The primary purpose of ACRH is to encourage the City of Arcata to adopt strategies and approve projects which will meet the community’s housing needs while supporting and enhancing existing neighborhoods through housing inclusivity. Our membership is diverse and has varying priorities so ACRH will take a balanced approach to find common ground supporting good planning and good projects while opposing projects which fail to optimize the City’s limited resource of buildable land.
Our immediate goal is to effectively oppose the proposed development of “The Village” on the site of the Craftsman Mall. The Village consists of two three-story and two four-story private dorms. This hotel-like dorm complex would be completely out of scale and out of character with the surrounding residential neighborhood. We believe that a more appropriate use of this large buildable piece of land would include a blend of multi-family housing (with high HSU student appeal), live/work space, plus single-family homes. The existing community fabric includes a mix of HSU students, seniors, families with children, and everyone in between. We cherish this community fabric and want a development which promotes diversity of all types including age and stage of life. ACRH and Greenway will strive to create an alternative to the Village which enhances these community features. Through exclusive student housing, the Village would increase student housing in a way which neither best serves the students or the community at large.
Build membership: Our most immediate and critical goal is to bring as much of the community as possible behind our efforts. More people means more good ideas, more passion, more political clout and, if necessary, more petition signatures and votes to overturn poor design, support good projects and establish better housing policy. Our membership is our best advertisement. Please talk to your friends and neighbors about your desire for a stronger Arcata and encourage them to sign up.
We are seeking the largest turnout of ACRH members and public who oppose The Village project at the March 27th Planning Commission Meeting. At the meeting we will present our Alternative and speak in support of it and remind the Commission that it is part of their job to not only listen to the will of the people, but to recommend a project to Council that represents the will of the people.
Just creating a viable alternative with significant community support is insufficient to stop the process and prevent ultimate adoption of an “adjusted” version of The Village project by the Council.
We anticipate that the Planning Commission will adopt the project with their recommendation to the Council. Once at the Council, the decision makers begin review of the project and open the Public Hearing process again. We encourage everyone who expressed concerns at the Planning Commission Hearings to make their statements again to the City Council.
Lastly the ACRH is considering its legal and ballot options should the Council not take any action to correct course with a blended density development that better integrates with the existing neighborhood and provides benefits to both the current and future residents alike.
Our aim with this message is to unify our membership around a well thought out and effective strategy and emphasize how important it is to BUILD MEMBERSHIP NOW and EVERY WEEK going forward. We need to demonstrate, without question, that we are organized, have a plan, and have the BIG membership numbers to execute our plan. We predict this WILL change the dynamic at the City Council level.