Isabella Vanderheiden / @ 12:18 p.m. / Agendizer

Eureka DMV to Set Up Shop at Former Redwood Harley Davidson Location, Pending Planning Commission Approval

A rendering of the new DMV, clad in a combination of colors: Stonehenge Greige (brown), Crushed Silk (light tan), Night Rendezvous (blue), and Special Delivery (Gray). Image: Pierson Properties & Development.


The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has found a new home in Eureka! 

We heard a rumor some time ago that the DMV had plans to move from its current location in the Bayshore Mall to the former Redwood Harley Davidson location at the north end of town, just off Highway 101. Turns out it’s true!

At next week’s meeting, the Eureka Planning Commission will consider a proposal from Pierson Properties & Development, LLC to convert the northern portion of the old motorcycle shop (2500 Sixth Street) into offices for the DMV. The southern portion of the existing building would be converted into a storage and workshop space for Pierson Company (PICO). Under the proposal, PICO would also construct a 2,852-square-foot addition and enclosed outdoor storage space on the southern side of the property.

Aerial view of the site. Image: City of Eureka

The building sits on a paved 2.31-acre parcel with 47 existing parking spaces. The parking area will be repaved and restriped to include 10 additional parking spaces (57 total) to accommodate both DMV customers and PICO employees, according to the staff report. The design plans also include a new paved motorcycle testing pattern for driving tests, a 792-square-foot car awning for DMV inspections, a new electric vehicle charging station and a new flagpole. The applicant plans to update all on-site outdoor lighting to comply with DarkSky standards. Some existing landscape planters will be removed to accommodate various ADA improvements.

An eight-foot fence will surround PICO’s outdoor workspace, storing trucks, heavy machinery, storage containers, mobile offices, trailers, and various construction materials. 

Most of the project site is zoned Service Commercial (CS), with a small portion zoned Natural Resources (NR). The project conforms with the CS zone district and will not expand into the NR zone district, according to the staff report. 

Staff has found that the project is consistent with the city’s Local Coastal Plan and “will have a positive effect on the value of properties in the vicinity.” The project meets the city’s design review criteria as the proposed improvements are not “ugly, monotonous, hazardous, or inharmonious with the surroundings.” Staff is recommending that the commission approve design review and a Coastal Development Permit for the project.

There is no timeline for the project as of yet.

We all knew the DMV’s stay at the Bayshore Mall was a temporary one, but let’s take a moment to pour one out for the anxious hours spent waiting for an unflattering ID photo to be taken, and for the mediocre Chinese food and Mrs. Fields cookies we enjoyed as a nice little palate cleanser afterward. Hear, hear!


The Eureka Planning Commission will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10 at Eureka City Hall — 531 K Street in Eureka. Find the full agenda, with our Agendabot’s item summaries, below.

Eureka Planning Commission
July 10, 2024, 5:30 p.m.







1. Bates Adaptive Reuse of Existing Industrial Building Location: 3415 Christie Street; APN: 007-081-008 Projects: Conditional Use Permit CUP-24-0002 and Coastal Development Permit CDP-24-0005

This report is about a proposal to allow general carpentry and other light industrial uses in a building historically used for boat repair. The proposal requires a Conditional Use Permit and a Coastal Development Permit. The project is located in a Coastal Dependent Industrial Zone. The report discusses the background of the site, including its history and surrounding areas. The report also covers environmental assessments and public hearing notices. Overall, the project is found to be consistent with zoning codes and land use plans. The report recommends holding a public hearing and approving the project with conditions.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a stage play!

(The scene takes place at a public hearing of the Planning Commission. The room is filled with concerned citizens, activists, and business owners. Ken Bates and Linda Hildebrand nervously await their turn to present their case.)

PLANNING COMMISSIONER: (clears his throat) Next on the agenda, we have the Bates Adaptive Reuse of Existing Industrial Building project. Are the applicants, Ken Bates and Linda Hildebrand, present?

KEN BATES: (standing up) Yes, we’re here.

LINDA HILDEBRAND: (standing up) Thank you for considering our project.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER: Please proceed with your presentation.

KEN BATES: (steps forward) Thank you. As you can see from the staff report, we are seeking approval for a Conditional Use Permit and Coastal Development Permit to allow for general carpentry and light-industrial uses within our existing building. This building has been historically used for boat repair, but we believe that it can be put to better use for carpentry and other indoor industrial purposes.

LINDA HILDEBRAND: (nodding) Our business, Cloudburst Fishing, Inc., has been operating out of this location for 37 years. We have never had any complaints or issues with our operations, and we believe that expanding the allowed uses to include carpentry will only benefit our community.

KEN BATES: (gesturing to the site map) As you can see, our site is located in the Coastal Dependent Industrial Zone District. We have taken all necessary precautions to ensure that our project is in compliance with the General Plan, Zoning Code, and the Local Coastal Program.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER: (nodding) Thank you for your presentation. Do any commissioners have questions for the applicants?

COMMISSIONER #1: (raising her hand) I have a question about the potential impact of this project on the surrounding archaeological areas. Have you taken any measures to minimize any potential impacts?

KEN BATES: (nodding) Yes, we have. We have worked closely with the Wiyot Tribe and have agreed to adhere to the city’s standard protocol for inadvertent archaeological discovery. We take these concerns very seriously.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER: (nodding) Thank you for addressing that. Do any members of the public wish to speak on this matter?

(A few concerned citizens step forward to express their support for the project, citing the applicants’ good standing in the community and the positive impact the project would have on the local economy.)

PLANNING COMMISSIONER: (clearing his throat) After careful consideration and review of the staff report, it is the recommendation of the Planning Commission to adopt a resolution approving the Conditional Use Permit and Coastal Development Permit for the Bates adaptive reuse project. Do I have a motion?

(One of the commissioners makes a motion to approve the permits, and it is seconded by another commissioner. The Planning Commission votes unanimously in favor of approving the project.)

PLANNING COMMISSIONER: Congratulations, Mr. Bates and Ms. Hildebrand. Your project has been approved. Thank you for your presentation.

KEN BATES: (smiling) Thank you. We are grateful for the opportunity and look forward to continuing to serve our community.

(As the meeting concludes, Ken Bates and Linda Hildebrand shake hands with the commissioners and exit the room, relieved that their project has been approved.)

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportAttachment 1 - ResolutionAttachment 2 - Applicant Submitted MaterialsAttachment 3 - Table AAttachment 4 - Acronym Table

2. Tenant Improvements at 2500 6th Street for DMV and PICO Location: 2500 6th Street; APN: 002-252-027 Projects: Coastal Development Permit CDP-24-0006 and Design Review AA-24-0001

A vacant commercial property will be converted into offices for the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and storage/workshop space for a local construction company called PICO. The project requires various permits and approvals from the Planning Commission. The proposed project includes adding new structures and improvements to the existing building. The project has been found exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and is in line with the city’s Land Use Plan. The project will undergo public review and approval with conditions.

— LoCOBot

… or, as an episode of Seinfeld!

“The Permit”

[Jerry and Elaine are sitting in Jerry’s apartment, discussing their upcoming visit to the DMV.]

Jerry: (sarcastically) Ah, the DMV. Everyone’s favorite place to spend hours waiting in line.

Elaine: (rolling her eyes) Tell me about it. I swear, they make it their mission to make everything as complicated and time-consuming as possible.

Jerry: Well, I have to go down there today to renew my license. And on top of that, I have to deal with getting my car registration updated.

Elaine: (sympathetically) Oof, rough day ahead for you, Jerry.

[Meanwhile, George bursts through the door looking flustered.]

George: Guys, you won’t believe what just happened to me at the Planning Commission office!

Jerry: Planning Commission? What were you doing there?

George: (frustrated) I was trying to get a permit for my new apartment renovation, but they kept throwing all these obstacles in my way. It’s like they don’t want me to improve my living space!

Elaine: (skeptically) What kind of obstacles?

George: They said I needed a Coastal Development Permit because my building is near the water. And then they started talking about archaeological artifacts and tribal preservation officers! It’s a nightmare!

Jerry: (amused) So what did you do?

George: Well, I may have… embellished a bit on my permit application.

Elaine: (raising an eyebrow) Embellished?

George: (sheepishly) Let’s just say I may have exaggerated the historical significance of my building to speed up the process.

Jerry: (laughing) George, you can’t just make up historical artifacts to get what you want!

George: (defensive) Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures!

[Just then, Kramer bursts in, holding a stack of papers.]

Kramer: Guys, guys, you won’t believe the deal I just struck with the DMV!

Jerry: (confused) Deal with the DMV? What are you talking about, Kramer?

Kramer: I managed to convince them to let me set up a snack stand in their waiting area! I’ll be selling hot dogs, pretzels, you name it.

Elaine: (amused) Kramer, I’m sure they have rules against selling food in a government building.

Kramer: (smugly) Not when you have the charm and negotiating skills of Kramer!

Jerry: (shaking his head) This is a disaster waiting to happen.

[The scene fades out with Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer all caught up in their own permit-related chaos.]

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportAttachment 1 - ResolutionAttachment 2 - Site PlansAttachment 3 - Referral Comments







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