Friday, February 1, 2019

Arcata City Council to Mull Revamped Village Project

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2019 at 2:20 PM

click to enlarge Conceptual photo illustration of how The Village project would look from the perspective of the Westwood neighborhood. - CITY OF ARCATA
  • City of Arcata
  • Conceptual photo illustration of how The Village project would look from the perspective of the Westwood neighborhood.

The Arcata City Council will consider a revamped proposal for a large student housing project next week, with Community Development Director David Loya saying he expects the council to make a “go-no-go” decision on the project.

Loya and city staff presented a revised plan for The Village at a public meeting Wednesday, about five months after a split council vote stalled the 152-unit project on Aug. 29, 2018. The revised plan now seeks to address some neighborhood concerns and win over the council.

“I hope the council considers to take on the project and, if they vote not to, it effectively ratifies it,” Loya said.

Councilmembers Susan Ornelas and Brett Watson asked for revisions in the 152-unit project to incorporate a grocery market and house non-student community members and students with families, while Councilmember Paul Pitino and Mayor Sofia Pereira voted to move the project along as proposed. Councilmember Michael Winkler recused himself from the discussion and vote.

The projects is set to stand on the 10-acre Craftsman Mall site, which borders a residential neighborhood that sits across the bridge from LK Wood Boulevard. Speakers at the Aug. 29 city council meeting were divided, with some local residents worried about the impact the 600-bed development would create to surrounding neighborhoods and others touting it as an opportunity to address the student housing crisis.

The project developer has since reexamined and modified the plan to include an open market and open about half the apartments up to non-student community members, hoping to reboot the project. Around 35 community members attended Wednesday’s meeting and Loya said he received good insight into the new modifications. But he also heard some familiar worries.

“People still have the same concerns about traffic, parking and the behavior [the complex] might attract,” he added.

For more information on the modified proposal, visit the city’s website here. Find an agenda for Wednesday’s council meeting here.
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Iridian Casarez

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Iridian Casarez is a staff writer at the North Coast Journal.

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