The EaRTH Center gateway, pictured in a slide presented at the Feb. 9 Eureka City Council meeting.


The Eureka City Council will return to the contentious topic of parking lots next week and consider the reduction or removal of two city-owned parking lots on Third Street between G and H streets, behind Lost Coast Brewery, from the city’s Parking Assessment District (PAD) to make way for the recently approved EaRTH Center.

As detailed in the agenda summary, the PAD was created in 1954 and encompassed most of the city’s central business district. “During that time, the city council approved issuance of bonds for the acquisition and construction of off-street parking facilities, and in 1955, a bond was formally issued and the City began to acquire and develop parking lots.”

Several parking lots were constructed with the bond funds and in 1964, after eight lots were developed, the bonds were retired.

The PAD is no longer collecting assessments. However, any lot funded by the PAD must go through a public hearing process to allow for the lot to be reduced or removed by a developer.

Many downtown business owners have spoken against the development of the lot over concerns about downtown parking capacity. However, data developed in the city’s recent parking study didn’t indicate that parking is at crisis levels. As previously reported by the Outpost, in 2019 — before COVID — 13 public lots in the Old Town and downtown areas, none of which are proposed for development, had about 50 percent of their spaces available throughout the day.

The EaRTH Center – a near-acronym for Eureka Regional Transit & Housing Center – will contain an intermodal transit center and at least 31 dwelling units, with 27 of them designated for low-, very-low- and moderate-income tenants. It will have an interior courtyard, rooftop greenspace, a space for food trucks and room for new retail establishments. It is slated for completion in the fall of 2024.

The Eureka City Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 1 at 6 p.m. The agenda can be found here.