ACRH Planning Statement

Our Purpose

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

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 nor the community at large. 

Immediate Next Steps

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 have made tremendous progress through our efforts at planning commission.  As we approach a vote at City Council, we are seeking continued public comment from our membership as Council reviews AMCAL’s revised project, HSU’s role in the project, and the project’s impact on Arcata.  Please visit our calendar page to identify information on upcoming City Council Meetings.

Longer Term Actions

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.    

Aim Statement

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.