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Selected Letters and Articles from the Community

To view all letters from members of our community, click or press here.

Selected New Letters

Fred Weis — August 21, 2023 — Planwest 3D Massing Diagrams are missing

The "Gateway Area Form-Based Code Enhanced Content & Outreach" contract amendment with Planwest was approved eight months ago. The "Plan Area Massing Diagram" would be especially useful at this time, as we are discussing massing and building heights. This is where a 3D image really is needed. What have we received, after eight months? Nothing.

Fred Weis – July 25, 2013 – The Community Development Director wastes our time

The Gateway Plan is still a long way away from being adopted -- and whether or not it will provide an actual pathway toward the creation of housing remains to be seen. 

Sherri Starr — Tuesday, August 22, 2023 — Please consider form-based code for specific blocks, especially alongside the L...

Please consider form-based code for specific blocks, especially alongside the L St path. Please zone appropriately for this small town. Please respect existing homes’ right to solar access when setting standards for setbacks and step-backs. Please insist that Staff provide us with the 3D modeling that has been paid for. --- Keep in mind - zoning doesn’t get housing built. Favorable economic conditions gets housing built. No matter how easy you think zoning will make development, if developers can’t make money on their development, they won’t build.

Nick Lucchesi — August 23, 2023 — The creation of two Arcatas, the project risks failure

I’m absolutely against the unfairness and elitism of keeping part of it the way it is and delegating the housing solution to our area over here. Mostly, I don’t think it’s going to be successful, and I do wish it success. I see no recognition of the idea that the city should offer choices of living conditions across the spectrum of incomes and desires. The project runs the risks failure if it builds only one type of home and tries to engineer how people live. This has been a failure over and over in the world. Under current conditions, the project were approved tomorrow, no developer would take the chance at market homes or rentals the way it is currently configured, unless it was subsidized housing.

Christine Perry – July 27, 2023 – New 11th Street apartments will look into my windows

"Being a survivor of sexual assault, I am absolutely terrified about strangers being able to look at me so closely (ten feet away) at all times. There is not a single one of you or them that would be okay with this happening to your/their families privacy and safety, I guarantee it. I am literally begging the council to please step in to help find a compromise that will benefit everyone. Prove to us that all community members matter."

Melanie Bright – July 20, 2023 – Alex Stillman needs to fully recuse herself on the Gateway Plan

"I appreciate that the council, particularly Sarah, asked Alex to refrain from commenting on the GAP during the active discussion around GAP, however after the GAP section of the meeting had ended and the Council went on to other business, Alex still voiced her support of high rises (clearly referencing the GAP). Alex needs to understand what recusal actually means and refrain from voicing opinions about the GAP during formal meetings."

Diane Ryerson – July 11, 2023 – Remove K-L Couplet, Support for 4 stories, 50% low-income housing

I urge you to reconsider the K and L streets couplet and recommend to city staff and city council: (1) designation of the L street corridor as a full-width linear park, and (2) consideration of the full range of alternatives to increase K street safety as a two-way street.

Lisa Pelletier – July 17, 2023 – Yes to a car-free linear park! No to K-L couplet

To date, over 950 people have signed the petition to create a car‐free linear park along L Street, yet our voices aren't being heard. We want it to be car‐free linear park with no truck route running alongside it, as that would destroy the tranquility and beauty of this park and arts district beloved by so many. We love this peaceful oasis with the L Street linear path running through it ‐ perfect for walking, biking, skating ‐ and want to preserve it for future generations to enjoy.

Selected Letters from the Community

Andrea Tuttle letter from February 2022 — now 15 months later

READ THIS LETTER ! Arcata resident Andrea Tuttle Ph.D. environmental planning, former Director Calif Dept. Forestry (CDF), past Calif Coastal Commission & North Coast Water Quality Control Board, principal consultant State Senate.

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. **

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.

Playhouse Arts – April 4, 2022

The proposed development currently titled “The Gateway Project” would be closely adjacent to, and thus materially impactful on an existing arts neighborhood, The Creamery District”, that is inclusive of the offices and performance space of Arcata’s Local Arts Agency (Playhouse Arts) and a number of other longstanding and culturally storied structures and institutions. As such, it is critical that any new development in this area be planned and designed with careful consideration of aesthetic and logistical implications regarding the surrounding space and the community that occupies and frequents it. Failure to do so could result in the dilution (and potentially dissolution) of some of the place-based traditions and practices that help to make Arcata and Humboldt worthy of investment in the first place.

What is the future of the Gateway Plan? "Crystal Ball" letters from early 2022.

Fred Weis – May 24, 2022

A letter to David Loya introducing His response at that time: "Hi Fred, sounds like a cool project. I appreciate your critical thinking and clearly identifying the difference between facts and opinions. That is a rare quality in today’s environment globally!" -- Points and opinions: This plan will not pass in 2022. -- There's a bind in that the Form-Based code is key to all of this. The PC and public may want to go over the Form-Based code for months. -- I think full ministerial review [i.e zoning admin review] will never be accepted. -- I've been confused by the 3,500 figure. Yes, as you have said, it is mathematically possible. But, to me, it looks like developing the Opportunity Zones for that quantity might be a 50-year build-out, or even longer. Why not present what a 15- or 20-year build-out scenario might look like?

Elly Roversi — February 4, 2022

While we are on the topic of 7 stories, I am also concerned about the whole look and feel of Arcata as a small town. We walked by the Jacoby Store House, we walked by the new construction going in. Again, I know we need housing, and I did hear you about some design ideas to help some of these building feel less looming, but I guess I’m just not fully convinced this is the look and feel of Arcata. Do not throw out the baby with the bath water.

Specific letters from local organizations

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. 

Letters and Articles in the local media

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.

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.

A synopsis of Gateway: Letter to the Northcoast Journal

Arcata’s Gateway Plan seeks to provide dense in-town housing to make for a walkable, vibrant community. It promises affordable housing for people of all income ranges. Home ownership opportunities. Open spaces for walking, meeting, biking, and fun. But the current draft plan doesn’t deliver on what it proposes. Housing that’s affordable for working Arcatans and opportunities to build wealth by owning, not renting? In the current draft plan there are no valid mechanisms to make this happen.