The now-vacated Apostolic Faith Church at 272 Harris Street in Eureka. | Photos by Andrew Goff.


A local doctor wants to develop an abandoned Eureka church property into a project that would deliver two of the community’s top priorities: housing and medical care facilities.

It may look like a bell tower but this is actually a 60-foot cell phone tower, erected by Verizon in 2009.

Dr. Deepak Stokes, an OB-GYN currently working with Providence Medical Group, has requested a zoning change and general plan amendment that would allow for construction of a multi-use development including eight two-story townhomes – for a total of 16 new housing units – plus a rural health care facility offering urgent care, women’s health services, primary care and more, according to tentative plans submitted to the city.

The 1.01-acre parcel, which is currently home to a vacated Apostolic church with a parking lot and a detached five-car garage, occupies the northern section of a block on Harris Street between Williams and D streets, near Henderson Center.

The land has a land-use designation of Low Density Residential, but Stokes has asked the city to convert it to Neighborhood Commercial and to change the zoning to Henderson Center, which is a mixed-use designation that allows for multi-family housing, medical facilities and commercial offices.

“It’s awesome that they want to do housing on there, but [the project] is still in the very early stages,” said Millisa Smith, an assistant planner with the City of Eureka. 

The city recently issued a notification to neighboring property owners informing them about the rezoning request and offering a broad overview of Dr. Stokes’s plans. 

According to Smith, Stokes hopes to set up a rural health care clinic in the church’s 5,285-square-foot basement with more medical offices upstairs, including medical spa facilities offering plastic surgery, injections, laser treatment, massage and esthetician services. 

Calls to Dr. Stokes’s Eureka office were not returned by publication time. 

The development will require compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and so an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) is being prepared. Smith said that document should be posted publicly later this month.

From there the project must head to the Eureka Planning Commission for a public hearing, and the City Council will need to hold at least two public hearings of its own – one to approve the environmental documentation and another to approve the general plan amendment and zoning change.

Smith said the “very tentative” timeline calls for those latter hearings to take place in June.