***** There have been questions raised whether this draft accurately or adequately reflects our recommendation regarding L St being designated a linear park.

The Gateway Plan Advisory Committee: Why it’s crucial

If the City Council chooses to go forward without the formation of this Advisory Committee, the completion of a good Gateway plan is, in my view, doomed to fail. Sorry to say that, but it’s sure how it seems to me.

David Loya once again dismisses the Transportation Safety Committee’s recommendation: “Removal of couplet in favor of a linear park through the L St corridor”

David Loya dismisses the Transportation Safety Committee's input in a major way -- yet again. Arcata's Community Development Director David Loya has inadequately, inaccurately, or in a diminished fashion presented recommendations from the Transportation Safety Committee to the Planning Commission. It is evident from past manipulations of the Transportation Safety Committee's recommendations that Director Loya cannot be trusted to convey information from the Committee.

81 through 90

Density Guide for Housing Types

A density guide that shows the variety of types of housing that is suitable for different density levels.  Which types would be suitable for Arcata?

Are you a Bicyclist? Some questions for you.

New proposed bike lanes for K & L Streets and for 8th & 9th Streets. Could we do without a K Street bike lane and instead keep L Street bikeable, walkable, and protected from vehicle traffic?

Humboldt Association of Realtors: Let’s see some ownership opportunities

Letter from the Humboldt Association of Realtors requesting at least a 10% requirement of owner-occupied units to the Arcata Gateway Plan. 

What is the financial impact of Gateway development?

What's the fiscal aspect of development in the Gateway area? What will be the changes to Arcata's over-stretched Police & Fire Departments? Who will pay for it? Will the City be running at a deficit in 10 years?

Humor of the Day: “Always do your best”

Always do your best, and don't ever give up. Right?

David Loya on Affordable Housing – May 9, 2023 staff report to the Planning Commission

Affordable Housing, Home Ownership, and Gentrification were featured topics for discussion at the May 9, 2023, Planning Commission meeting.  But there was no discussion of affordable housing or home-ownership opportunities at that Planning Commission meeting.  No discussion at all -- just a staff report on this crucial topics. **** This is that staff report -- with COMMENTARY.

With Spears from all Sides

The Huaorani are an ancient tribe whose survival is threatened by American oil development in the Ecuadorian Amazon. They endured missionary zeal, corporate encroachment, and American environmentalist campaigns claiming to represent their interests. Then the Huaorani tried to save themselves.

Gateway Maps: Historical Structures

Aerial image from 7th Street, looking north. The point-of-view is from a spot above the current Amerigas site. All the blocks to the left (west) of K Street are part of the Gateway area. According to the December 2021 Draft Plan, six-story apartments could be built across the street from these homes.

Open House – Survey Results [This is Satire!]

The Open House for the Draft Gateway Area Plan was January 21 & 22 -- FOUR MONTHS ago. Here are the results from hundreds of comments and feedback from Arcata's citizens.

91 through 99

Prefab Tiny Homes in Villages all over U.S.

The Everett, Washington-based company "Pallet" is making $7,500 prefab tiny homes that can be setup in 1 hour to help solve the homelessness crisis. Its smallest $7,500 64-square-foot unit "Pallet 64" is now being used in villages across the US.

“Housing Units” and “Housing Density” – Why these are terrible ways to measure housing success

To regard a three-bedroom apartment in the same way — as one “housing unit” — and equal to a studio apartment is just engineering-thinking. Instead, count the bedrooms. Count the number of people — adults and children — who might be living there. Homes are for people. Let’s not forget that.

The Form-Based Code – draft from Ben Noble, June 5, 2023

This is the initial draft of the Form-Based Code for the Gateway Area Plan, as delivered from the City's consultant Ben Noble. Dated June 5, 2023. This entire Form-Based Code draft is 58 pages.

Former Arcata Mayor Susan Ornelas says: Let’s create opportunities for Home Ownership

Susan Ornelas served on Arcata's City Council for eleven consecutive years, from 2008 through March, 2020. She was Mayor of Arcata in 2011 and 2017. Among Susan's concerns for the future of Arcata's citizens is the difficulty for younger people to buy a home. "We know when people own a home in a town, they are more likely to volunteer for City boards, school boards, PTAs, as sports coaches for their kids, etc. Home ownership helps to create the kind of town we all want to live in!"

Letters to the Planning Commission — April 12, 2022

The Community Development Staff packet for the April 12, 2022 Planning Commission meeting had correspondence received by the City about the Gateway plan. Some letters were over 4 months old, not previously available to the public or the Commission.

K Street / L Street Couplet Decision: A letter from August 16th, 2022 — one year ago.

Excerpt from a letter from Fred Weis to the Arcata City Council.  August 16th, 2022 -- prior to the joint CC/Planning Commission study session on August 23rd, 2022 -- ONE YEAR AGO. At that meeting very little was accomplished. The Transportation Safety Committee was asked to revisit their firm recommendation to ELIMINATE the couplet.

Other work Ben Noble has done? It’s not a good situation.

Arcata's consultant on the Form-Based Code, Ben Noble, and top City Staff have been unwilling or unable to provide suitable examples of his work. Why is the public being stonewalled? Is there something to hide?

Sea Level Rise presentation to Council and PlanCom — Tuesday, March 28th

The long-anticipated panel presentation on Sea Level Rise took place on March 28, 2023, as a joint City Council / Planning Commission Study Session. This article contains a list of pertinent questions, a listing of the contents of the video, and the full 2-1/2 hour video.

David Loya on Home Ownership – May 9, 2023

As David Loya puts it: The Gateway Area Plan has three primary means for increasing ownership opportunities. First, as the unit count in the area increases to meet the housing needs of the rental sector, new units with comparable rents to bedrooms in single-family homes that are older will attract the current market sector renting single-family homes. The single-family housing stock currently in the student housing market will become less attractive as an investment asset, and those homes will open to the for-sale market.