Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
ARCATA – The Arcata City Council last week paused mobile home park closures, moved forward with a waste-reduction measure, recommended mediation on partial Plaza street closure during the Farmers Market and expressed support for radio station KHSU’s restoration.
Mobile home moratorium
The council passed an urgency ordinance suspending closure or conversion of local mobile home parks. Effective for 45 days (with a possible 22-month extension), the moratorium is intended to give the city time to craft regulations which will govern closures and conversions.
Residents of local mobile home parks had objected to a draft ordinance regulating the parks, offering preferred versions adopted elsewhere.
The council voted to develop an ordinance restricting use of plastic beverage bottles at city facilities and events including Humboldt Crabs games at the Arcata Ball Park, and to amend an existing ordinance to require food take-out boxes to be compostable. Restaurants might be able to charge a “take-out fee” to encourage patrons to use reusable containers.
Permanent measures could be ready to adopt early next year.
Plaza street closure
The council punted on a proposal to partially close Eighth and Ninth streets on the Plaza during the 2019 Farmers Market season, voting 3–2 for mediation between farmers and Plaza businesses.
The North Coast Growers Association advocated the closure to increase safety for vendors and the public, improve circulation and, by encouraging farmers to park elsewhere, to open up the Plaza to surrounding businesses. Some businesses and others opposed the closure, saying it would shut them out from customers and harm their Saturday business.
The council encouraged the stakeholders to use mediation to reach a compromise, which would be returned to the council for possible adoption.
The council also adopted a resolution encouraging California State University Chancellor Timothy White to keep radio station KHSU and encourage the next Humboldt State president to work with the community to restore the station’s community programming.