Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
ARCATA – The City Council last week renewed the Local Emergency ordinance related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also extended to July 31 its ordinance restricting eviction due to non-payment of rent, first passed March 26, and includes a waiver of late fees for deferred rent in compliance with the ordinance. City Manager Karen Diemer said 20 individuals and one business have taken advantage of the eviction restriction so far.
The council further voted to place a measure on the November ballot increasing to 7.5 percent the state constitution’s Article 34 cap on affordable housing. First approved in 1992 as measure L, the current 5 percent cap is nearly exhausted, based on the city’s current 8,019 dwelling units.
If voters don’t approve an increase, the city won’t be able to apply for federal and state grants for development of affordable housing until the total unit count increases substantially. A 7.5 percent cap will allow creation of more affordable housing through the year 2050, according to projections.
Also likely on November’s ballot is a measure overturning the 1950-vintage Article 24 state limit on affordable housing, which was devised to help perpetuate racial segregation. If it passes, the city’s ballot measure will become moot.
The council also indicated interest in enabling outdoor dining along Eighth Street on the Plaza this summer, if pandemic restrictions allow it. The street would be closed and set up for dining service by area restaurants, and sunnier Ninth Street could also be included.
Following discussion with restaurants, the matter will be further discussed at a future meeting.
Diemer said that some 73 individuals had taken advantage of emergency housing provided by the city and serviced by Arcata House Partnership (AHP). The housing includes two downtown tent sites and 20 motel rooms. Open Door Clinic is also providing coronavirus testing at the sites.
This Thursday, May 28 at 6 p.m., an online question and answer session will be held to discuss proposed adjustments for the city’s water and sewer rates.
Join Director of Environmental Services Mark Andre via Zoom. Zoom Link for Thursday’s Q&A session: zoom.us/j/94159077489.
For more information on the rate adjustments, visit cityofarcata.org/325/WaterWastewater. Email [email protected] or call (707) 822-8184.