UPDATE, 12:36 p.m.:
Statement from Frank Whitlatch, Associate VP for Marketing & Communications at HSU:
Obviously we’re very disappointed in today’s vote by the Arcata City Council. We believe the Village Project would have provided the safe and affordable housing that our students need. We worked closely with the developer and with the City to make changes and improvements to this project, and it had the potential to both serve students and meet the needs of neighbors and the city as a whole.”
“Looking ahead, we’ll need to be creative and pursue a variety of other options. Our priority is our students, and they face a serious challenge finding suitable housing. This is impacting their educational experience and having a negative effect on our overall enrollment.
During this morning’s meeting, the Arcata City Council failed to come to a consensus about the controversial student housing project ‘The Village.’ In a vote of 2-0-2, with Sofia Pereira and Paul Pitino voting in favor of approval and Susan Ornelas and Brett Watson abstaining, a motion to proceed with the project did not pass.
Councilmember Michael Winkler, who has previously recused himself on matters pertaining to the project, was absent.
This was the sixth meeting of the Council about the project, which would have consisted of a 600-bed off-campus housing complex to be built at the Craftman’s Mall site off St. Louis Road in Arcata. The project was proposed by development company AMCAL and included a management partnership with Humboldt State University.
Councilmember Brett Watson told the Outpost that today’s vote means “the Village” project is essentially dead. If the developers want to continue pursing a housing project in that location, “They would have to start from scratch and bring new plan to the planning commission,” he said.
But, as written, ‘The Village’ project was just not something the council could agree on.
Initially, Councilmember Ornelas made a motion to approve the project in concept, but wanted HSU and the developers to modify the proposal to include family housing. Watson seconded, but they were unable to gain a third vote to pass the motion.
After the failed motion from Ornelas, Pitino moved to approved the project as proposed. He and Mayor Pereira both voted in favor and Ornelas and Wattson chose to abstain. Watson said his choice was primarily based on HSU and the developer’s lack of willingness to include family housing in the plan.
“We support housing there, we just want it to be mixed use,” Watson said.
- ‘The Village’ Student Housing Plan Will Go Before Arcata City Council Tonight and Tomorrow
- HSU Has Announced a Partnership With AMCAL on ‘The Village’ Student Housing Development
- Arcata City Council Listens to Community Members’ Thoughts on ‘The Village’ Development; Sets Public Meeting to Tour the Property
- HSU Will Host a Public Meeting to Discuss ‘The Village’ Proposal
- Arcata City Council Takes a Tour of ‘The Village’ Site, Sets Public Hearing to Further Ponder the Proposed Student Housing Development
- (VIDEO) Arcata’s Controversial ‘The Village’ Housing Project Explained
- In Open Letter to Arcata Council, Former HSU President Says Approving ‘The Village’ Student Housing Project is a ‘Moral Obligation’
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Former Arcata Mayor Urges Councilmembers to Approve ‘The Village’