Plans for the Arcata Community Health Center on Foster and Sunset Avenues. | From the City of Arcata


After a slight delay, the Arcata Community Health Center project — a new clinic proposed by Open Door Community Health Centers for the vacant lot at Sunset and Foster Avenues — will again go before the Arcata Planning Commission for review at tonight’s meeting.

The commission’s finalization of the Environmental Impact Report on the project had been postponed after the historic preservation officers from the Wiyot Tribe, Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria, and the Blue Lake Rancheria requested a meeting with city staff about the potential archaeological impacts of construction at the site. Although multiple studies done on the site for other projects had revealed no artifacts or archaeological resources, the tribal historic preservation officers were concerned about the excavation depth planned for this project. 

According to the staff report, city staff consulted with the officers and reached an agreement that the project can proceed under the condition that an approved cultural resource monitor be present for all groundbreaking activities.

From the city staff report:

The property owner or applicant shall retain a qualified cultural resource monitor approved by the Wiyot Tribe, Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria, and the Blue Lake Rancheria to monitor all ground disturbing activities related to this project site.               

Applicant shall contact the three Tribal Historic Preservation Officers or their functional equivalent to set up and implement cultural monitoring contract when a construction schedule has been determined. Advanced coordination with the qualified cultural monitor is required. The applicant shall provide the Arcata Community Development Department written verification for compliance with this Condition.

Arcata Health Center Project Manager Laura Kadlecik told the Outpost in a interview a couple of weeks ago that this type of “cultural monitoring agreement” is a common condition for development projects but had not been initially included in this project agreement.

Assuming the planning commission approves the EIR, design permit and development permit, the project will go before the Arcata City Council for approval. Kadlecik told the Outpost that Open Door is hoping site work can start this July or August and the building construction can begin in Spring of 2021.


In other business, the Planning Commission will discuss increasing the cap on the number of cannabis use permits in Arcata’s cannabis innovation zone. According to the staff report, the number of permits is currently capped at 20 and 16 have been issued.  Staff is proposing to either increase or suspend the cap and plans to bring the item before the city council in March.

The Arcata Planning Commission meets Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m at Arcata City Hall — 736 F Street.

You can view the full agenda here.