Massive Creek Side Homes development proceeding

CREEKSIDE HOMES An image of the project layout submitted to the city. Danco Communities image by K. Boodjeh Architects

Steve Robles
Mad River Union

ARCATA BOTTOM – A development project along Arcata’s Foster Avenue in the Bottoms area made its way through the Planning Commission last month, with another public hearing likely on Oct. 8.

Danco, Inc. has proposed annexing a lot in the west side of the city, where suburban housing tracts melt into idyllic green pastures and farmland. 

According to city documents, the Creek Side Mixed Occupancy Residential Annexation Project proposes a mix of occupancy and housing on land that would be annexed into the City of Arcata. That will require City Council approval.

The project will require a General Plan amendment and Land Use Code amendment to establish land use and zoning on the annexed property, a Minor Subdivision, and a Planned Development Permit. Danco will also sign a Development Agreement with the City to pay fees for traffic impacts, wastewater treatment impacts and water storage impacts.

The project includessingle-family, multi-family, and assisted living residential development that would provide housing for about 269 residents, with 32 single-family residential units and 32 accessory dwelling units, an assisted living and memory care facility with 100 care beds, 25 senior-restricted neighborhood cottage units, a stream protection zone along Janes Creek, a wetland mitigation area, pedestrian/bicycle trails, and the development and dedication of public infrastructure

Residents argue the rural and agricultural character of the area would be inexorably altered by the development and the increased traffic it would bring, in addition impacts on recreational use and wildlife.

“Increasing the traffic by a minimum of 1,000 cars per day would seriously impact the farmers along that road,” said Shail Pec-crouse, owner of Tule Fog Farms, who says she and other farmers there use Foster Avenue to move livestock.

But Creek Side includes a sorely needed assisted living center and senior housing, and it also brings with it equally needed improvements to Foster Avenue around Janes Creek, which all parties agree is a magnet for dangerous motorized vehicle traffic.

Despite the lack of voices supporting the project at the meeting, Danco’s president insisted they had received such support.

“There’s a lot of seniors over the course of the last several years we’ve been doing this who have come to us saying, ‘We really need senior housing in the city of Arcata, we have a chronic lack of market-rate and affordable senior housing, and there aren’t any assisted living or memory care [centers] in the city of Arcata, so there’s a large population of people who support this, and you’re just not hearing their voices tonight,” said Chris Dart, president of Danco Communities.

Residents near the intersection of Foster and Alliance also spoke out against the proposed installation of a roundabout, citing the high speed of traffic, and stating the increased threat they say roundabouts pose to bicyclists and pedestrians. The installation of the roundabout would be attached to the Danco development, which residents say is an end run around city policy.

“It is a mistake to bundle this roundabout with this proposed development,” said Karen Davidson.

Dart said the project is still in its infancy, and tried to assure residents all of their concerns would be addressed over the course of the public hearing process, which the planning commission also iterated.

But Pec-crouse expressed concern about the outreach conducted in association with such public hearings.

“I was talking to many residents of Foster Avenue this past week and many of them were shocked to hear this meeting was happening and just disappointed that they hadn’t been informed about this,” she said. The committee insisted it had used all methods at its disposal to get the message to citizens.

nd termed a “kitchen sink” approach, that the city is creating the trail without a plan, that the project violates the city’s own policies as well as the Clean Water Act and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), that the project violates the terms of its funding, road,” said Shail Pec-crouse, owner of Tule Fog Farms, who says she and other farmers there use Foster Avenue to move livestock.

But Creek Side includes a sorely needed assisted living center and senior housing, and it also brings with it equally needed improvements to Foster Avenue around Janes Creek, which all parties agree is a magnet for dangerous motorized vehicle traffic.

Despite the lack of voices supporting the project at the meeting, Danco’s president insisted they had received such support.

“There’s a lot of seniors over the course of the last several years we’ve been doing this who have come to us saying, ‘We really need senior housing in the City of Arcata, we have a chronic lack of market-rate and affordable senior housing, and there aren’t any assisted living or memory care [centers] in the City of Arcata, so there’s a large population of people who support this, and you’re just not hearing their voices tonight,” said Chris Dart, president of Danco Communities.

Residents near the intersection of Foster and Alliance also spoke out against the proposed installation of a roundabout, citing the high speed of traffic, and stating the increased threat they say roundabouts pose to bicyclists and pedestrians. The installation of the roundabout would be attached to the Danco development, which residents say is an end run around city policy.

“It is a mistake to bundle this roundabout with this proposed development,” said Karen Davidson.

Dart said the project is still in its infancy, and tried to assure residents all of their concerns would be addressed over the course of the public hearing process, which the Planning Commission also iterated.

But Pec-crouse expressed concern about the outreach conducted in association with such public hearings.

“I was talking to many residents of Foster Avenue this past week and many of them were shocked to hear this meeting was happening and just disappointed that they hadn’t been informed about this,” she said. The committee insisted it had used all methods at its disposal to get the message to citizens.

 

 







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