Eureka Council Considers High-Priced Agenda

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A weighty $2 million in decisions are coming before the Eureka City Council today, including a proposed payout, a development loan and whether to sign on to certain conditions in exchange for funds to build a new Sequoia Park Zoo project.

But before diving into the regular agenda, the council will meet in a special 4 p.m. session to discuss the future of waterfront parcels that run from C Street to F Street. Described in the staff report as historically serving as “Eureka’s front door,” the properties were the subject of a 2015 design charrette and a market feasibility study.

Three options for the land’s developments — which staff emphasizes is inhibited by restrictive zoning that is currently in the laborious process of being updated — include a retail/residential development, a 100-room hotel and restaurant or a mixture of the previous two.

Staff recommends “pursuing a scaled-back version of Option 1, which could evolve into the realization of Option 3” while bringing in elements from community input at the charrette, including green space and a waterfront park. Read more on the options here.

$100K chamber payout: Staff recommends the city “compensate” the Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce to the tune of $100,000 after the business organization signaled its intent to end a longstanding agreement between the entities for its Broadway location.

Long story short, the city owns the property but the chamber paid for the office’s construction and 60 years of upkeep and pays no rent. Under an agreement dating back to 1957, the city gains ownership of the building when the lease ends in 2033 and the chamber is seeking the $100,000 as a buyout for its remaining 15 years on the books, which would allow the city to sell or rent out the property.

According to the staff report, the current value of the land and structure is around $460,000 with a rental value of $3,136 a month.

Meanwhile, the chamber is looking to establish a business Incubator facility in the downtown area that would include its office as well as a “multi-purpose business training center, flex-workspace, incubator, and co-working space,” the agenda states.

The move comes one year after the chamber’s decades-long role of providing visitor’s center services for the city came to an end.

Danco loan: The council will also look at loaning Danco $250,000 to put toward a senior affordable housing development project for sites at Seventh Street and Myrtle Avenue and on Sixth Street.

According to the agenda, the council selected Danco to develop the $7.8 million project with 36 units for low-income seniors in December, along with approving a $377,500 loan for purchasing the parcels.

The agenda item states the combined $627,500 loan to Danco would come “with a term of 55 years at 3 percent interest, with repayment from residual receipts, with the city in second lien position on title.”

After Danco received additional funds to put toward a separate veterans housing complex on Fourth Street, the company withdrew a request for city monies for that project and asked to have that amount be put toward the senior housing development, according to the agenda summary.

Canopy Walk MOU: The council will consider entering into a memorandum of understanding with the Eureka Lodging Alliance and Humboldt Lodging Alliance for “funding and construction of the Redwood Canopy Walk at the Sequoia Park Zoo.”

The MOU would see the city pledge to met certain conditions for the project in exchange for grants of $1 million from the ELA and $500,000 from the HLA, including a spring 2020 deadline for completing the walkway some 60- to 95-feet up in the zoo’s redwood trees.

The city would front the cost with the ELA and HLA reimbursements being made in installments based on construction invoices, according to the MOU.

In other business, the council will consider inviting eight cannabis business to begin the conditional use permit process and approving a one-year exclusive right to negotiate agreement with Travis and Stephanie Schneider, who have proposed developing an upscale RV park and mixed-use development on what is known as the Samoa Bridge Properties.

The 6 p.m. meeting takes place at city hall, 531 K St., in Eureka. See the full agenda here

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