Hank Sims / @ 11:15 a.m. / Agendizer

Eureka City Government Moves to Acquire Still Another Piece of Land for Proposed Bay-to-Zoo Trail

Location of the parcel in question, the possible city acquisition of which will be discussed at tonight’s Planning Commission meeting.




A few months ago, the city of Eureka started working in earnest on the next big piece of trailwork it hopes to install — the so-called “Bay to Zoo” trail, which would run from the Burre Center, near the current terminus of the Waterfront Trail — all the way up the gulches to the Sequoia Park Zoo. The trail pass within a biscuit-toss of Zane Middle School, Washington Elementary and the hospital, and would end not so far from the trails that the county is building through the McKay Tract. 

The city is currently planning to break ground on the project in 2026. Before that, it has to do a lot of planning work, secure grant funding and — maybe most importantly, or stickily — acquire property and/or easements from current landowners along the right-of-way.

In February, the city did just that, snatching up a five-acre parcel at 1429 Sunny Avenue that had been foreclosed upon for $337,000. Tonight, the Eureka Planning Commission will be asked to give its stamp of approval to the acquisition of another parcel, right next door, which is currently owned by Betty and (the late) Floyd Squires.

If the city moves forward, the new parcel will close the trail gap between 1429 Sunny and another city-owned piece of land, one that will be home to a future Linc Housing project.

From the staff report:

The subject property is also adjacent to City-owned 1310 Myrtle Avenue to the north, which is the site of the Sunny and Myrtle Linc Housing project; but, because the subject property is mainly comprised of low-lying land (associated with Second Slough), the intended use of the property would primarily be for required mitigation to compensate for wetland impacts resulting from development of the Bay to Zoo Trail, and/or other City projects. Any upland area would most likely be used for City facilities or projects in the future.

What’s the Planning Commission’s role in this? Basically, it is just being asked to confirm that the proposed acquisition complies with state environmental law and the city’s general plan.

Do you have thoughts? Would you like to hear more! The Eureka Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. tonight in Eureka City Hall — 531 K Street, Eureka. Full agenda — pretty light one, this week — below.

Eureka Planning Commission
May 8, 2023, 5:30 p.m.




1. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes


Meeting Minutes




1. Morton and Katelman Vacation Rental Location: 3539 J Street APN:011-222-018, -016 Project: Minor Use Permit MUP-22-0014

The Planning Commission is reviewing an application for a vacation rental at 3539 J Street. The proposed use is a vacation rental with no proprietor on-site and will require a Minor Use Permit. The property owner is proposing to utilize an existing single-family residence as the vacation rental. The project is consistent with the General Plan and Zoning Code. The site is suitable, compatible with existing and planned land uses in the area, and will not be detrimental to public health, safety, and welfare. The property is properly located and adequately served. The project is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act. Public notification was provided to surrounding property owners and a public hearing is scheduled to be held. The Assistant Planner responsible for the project can be contacted for more information.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a Funkadelic song!

Verse 1:
Lance Morton and Tracy Katelman
Got a plan, gonna make it their own
A vacation rental on J Street
No proprietor, no need to meet and greet

MUP-22-0014, Minor Use Permit
Gonna hold a public hearing, gonna go with it
CEQA exempt, no need to worry
Gonna adopt that resolution in a hurry

Verse 2:
The site map shows the property clear
A single-family residence with no fear
Surrounded by homes in a low-density zone
Vacation rentals with no proprietors, welcome home

MUP-22-0014, Minor Use Permit
Gonna hold a public hearing, gonna go with it
CEQA exempt, no need to worry
Gonna adopt that resolution in a hurry

Verse 3:
The city’s regulations, they will be met
Utility services won’t be a threat
Neighbors will be notified, emergency contact provided
Safety and welfare, they’ll never be divided

MUP-22-0014, Minor Use Permit
Gonna hold a public hearing, gonna go with it
CEQA exempt, no need to worry
Gonna adopt that resolution in a hurry

Verse 4:
Recreation opportunities close at hand
Carson Park, Downtown, and Old Town demand
No need to expand, no need to trek
Existing facilities, that’s what we’ll select

MUP-22-0014, Minor Use Permit
Gonna hold a public hearing, gonna go with it
CEQA exempt, no need to worry
Gonna adopt that resolution in a hurry

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportAttachment 1 - ResolutionAttachment 2 - Survey Map



1. Sunny Avenue Acquisition No. 2 Location: East side of Sunny Avenue, approximately 155 feet south of Myrtle Avenue; APN:

The City of Eureka is planning to buy a 2.1-acre property on Sunny Avenue for the development of the Bay-to-Zoo Trail. The property is mostly low-lying wetlands and may be used for required mitigation, while the upland area may be used for City facilities in the future. The acquisition of the property is in line with the City’s 2040 General Plan and will benefit the community with increased walking, biking, and transit access. The acquisition is exempt from further environmental review. The Planning Commission recommends that the City Council adopts a resolution finding the acquisition conforms with the City’s General Plan.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a romance story!

As Caitlin Castellano, the Senior Planner for the City of Eureka, read through the staff report regarding the acquisition of the 2.1-acre property on Sunny Avenue, her eyes drifted to the location map. She had to admit, the area was beautiful. The property adjoined 1429 Sunny Avenue, which had recently been purchased by the City for the development of the Bay to Zoo Trail. This new project was just an extension of that effort.

But as Caitlin continued to read through the report, something caught her eye. The property was owned by Floyd and Betty Squires, but there was no mention of their contact information or the negotiations that had taken place to secure their agreement to sell. Suddenly, Caitlin was curious.

The following week, Caitlin found herself standing on the east side of Sunny Avenue, gazing out at the property that was soon to become city-owned. As she looked around, she spotted a couple walking along the edge of the wetlands, holding hands. She couldn’t help but smile at the sweetness of the gesture.

As Caitlin walked closer, she realized with a start that the couple was none other than Floyd and Betty Squires. Her curiosity piqued, she introduced herself and asked if she could chat with them for a few minutes. They agreed, and soon they were all sitting on the edge of the wetlands, talking.

Caitlin learned that Floyd and Betty had owned the property for over thirty years. They had always wanted to build their dream home there, but with the wetlands and the regulations surrounding them, it had proven impossible. When the City approached them about purchasing the land, they had been more than willing to give up their dreams in exchange for a fair price.

As they talked, Caitlin couldn’t help but notice the easy way Floyd and Betty interacted with each other. They seemed to be in sync, finishing each other’s sentences and laughing together. It was evident to Caitlin that they were deeply in love.

Over the following weeks, Caitlin found herself thinking about Floyd and Betty often. She found an excuse to check in on them, and they started to develop a friendship. Despite their initial reluctance, Caitlin urged Floyd and Betty to reconsider building their dream home and offered to help them navigate the regulations.

As the months went by, Floyd and Betty took Caitlin up on her offer. They hired an architect, and together they worked through the details of their home. Caitlin watched as the plans took shape, growing more and more excited for her new friends.

But as the plans neared completion, Caitlin found herself grappling with her own feelings. Watching Floyd and Betty together had reminded Caitlin that she had been alone for far too long. She longed for the type of love that Floyd and Betty shared.

One day, as Floyd and Betty excitedly showed Caitlin the latest iteration of their plans, Caitlin found herself blurting out her feelings. To her surprise, they were reciprocated.

Not long after, Caitlin found herself sitting on the edge of the wetlands, holding hands with the man she loved. As they gazed out at the property that had brought them together, they knew they had Floyd and Betty to thank for it. They may have lost their dreams of a home on Sunny Avenue, but they had gained something much more valuable - a new family. As they looked to the future, they knew that they would move forward together, as a team. And all because of a property acquisition report.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportAttachment 1 - ResolutionAttachment 2 - 2040 Goals and Policies





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