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.
The draft plan being promoted features putting a truck-route thoroughfare in the L Street corridor — right where we now have street fairs and children's circus performances. That would be semi-trucks in the heart of the Creamery District, 6 feet away from the cherished pathway now there. The quiet refuge in the middle of Arcata would be gone.
Six-story buildings could be built next to someone's home or next to Portuguese Hall — right smack on the property line. Six stories, straight up. And yet the plan allows a block-size spread of two-story structures with nothing but micro-studios and one-bedrooms, all renting for prices higher than we've ever seen. Two stories in the Gateway doesn't give enough housing density needed for public transit expansion and community involvement.
In cities and towns of every size, three- and four-story buildings have proven to create the balance of housing density and human scale that we're seeking here. At Arcata's open house meetings a year and a half ago, 97 percent of the people who responded said they wanted a four-story cap on building height.
Fed up with the nonsense? I am. Come to the arcata1.com website to learn more. And contact our city councilmembers to let them know that this mangled draft of a Gateway Plan is simply not good enough for the people of Arcata.
Fred Weis, Arcata