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From the City of Eureka’s Development Services Department:

Welcome to the 10th installment of our fourteen part series “Get to Know a Zone District.”  In this series, a staff-member in the Planning Division answers questions about each Zoning District in the City. This month we will be exploring one of our most special zones: HM

1.     What is HM? What does it stand for?

“HM” stands for “Hospital-Medical.”

2.     What’s it for?

It’s a special zone designed for medical uses. It exists to protect and concentrate medical uses around the hospital.

3.     Is that necessary? Give me a scenario.

Well, let’s say that you’re an orthopedic specialist and you’re looking for a space to rent. You want to be near the hospital because that is where most of your referrals come from. It would be a problem for you if all of the building suites near the hospital were taken up by non-medical related offices like attorneys, accountants, or travel agents. That’s why non-medical uses aren’t principally permitted in the zone (though some are possible with a conditional use permit).

4.     What about residential uses?

Multi-family residential is possible with a conditional use permit. Single-family isn’t permitted at all.

5.     Psssh-aww! I know like 100 people living in single-family homes in that zone! You’re saying they can’t even do that?!

We consider them legal non-conforming (“grandfathered”). In almost all cases they can live in their house, fix it up, maintain it, and pass it on to their heirs an unlimited number of times. The idea is that property owners interested in redeveloping their property into a medical office would be able to do so. Eventually, this ability will allow Eureka to expand its medical service industry.

6.     That’s cool. I heard that a lot of people work in the healthcare industry.

They do. Muchos.

7.     I’d really like to look at the City’s zoning map.

No prob.

8.     Where can I get more information about this and other zoning stuff?

The Development Services Department (and Planning Division) is open Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm (closed from noon-1:00) at City Hall. Stop by or call 441-4160 to speak with a planner.