Focus on Gateway – Mad River Union

ARCATA – The public will be able to keep up to date with the status of the Gateway Area Plan (GAP) during a special presentation on Wednesday, June 29. The GAO is currently going through the city’s advisory committees and is being reviewed by the Planning Commission.

The city’s Community Development Department released the Draft Gateway Area Plan in December 2021, which provides details on how Arcata’s 138-acre Gateway Area could be redeveloped to create more opportunities. housing for the community.

The city considers the plan essential to the creation of new housing and neighborhoods in anticipation of the arrival of up to 7,000 new residents over the next 20 years. Those fleeing climate change as well as new residents associated with the Cal Poly Humboldt development are expected to further increase housing demand.

Some GAP skeptics consider the housing density and building heights allowed by the draft plan to be excessive, and question the city’s ability to accommodate development without ruining the city’s rural character. Other issues relate to utility delivery, seismic safety and sea level rise, and the appropriateness of widespread use of form-based code and ministerial approvals.

But supporters are urging the plan and requirements to be passed quickly, to encourage and incentivize eco-groovy development with streamlined approval.

Other public engagement opportunities are planned throughout the summer, including an upcoming opportunity for the public to learn more about the next steps in developing a form-based code for the Arcata walkway area.

On Wednesday, June 29 from noon to 1:30 p.m., there will be a one-hour presentation by the city’s design consultant, Ben Noble, as well as 30 minutes of general questions and answers from the audience following the presentation. The session will be held as a “meet-and-break” session and will be recorded and available on the Town’s YouTube channel and the Town’s website following the meeting.

To attend the meeting, go to, or reach by phone: 1-669-900-6833. Webinar ID: 826 1163 4660

Those unable to attend can email their comments to Community Development Manager David Loya at and copy Delo Freitas to Staff will ensure that questions submitted by June 28 are either addressed in the presentation or posed to the City Consultant during the Q&A section of the recorded session.

The draft walkway area plan will be released to the public for about a year before it can be adopted by the city council, and the public can review the draft walkway area plan with an explanatory video on the city’s website,

The first round of public meetings to discuss the content of the draft Gateway Area Plan took place between December 2021 and April 2022. Video recordings of many of these meetings, including the virtual hotel meetings of the City, the Planning Commission and the City Council, are available for viewing on the YouTube page of the City of Arcata.

Based on the engagement to date, the Community Development Department has identified common concerns related to the draft plan and created a fact sheet for the public to review, which is updated over time and available on the city’s website.

Upcoming public meetings will focus on building and neighborhood design, including building height and scale, and other topics of interest. These conversations will also allow Arcata residents to share their thoughts on the community benefits and amenities they would like to see in the Gateway Plan area.

The dates of these meetings will be communicated as they become available. Planning Commission hearings on the Gateway Area Plan are ongoing and the schedule can be viewed at

Sign up for the Long-Range Planning and Community Vision email notification list by clicking the Subscribe to Email Notifications button on the home page of the City’s website. Individuals or groups of community members interested in discussing the plan can call (707) 822-5955 to schedule a virtual or in-person meeting.

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