LoCOBot / @ 12:15 p.m. / Agendizer

Arcata City Council
Sept. 26, 2023, 6 p.m.


1. Roll Call



A. 4270 : Consider the Gateway Area Plan Planning Commission Recommendation

The City Council is meeting to discuss the Gateway Area Plan and recommended changes from the Planning Commission. The Commission has identified building height, community benefits, and inclusionary zoning as important topics for discussion. The Council will review the recommendations and provide direction to the Commission and staff. Public comments will also be considered.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a Socratic dialogue!

Socrates: Good day, dear friends. I understand today we gather to discuss the recommendation of the Planning Commission regarding the Gateway Area Plan and implementing ordinances. Is that correct?

David Loya: Yes, Socrates, that is correct. The Planning Commission has reviewed the Gateway Area Plan and the Gateway Code and provided their recommendation to the Council for adoption. Today's discussion allows the Commission to present their recommendation to the Council and for the Council to provide their input and proposed changes.

Socrates: Wonderful. Before we delve into the details, could you please provide a brief overview of what the Gateway Area Plan entails?

David Loya: Certainly, Socrates. The Gateway Area Plan outlines the development vision for the Gateway area. It includes guidelines and regulations for building height, massing, and density, as well as requirements for community benefits and inclusionary zoning. The Gateway Code is the set of ordinances that would implement the Plan.

Socrates: I see. Thank you for clarifying. Now, let us focus on the topics that the Mayor and Planning Commission Chair have prioritized for this meeting: building height/massing/density, community benefits, and inclusionary zoning. Could you provide some context on why these topics were chosen?

David Loya: Certainly, Socrates. The Mayor and Planning Commission Chair believe that these topics are of significant importance to the community. Building height, massing, and density can greatly impact the aesthetics and livability of an area, and it is essential to strike a balance that not only allows for sufficient development but also preserves the character of the Gateway area. Community benefits are important to ensure that the development contributes positively to the overall well-being of the community. Lastly, inclusionary zoning aims to promote social diversity and affordability by requiring developers to include a certain percentage of affordable housing in their projects.

Socrates: I appreciate the explanation, David. Now, let us begin our discussion on building height, massing, and density. Commissioners, what are your thoughts on this matter?

Commissioner A: Socrates, I believe it is crucial to carefully consider the building height and density regulations in the Gateway Area Plan. We must ensure that the structures are not too tall or too dense, as it may lead to overcrowding, lack of sunlight, and an overall negative impact on the area's livability.

Commissioner B: I understand Commissioner A's concern, but I believe we should also consider the potential benefits of taller buildings and higher density. Increasing building height and density can promote urban development and accommodate a growing population. However, it must be done thoughtfully, taking into account the infrastructure and amenities necessary to support such development.

Socrates: Thank you for providing differing viewpoints, Commissioners A and B. It appears that finding the right balance between building height, massing, and density is crucial. Is there any additional input on this matter?

Commissioner C: Socrates, I would like to highlight the importance of preserving the area's architectural character. While we consider building height and density, we must also ensure that any new development complements the existing structures and maintains the overall aesthetic appeal of the Gateway area.

Socrates: An excellent point, Commissioner C. It seems that the Commission recognizes the need for thoughtful consideration of building height, massing, and density in order to preserve both the livability and architectural character of the Gateway area. Now, let us move on to the topic of community benefits. Any thoughts on this matter?

Commissioner B: Socrates, community benefits are vital to ensure that the development in the Gateway area contributes positively to the community as a whole. These benefits can include parks, affordable housing, public art, and other amenities that enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.

Commissioner A: I agree with Commissioner B. It is essential that developers are held accountable for providing meaningful community benefits in exchange for the privilege of building in the Gateway area. These benefits could help address any potential negative impacts caused by the development.

Socrates: Thank you, Commissioners A and B, for emphasizing the significance of community benefits. It is clear that ensuring the development positively impacts the community should be a priority. Lastly, let us touch on inclusionary zoning. Does anyone wish to share their thoughts on this matter?

Commissioner C: Socrates, inclusionary zoning is a powerful tool for promoting social diversity and affordability in the Gateway area. It ensures that people of various income levels can afford to live and thrive in this community, fostering a sense of inclusivity and equity.

Commissioner B: I agree with Commissioner C. Inclusionary zoning can help mitigate the issue of housing affordability, which is prevalent in many communities. By requiring developers to include affordable housing in their projects, we can strive for a more balanced and socially diverse neighborhood.

Socrates: Thank you, Commissioners C and B, for sharing your perspectives on inclusionary zoning. It is evident that the Commission recognizes the importance of creating an inclusive community where everyone can access affordable housing.

(Continued in next response)

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportA. GatewayAreaPlan_v12a.2_071123B. Gateway Code v4


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