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Saturday, February 4, 2023

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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.

“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

David Loya on Supply and Demand

David Loya speaks at the Feb 12 2022 Planning Commission on housing supply and demand. "So the way that we add equity into our community... is by increasing the demand."

Form-Based Code Overview

An assortment of articles on the Form-Based Code. Consultant Ben Noble's presentation -- transcription and improved audio track. MUST-SEE for an understanding of the Gateway plan.

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.

Watch the Video –Transcription of the Gateway Plan Presentation, with Comments & Opinion

WITH VIDEO -- A full transcription of the 1 hour introductory video presentation of the draft Gateway plan. With comments and opinions about misrepresentations and false information in the video.

Transcription of the Gateway Plan Presentation, with Comments & Opinion

A full transcription of the 1 hour introductory video presentation of the draft Gateway plan. With comments and opinions about misrepresentations and false information in the video.

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.

3D Modeling: We’re still waiting

We've been promised the 3D modeling for at least four or five months now. Why is it so important? Look at the pictures here and decide for yourself.

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.

Transcript and Video: June 14, 2022 — Part 1: The Process

Another contentious meeting of the Planning Commission, with David Loya openly defying the Commissioners. The change of agenda from what was previously proposed and agreed upon is not discussed.

Planwest’s schedule: We’re completely off-course

We are completely off from the Planwest schedule for the Gateway plan. Let's re-evaluate where we are, and adjust accordingly. With specific requests for what the City Council can do.

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.

Why this website exists

Why this website exists? Because this is what Ministerial Review looks like.  The data center building on 11th Street goes against everything that's important to us. No jobs, no vitality. This is the blight in Arcata

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 that so buried that it might as well not exist. Read more here.

Letter from Andrea Tuttle, Ph.D. — February 13, 2022

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.

Transcript and Video: Planning Commission meeting — May 24, 2022

Confusion and disagreement at the May 24, 2022 meeting of the Planning Commission. When will we see the Form-Based Code? Can Streetscape and Design be evaluated without it ?

Rentals Percentage in Arcata: “Do the math”

Arcata's Gateway plan could add 3,500 apartments to our town, as Cal Poly Humboldt expands. Unless more than 60% of all new apartments are owner-occupied condos, Arcatans will have small chance of owning their homes.

Transcript: Planning Commission meeting — February 8, 2022

Transcript with added commentary. Includes misguided views on the cost of housing. Public comment from Carlisle Douglas.

Transcript: Planning Commission meeting — April 12, 2022

Video of portion of the April 12, 2022 Planning Commission meeting. Vice-Chair Judith Mayer says Form-Based Code and discretionary review are not mutually exclusive, and will work hand-in-hand well together. Comments from David Loya on Form-Based Code and what went wrong with the Village project.

3D Modeling: We’re still waiting

We've been promised the 3D modeling for at least four or five months now. Why is it so important? Look at the pictures here and decide for yourself.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Letter from Nick Lucchesi – January 15, 2022

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

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?

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?

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?

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.

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.

The Gateway Plan: A modest proposal

Arcata's Gateway Plan apparently includes humor and satire in its form-based code. Who would have guessed. And... what's Life without a little levity?

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.

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.

HSU professor emeritus honored with environmental award

Bob Gearheart helped create the Arcata Marsh in 1985. Gearheart was honored with an environmental award on May 7, 2019 for his longtime work on natural treatment systems such as the Arcata Marsh. This artic;le originally appeared the Times-Standard.

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.

Woody Guthrie sings the truth

Woody Guthrie's song "Pretty Boy Floyd" contains the famous verse: "Yes, as through this world I've wandered, I've seen lots of funny men; Some will rob you with a six-gun, And some with a fountain pen."

Why this website exists

Why this website exists? Because this is what Ministerial Review looks like.  The data center building on 11th Street goes against everything that's important to us. No jobs, no vitality. This is the blight in Arcata

Planwest’s schedule: We’re completely off-course

We are completely off from the Planwest schedule for the Gateway plan. Let's re-evaluate where we are, and adjust accordingly. With specific requests for what the City Council can do.

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 that so buried that it might as well not exist. Read more here.

David Loya on Supply and Demand

David Loya speaks at the Feb 12 2022 Planning Commission on housing supply and demand. "So the way that we add equity into our community... is by increasing the demand."

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.

Affordable Housing ‘Outside the Box’

Providing housing for working-class people does not involve rocket science. Major technological breakthroughs aren't required to create low-income housing. It is a matter of national will.

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?

Transcript: Planning Commission meeting — April 12, 2022

Video of portion of the April 12, 2022 Planning Commission meeting. Vice-Chair Judith Mayer says Form-Based Code and discretionary review are not mutually exclusive, and will work hand-in-hand well together. Comments from David Loya on Form-Based Code and what went wrong with the Village project.

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?

Rentals Percentage in Arcata: “Do the math”

Arcata's Gateway plan could add 3,500 apartments to our town, as Cal Poly Humboldt expands. Unless more than 60% of all new apartments are owner-occupied condos, Arcatans will have small chance of owning their homes.

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.

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.

Facebook Conversations #1: April 9, 2022

Here are some citizens' views, as expressed on Facebook. From April 9, 2022. Tom Wheeler, Chris Richards, Aaron DeBruyn, Meredith Matthews, Bonnie Carroll, Lee Torrence.

Three things California must do to address Affordable Housing

Changing the RHNA allocation and Tax Credits could do more to help build Affordable Housing. An article from The Marin Post.

Transcript: Planning Commission meeting — February 8, 2022

Transcript with added commentary. Includes misguided views on the cost of housing. Public comment from Carlisle Douglas.

Steve Railsback – August 18, 2022 letter

EXCELLENT - A MUST READ LETTER -- "I am an Arcata resident and business license holder, and served on the Energy Task Force that preceded the permanent Energy Committee. The controversy over recusal at last night's meeting perfectly illustrates the kinds of trust issues the Plan now has. An advisory committee could make it clear to the community that key decisions are not being made behind closed doors by people with vested interests, and could turn skeptics into enthusiastic participants. Without such a committee, it's hard to see how the Plan could be anything but divisive."

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.

A reply to “Thankful to be a community partner” by Dr. Tom Jackson, Cal Poly Humboldt

Dr. Tom Jackson has been the President of Cal Poly Humboldt since May, 2019. He writes a twice-a-month letter published in the Eureka Times-Standard. Dr. Jackson may be "thankful to be a community partner" but many people here in Arcata do not see Cal Poly Humboldt as being a community "partner" at all.

Mad River Union Readers — This is your page

A special page for readers of the Mad River Union -- and a great place for all readers to learn more about the Gateway Plan. This page will be changed and updated regularly. Come back for more!