Hank Sims / @ 8:12 a.m. / Agendizer

The Long-Delayed Final Decision on the Big Westwood Garden Apartments Project Should Come at Tonight’s Arcata City Council Meeting

File photo.

If all goes according to plan, the Arcata City Council will finally give its final thumbs-up or thumbs-down — or, actually, something between those two options — to the expansion of the Strombeck family’s Westwood Garden Apartments.

The project, which was approved by the city’s Planning Commission back in October, would add 102 new housing units to the existing complex off Alliance Road, at a time when Arcata, generally, is hungry and desperate to build. But some current residents of the complex — including recent council candidate Raelina Krikston — argue that the commission’s approval was inappropriate on a number of grounds, including “false information” presented to commissioners. So they’ve appealed the commission’s decision to the City Council, and after a few twists and turns the council is finally hearing it.

Find Krikston’s full appeal, along with other documents relating to the case, under item 11(C), below.

What else? The City Council will pick two new planning commissioners. Actually, they’re having a special meeting at 5:15 p.m. — see that agenda here — in which they’ll be interviewing four candidates for the position. Then they’ll pick as many as two of them during this agenda.

The Arcata City Council meets at 6 p.m. (actually, 5:15 p.m. — see above!) at Arcata City Hall. That’s 736 F Street.


Arcata City Council
Jan. 4, 2023, 6 p.m.




A. Roll Call




7. N/A


A. Minutes of Dec 15, 2022 6:00 PM

B. Minutes of Dec 21, 2022 6:00 PM

C. 4072 : Bi-Weekly Report on Disbursements.

The City Council is presented with a report on disbursements for the period December 11-23, 2022. The report lists the checks and payments that have been made and the Finance Director has certified that they conform to the adopted budget. The City Council must approve the disbursements to make them official.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a conversation between two very stoned people named Starfish and Noodles!

Starfish: Hey Noodles, did you hear about the City Council meeting?

Noodles: No, what's up?

Starfish: Apparently, they're voting on a bi-weekly report on disbursements.

Noodles: Wow, that sounds intense. What's it about?

Starfish: It's about approving the disbursements listing for the period December 11, 2022, through December 23, 2022. The Finance Director has certified that the disbursements were drawn in payment of demands conforming to the adopted budget.

Noodles: Wow, that's kinda cool. So they're making sure they're spending money the right way?

Starfish: Exactly! I think it's great that they're being responsible with their spending.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportCash Disbursements 12.29.2022

D. 4069 : Adopt Ordinance No. 1562, An Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Arcata Amending the Arcata Municipal Code Title X, Chapter 3, Regulations for Use of the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, to Update Overnight Time Restrictions; Waive Reading of the Text and Consent to Read by Title Only.

The City of Arcata is considering a policy change to restrict motorized vehicle access and overnight use at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWS) from one hour after sunset to sunrise. This policy change is intended to protect wildlife and marsh habitats, as well as provide a consistent set of operating hours with other City parks and facilities. The City Council is set to discuss and vote on this policy on January 4, 2023.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a Robert Burns poem!

O’er the Arcata Marsh, a sheltering sight
That brings us closer tae Nature's delight
To keep our wildlife safe in the night
We must amend regulations tae set things right

We'll close the gates one hour after sundown
And open them when the sun comes around
These changes we must make, ne'er to abound
To protect our birds an' wildlife abound

We must ensure our Marsh is secure
And keep it safe for us tae explore
For our safety and the wildlife's more
We must make these changes to no more ignore.

Let us protect the Marsh and its grandeur
From harmful activities, let us be sure
That it's a place of peace and beauty evermore
That all can enjoy, forevermore.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportArcata Marsh Gate Closure Times Ordinance for 1_4_23

E. 4071 : Authorize the City Manager to Sign a Letter of Funding Commitment for the Humboldt County Edible Food Recovery Program.

The City Council is being asked to approve the signing of a letter of funding commitment for the Humboldt County Edible Food Recovery Program, which would help divert edible food from landfills to feed those in need. The program would be administered by Humboldt County with support from local jurisdictions, and the City of Arcata would contribute $16,545.53 towards the program, which would span between FY 2022/2023 and FY 2023/2024.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a movie trailer!

Voiceover: In a world where food insecurity is a growing problem, one city is taking a stand.

Arcata, California is leading the way in fighting this issue with the Humboldt County Edible Food Recovery Program.

In order to comply with Senate Bill 1383, the city has committed to rescue 20 percent of currently disposed edible food.

[Cut to clips of various characters, including the Mayor, Emily Sinkhorn, Director of Environmental Services, and members of the City Council.]

Mayor: We cannot ignore the food waste crisis any longer. It is time to take action and make a difference.

Emily Sinkhorn: We have to come together to address this issue and save as much edible food as possible.

[Cut to clips of people collecting and sorting food for the food recovery program.]

Voiceover: With the help of local non-profits, businesses, and generous funding, the City of Arcata is working hard to make a difference.

[Cut to clips of people enjoying the food that has been recovered.]

Voiceover: Join the fight against food insecurity and see the difference that can be made.

[Cut to clip of Arcata City

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportDraft Edible Food Recovery Program Manager Cost Share Letter-Arcata




A. Appoint up to Two New Members to the Planning Commission for Terms Expiring March 31, 2025.

B. 4048 : Consider a Partial or Full Refund to the Appellant of the Westwood Garden Apartments Development Appeal Fee.

A tenant of a multi-family complex has requested a refund of the fee paid for their appeal to the City Council of the Planning Commission's approval of the Westwood Garden Apartments Development. The current fee is $1,867.38 and the City Council has the authority to decide whether some or all of this fee should be refunded. The appeal fee covers the cost of bringing the appeal to hearing, including noticing and other fixed costs, as well as staff time.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a Twitter thread!


The City of Arcata is considering a request to refund the appeal fee paid by an appellant in the Westwood Garden Apartments Development appeal process. A tenant of the existing multi-family complex filed the appeal requesting the Council reconsider a Planning Commission approval. #WestwoodGarden #Arcata #CityCouncil #CityPlanning #Development

The appeal has been filed in accordance with the policy stated in the City’s Land Use Code section 9.76.030. The current fee as established by the City Fee Resolution is $1,867.38 and the appellant paid the fee in full. #Fee #AppealFee #Payment #FeeResolution

The Council has the authority to refund a portion, or all of the appeal fee submitted for the hearing. Fixed costs for noticing, copying, and postage paid by the City for this appeal to date total approximately $350. #AppealFee #Fee #Council #Authority #FixedCosts

If the Council were to refund all of the appeal fee, the City would be responsible for covering the cost of bringing the appeal to hearing, including noticing and other fixed costs, as well as staff time. #Fee

— LoCOBot


Staff Report

C. 4046 : Consider an Appeal of the Planning Commission’s Approval of the Westwood Garden Apartments Multifamily Project Located at 2351 Westwood Court.

A Westwood Garden Apartment Project is being proposed for the City of Arcata. The City Council must decide whether to approve or deny the appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision to approve the project. The Council must listen to the appellant's presentation and consider the project proponent's response before making their decision. The Council may also modify the approval but must base their decision on Findings of Fact.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a Socratic dialogue!

Socratic Dialogue:

Socrates: So, what is the purpose of this city council meeting?

David Loya: We are here to consider an appeal of the Planning Commission's approval of the Westwood Garden Apartments Multifamily Project.

Socrates: Who is the appellant?

David Loya: The appellant is an aggrieved person who appeared at the public hearing in connection with the decision being appealed.

Socrates: What are the appellant's grounds for the appeal?

David Loya: The appellant has raised several issues concerning the Commission's approval, including the amount of private recreation area and yard setbacks through the Planned Development Permit process.

Socrates: What are the options available to the City Council in terms of the appeal?

David Loya: The City Council can either affirm, affirm in part, or reverse the Planning Commission's Approval. The Council can also refer the matter to any applicable review authority for further consideration, or make decisions based on new information presented during the appeal.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportAppealAdopted Planning Commission ActionStaff Report







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