Arcata City

Staff Report

Continued Public Hearing to Consider the Final Environmental Impact Report and Approval of the Required Permits and Development Agreement Terms for the Village Student Housing Project at 2715-2920 St. Louis Road; File No. 156-179-GPA-ZA-PM-DR-PD-DA-GPC-VAC, Including an Opportunity to Receive Public Comment.


Department:City Manager's OfficeSponsors:
Category:Public Hearing


The Council has held three public hearings to consider the Village Student Housing project including a walking tour of the project site.  At the Council’s special meeting on June 19, 2018, Council Members requested information on several items to be reviewed at a later meeting.  On July 11, the City Council continued the Public Hearing until July 17, 2018. 


Discussion/Fiscal Impact


At the Council’s special meeting on June 19, 2018, Council Members requested information on several items to be reviewed. The below list attempts to capture the Council’s list of critical issues that remained unresolved for one or more councilmembers (Table 1). A short update has been provided for each item.  More detailed answers can be discussed during the meeting.

Table 1. Village Development Considerations the Council has asked to be Addressed/Answered. Updated 7/12/2018





Ensuring property taxes for the City and Fire District


The Developer has committed to ensure through binding agreement(s) that property taxes or payments in-lieu of property taxes will be made to the City and the Fire District even if the property is transferred to other private or public ownership (including Humboldt State University).


Commitment to no more than 602 people under all ownership conditions (private, non-profit, state and federal)

The Developer and HSU have agreed to ensure through a binding agreement(s) a cap of 602 residents for the project.



Ingress / Egress to and from the site via foot, bike and car

Access points to and from the site were reviewed during the site tour.  City staff and the development project team believes that it has met the Council’s concerns regarding this item.


Review the terms of the Agreement between HSU and the Developers

The proposed term sheet is provided as Attachment B and was published through a HSU media release.



Sidewalk Infill on the Todd Court along the south side of parcel 505-042-010 and along Eye Street along the west side of parcel 505-042-024.

The developer has agreed to add this item to the projects Conditions of Approval.


How can rent remain affordable for students? How would rent increases work?


The draft term sheet confirms that rents are addressed in Developer’s and HSU’s Agreement. Rents will be set at 5% below the campus’s College Creek Apartments.  Leases will be based upon the academic year, don’t require security deposits nor fees and include furniture, utilities and student-focused programming.


Address the Caltrans letter regarding traffic improvements at Sunset.  What is a realistic cost estimate?

City cost estimates are based upon a number of similar projects competed in the City.



Share case studies that show a positive result from student purpose built housing for the students and surrounding neighborhood or community

Continued research can be completed.  The developer has provide articles and studies that demonstrate student performance and graduation rates improve significantly with University-managed and programmed student housing communities.


Outline options for Zone parking in the Sunset and Westwood (east) neighborhoods

This can be accomplished.



What sidewalk infill is needed between Maple and Alliance along both Hilfiker and Stromberg

During the site walk, it was confirmed that there are sidewalks from the project site to Westwood Market and an upgraded crossing at Alliance and Stromberg.


What drove your decision to reduce from 4 stories on all the buildings?

The Developer indicated that he listened and responded to the community who thought that 2-story and 3-story buildings were more appropriate for this site.



Greater mix of unit types and not all student rentals


The proposal is the optimal layout and structure for purpose-built student housing near campus. There are four other developments in either progress or the approval stage that provide rental housing, housing for seniors, and for-sale housing. These projects in conjunction with The Village will provide Arcata housing for a broad spectrum of residents.

A student-only facility provides students and parents another housing option for those who prefer the convenience, academic support, a safe environment, staff, and programs to assist with their development as a student. For many, it’s an exciting and important part of one’s college experience. For the 70% of HSU students who don’t choose this type of housing and cannot secure on-campus housing, they must still find housing within or outside the City.


Provide a response to the Remy, Moose, Manley letter


SHN/Streamline Planning has provided a response on the applicant’s behalf to the Remy, Moose, Manley letter and the Lozeau Drury letter (Attachment I).


Does the EIR need to be recirculated

This was addressed in the Streamline/SHN letter referenced above (Attachment I). Recirculation is not required because the revised project will have the same or a lesser environmental impact. Certification of the EIR is included as Attachment J.


The staff report includes a recommendation provided by Councilmember Ornelas (Attachment H).

It is recommended that the Council provide direction to staff on next steps.  If the Council wishes to move forward with a project, the Council should identify critical conditions that would have to be met for approval.  The below section outlines the approval steps necessary for this project.

Approvals and Permits

1.      The project requires a variety of approvals including General Plan (Attachment D) and Zoning Map (Attachment E) amendments to change the existing land use and zoning designations from Industrial Limited (IL)/Residential Low Density (RL) to Residential High Density (RH). The permit types are explained in Items 1 – 5 below, except for the General Plan Conformance for the vacation of St. Louis Road which must be approved by the Planning Commission as the City’s planning authority.

The subject property currently has seven parcels. Six of the parcels are zoned IL; the remainder is zoned RL. The density proposed for the project is in the midrange of the proposed RH designation. There is limited land within City limits that is already planned and zoned RH and could accommodate the proposed development.

2.      The project also proposes a Parcel Merger to consolidate the seven subject parcels into one which would allow for a consolidated development able to make use of the entire upper terrace of the site.

Without the merger, the property could not meet the density of the proposed RH land use designation nor could the property be developed in such a comprehensive manner.

3.      A Design Review Permit for both the development of the new buildings and the demolition of existing structures.

Per Sections 9.53.060 and 9.72.040 of the Land Use Code, all demolition and multi-family development requires a Design Review Permit, respectively. The Design Review process gives the review authority the opportunity to weigh the design and proposed benefits of a development against its compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood(s) and conformance to the policies of the General Plan and standards of the Land Use Code.

4.      A Planned Development (:PD) overlay or combining zone and subsequent Type “B” Planned Development Permit (PDP). The original plan required an exception to the height limit of 35’ in the zoning district. The newly revised project still requires the height exception, but now requires an exception to exceed the maximum number of parking spaces per §3.36.040, Table 3-6 of the Land Use Code. The reduction in building height and the addition of parking spaces is a direct result of public testimony and Planning Commission deliberation.

Except for the parking exceedance, the proposed project will be in compliance with the development standards of the proposed RH zone. The PDP also will allow a relaxation of the private recreation space requirement in Section 9.42.130 of the Land Use Code.

5.      The project requires a General Plan Consistency finding for the vacation/disposition of a portion of St. Louis Rd. for parking and trail purposes. The Planning Commission will be taking an action on General Plan Consistency pursuant to California Government Code § 65402 upon the Council’s adoption of Resolution 178-64, a Resolution of Intent to Vacate. This item will be included on the next available Planning Commission agenda.

In order to minimize viewshed impacts from the west, the applicant has designed the project so that the buildings will be located as far to the east of the site as possible. The vacation of this portion of the road will accommodate this position of the buildings while keeping enough distance from the highway to minimize noise impacts. Furthermore, the vacation will allow the developer to the build a portion of the Rail with Trail and to provide parking for both the project and the public.

6.      A vacation of a portion of the St. Louis Rd. right-of-way is needed to accommodate the construction of the trail and for project-related and public trail parking. The Council’s adoption of a Notice of Intent to Vacate (Attachment G) is required to get the process started. The general vacation process is initiated pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 3 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Streets and Highways Code.

7.      Development Agreement.  As authorized by §9.72.110 of the City’s Land Use Code (LUC), the applicant and the City may enter into a Development Agreement (Agreement). The Agreement will be binding between the City and the applicant and will confer benefit and assurances to the City in exchange for vested development rights and incentives. The substantial benefits that the City will receive as a result of this project are: 1) the completion of the offsite improvements identified in the conditions of approval; 2) the payment of $75,000.00 toward future study of needed improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Facility; 3) all standard connection and mitigation fees identified in the conditions of approval; 4) buildings that are pre-wired to support the future development of solar facilities; 5) assurance that the purpose-built student housing use will be maintained over an identified term; and 6) improvement of a portion of Rail with Trail over the vacated St. Louis Road right-of-way. The execution of the Development Agreement provides the City with the assurance that these improvements will be constructed even if not directly attached to the issuance of Building Permit(s) and/or Certificates of Occupancy as other conditions of approval generally are.

The following terms were reviewed by the Planning Commission at its last meeting on May 8, 2018, but the motion to approve the terms failed due to a tie vote.


1.      Comply with all terms and conditions of project approvals, including the conditions of Agreement to effectuate the road right-of-way acquisition.

2.      Prior to the issuance of certificate of occupancy, pay to the City a sum of $75,000 as a Wastewater Treatment Plant Off-Set Fee as outlined in the City’s Wastewater Treatment Memo dated June 23, 2017.

3.      Prior to the issuance of certificate of occupancy, pay to the City of Arcata the fair share of the fee identified in the Central Arcata Areawide Traffic Study as established by the City Council.

4.      Agrees to pay by the project’s certificate of occupancy all water connection, sewer connection, drainage, recreation, mitigation fees, and public improvement fees at rates in effect as of the date on which a complete building permit application for the construction of the buildings is filed if paid within three years of that date.

5.      Create a certified LEED Silver housing development that includes solar panels.

6.      Developer shall condition any sale or other transfer of the property and/or project to a tax-exempt entity such that the new entity shall continue to remit directly to the City its 8% share of property tax annually with an escalation for market value or pay to the City $300,000.

7.      Developer shall cooperate and assist the City to secure the Rail with Trail easement between the southern project property line and Todd Court, approximately 200’ to the south. Developer’s assistance shall include all work and reasonable costs directly attributable and necessary to effectuate the grant of public easement, including but not limited to surveying the easement, preparing the easement for recording, and other reasonable directly attributable costs excepting the cost of the land and/or easement itself.

8.      Developer shall pay the City of Arcata an in-lieu fee for the off-site Rail with Trail construction if necessary right of way easement for trail development is not finalized and recorded prior to 90 days from the project’s effective date after approval.  The in-lieu fee will be the Engineer's Estimate of construction costs for the off-site portion calculated according to the improvement per square foot cost using similar recent trail development costs in the City as adjusted for changes in materials costs. Developer will pay the in-lieu fee prior to Certificate of Occupancy in conjunction with fees due under Developer Obligation #3.


1.      Comply with all project approvals and cooperate with processing all applications for permits and approvals.

2.      Agree, as reasonably practical, to a review timeline of not more than 30 working days for all first reviews of building permit applications and submittals including but not limited to: demolition, site grading, foundations, and buildings (outside plan-check timelines are out of the control of the City or City employees) and not more than 10 working days for subsequent reviews. Developer may be subject to outside plan-check fees in order to maintain this schedule.

3.      Accept the wastewater improvement funds of $75,000 for near-term projects at the treatment plant that were identified independently of this project and to assist with planning and permitting the future treatment plant components.

4.      Accept the traffic fee and retain it in a segregated account to pay for the improvements identified in the EIR. Any funds collected may be added to a future Traffic Mitigation Impact Fee program and may be combined with other public and private funding sources to make the improvements. These funds shall neither be refundable nor subject to return, but may not be used for any other purpose by the City.

5.      Work with Caltrans and HSU to fund, design, and install the LK Wood and Sunset traffic improvements.

6.      Consent to and cooperate with any funding applications submitted by the developer to pay for off-site improvements. No additional improvement shall be required if alternative funding sources are identified.

7.      Provide approvals for separate on- and off-site demolition, grading, foundation, and building permits that the developer may pull over the course of the entitlement period to efficiently construct the project with Developer’s execution of an indemnification for any improvements approved at an earlier stage that are modified in a later stage of review.

8.      Transfer fee title of a segment of St. Louis Road, retaining emergency, utility, public ingress/egress easements through to Eye Street and across the Rail with Trail as provided in the form of the Conveyance Agreement to be attached to the Development Agreement.

City shall negotiate for off-site right-of-way easement for access from the southern project property line to Todd Ct.  Agree to accept an in-lieu fee to fulfill off-site Rail with Trail improvement requirements if the right-of-way easement is not identified and agreements in place with affected land owners within 90 days of the project’s effective date.

Other than where specifically indicated, the permits discussed above will require the adoption of an Action with Findings for and Conditions of Approval. This staff report includes draft Action, Findings, and Conditions (Attachment F). The Council may amend these documents, but staff has provided a first draft for the Council’s consideration. This action will implement the entitlements necessary to approve and build the project, conditioned on the other necessary actions.

This staff report includes draft Findings and draft Conditions of Approval; both of which are exhibits to the Permits Action (Attachment F).





Meeting History

Jul 17, 2018 6:00 PM Video City Council Special Meeting

A special meeting of the City Council of the City of Arcata was held on the above date at 6:00 p.m. with Mayor Pereira presiding. Notice of this meeting was posted on July 13, 2018. PRESENT: Pereira, Watson, Ornelas, Pitino. ABSENT: Winkler (recused). STAFF PRESENT: City Manager Diemer, City Attorney Diamond.

City Manager Diemer said this was the fifth public hearing on The Village Student Housing Project for the City Council. She said that at its meeting on June 19, the Council asked for a review of some items and this staff report included updates on those items. She noted that the Council was being asked to provide staff with its preference for the next steps to be taken. She said that if the Council wanted to approve the project, it would need to tell staff on what critical items it would need further detail in order to move forward.

Councilmember Watson said he had no ex parte communications to report.

Councilmember Ornelas said she posted on Facebook the day prior a letter she had written to the developers, and there had been various conversations going on amongst citizens regarding that Facebook post. She reported that in this letter she expressed her strong frustration for findings she could not make for the project. She said she supported students and HSU, but she was having problems with The Village. She outlined her proposal for a purpose-built student dorm serving 350 students, four-stories tall on the east side of the property, with another three-story building, including food concessions, and 100 row houses, perhaps two-stories with a 600 s.f. footprint. She said the row houses could be for students, families, professors or staff. She expressed her belief that this would provide a more natural lifestyle in the Village and could help cut down on partying by students. She reported that she sent her letter to David Moon, City staff, and HSU administration.

Councilmember Pitino said he had no ex parte communications to report.

Mayor Pereira said she received a tweet from Arcata Citizens for Responsible Housing (ACRH) putting forth an argument regarding labor concerns for the project.

Councilmember Pitino asked that the developers be required to complete sidewalk on the east side of Eye Street from the project to Grant Street.

On inquiry by Councilmember Watson, David Moon, project applicant, said they put forth the project there were proposing and did not consider any of the alternatives in the environmental impact report (EIR) as feasible.

Garry Rees, SHN Engineers & Geologists, said he worked on the EIR and helped develop the alternatives. He said they chose alternatives based on the following: a reduced size to reduce the impacts; what the results would be if the property was developed under the existing zoning; and what the results would be if there were no project. He said they felt this was a reasonable range of alternatives and that the ACRH alternative was similar to the alternatives evaluated in the EIR.

Councilmember Ornelas said she spent a lot of time reviewing HSU's housing study which said that students considered $550 a month to be affordable, they wanted suites or two-bedroom apartments, and they wanted to be able to have a dog. She said she was unable to make a finding that the social aspects of the project outweighed the unmitigable traffic impacts.

Mayor Pereira invited the applicant to speak.

David Moon, representing the developers, appeared before the Council and said they had responded to Councilmember Ornelas's letter via email the previous night. He said there were two identified recommendations: 1) A student purpose-built dorm for 350 people, possibly two four-story buildings and one three-story building, on 4.5 acres, with courtyards facing south, and a commercial interest to sell food. He noted that from the original project, the current project had a reduction in the total number of occupants by 25 percent and it had changed from high-density residential to medium-density residential. He said that in order to gain the most benefit from this property, the City should not require any further reduction in density. He ran through the list of revisions to the project to date and added that they would not rule out including some type of deli or convenience food, but noted that the frontage road was not a through street so a deli/store might not draw customers beyond The Village and its immediate neighbors. 2) Build 100 condominium-style townhouse row houses, two or three stories tall, on the other five acres. Mr. Moon said that any combination of non-student specific housing would be leased to students due to the site's proximity to campus. He said these would not have the benefit of the management program and security provided by HSU, so there would be two sets of rules on the property. Assuming that HSU would even agree to manage the student portion of the property, undoubtedly, two sets of rules would cause conflict and confusion among the residents and, critically, would result in issues of nuisance and non-accountability for the neighbors. He said the non-HSU managed housing would not benefit from the leverage that HSU could provide and would not have the same restrictions. He said that HSU could have concerns that persons of ill-intent would come in and prey on the students, i.e., sell drugs, commit assaults, etc., and noted that two other universities, including San Jose State, had expressed these concerns. He noted that HSU administration said it had received only five requests for family housing in the past year, but noted that could be because HSU did not provide family housing. He said the applicants would be willing to consider some family or faculty housing provided they could retain the 602 beds for students. He said they believed strongly that there was a demand in Arcata for at least 800 more beds. He said they had three other completed projects, this size or larger, on Cal-State campuses, all 95 percent pre-leased. He said he had no doubt there was a strong demand for this type of housing and that it had been very well received. He said if nothing was done in Arcata, the housing crisis would only get worse.

On inquiry by Councilmember Ornelas, Mr. Moon said they had 12-month leases available at other sites if students wanted to stay, and that element of the project would be managed by HSU. He said he would defer to Dr. St. Onge from HSU as to what would happen with the property in the three months students weren't leasing.

Stephen St. Onge, Director of Housing and Residence Life, appeared before the Council and noted that one of the benefits of their program was that HSU never closed and was open during winter and summer breaks. He said that one advantage of this project was that it would open up the opportunity for students to have 10-, 11-, or 12-month leases. He noted that HSU had a growing older population of students, and this site would house upper-class students in their early to late 20s.

Mayor Pereira invited public comment.

Paul Hagen, an attorney representing Laborer's International Union of North America No. 324, appeared before the Council and distributed a letter. He said the developer should be required to pay prevailing wages. He also expressed their concern that the EIR insufficiently addressed air quality impacts during construction. He said that mitigation measures for the air quality impacts needed to be proposed.

John Schafer appeared before the Council urged rejection of the project.. He declared the intersection at Sunset Avenue and L. K. Wood Boulevard was dangerous and would become more dangerous. He also said the Council's constituents were opposed to the project and that it was too big. He said that if HSU wanted more housing, it should build it at the old Trinity Hospital site.

Carla Douglas, a resident of Jay Street, appeared before the Council and said there was a moral obligation to provide affordable housing for all, not just upper classmen at $900 per bed. She asked the Council to allow the Craftsman Mall property to be developed as a neighborhood that could be fluid as to who lived and owned in it. She asked the Council to please listen to the community-wide voices asking it to vote no.

Jolian Kangas, a resident of Arcata, appeared before the Council and said he recently had to move because the property management firm for his former residence wanted to rent it out for more money, probably to HSU students. He relayed how he had to search for housing for himself and two foster children, but all the rentals in Arcata were for HSU students. He said this project could address Arcata's long-term housing problem and hopefully maximize the available space.

Chant'e Catt appeared before the Council and distributed copies of an opinion piece she wrote for the Mad River Union in favor of The Village. She read from the "Study of the Student Basic Needs of the CSU System" by Dr. Jennifer McGuire at HSU, which stated that overall, 10.9 percent of CSU students and 19 percent of HSU students on average reported being homeless one or more times in the last 12 months. The study also said that the following student groups experienced homelessness at higher rates than their counterparts: Black/African American, Hispanic, men, first-generation college students, Cal-Grant recipients, transfer students, former foster youth, international students, EOP students, and ESL students. She said The Village was a project that could help with low-barrier housing on the equity projects the Equity Housing Committee had been working on for years.

Bill Kowinski, a resident of Arcata, appeared before the Council and said he had yet to hear a reason why HSU could not build dorms on its own campus. He said he believed building dorms was HSU's responsibility, and not the City's. He said this project would result in increased traffic, crime, etc., for the Sunset area. He said that all the problems that could occur would not happen if HSU built dorms on campus.

Tim Louck, a lecturer at HSU and resident of Hilfiker Lane, appeared before the Council and relayed how he was hit by a car in the Sunset/Foster Avenue roundabout a few months prior. He declared that intersection was dangerous. He said he believed Arcata needed student housing, but felt the first things students wanted was to get out of the dorms. He said students wanted affordable housing of approximately $500 a month and it was rents higher than that that were causing the student homelessness.

Mary Gearheart, a resident of Park Avenue, appeared before the Council and said that students looking for affordable off-campus housing meant more students in our neighborhoods contributing to gentrification. She said the gentrification she was referring to was the process of younger, white people moving into a neighborhood causing the neighborhoods to transition to the needs of new people. She also said that students renting in neighborhoods increased housing prices making it hard for families and young professionals to move in. She said she felt The Village fit the needs of the community and would provide more choices for affordable housing without displacing Arcata's important historical structures.

Vernon Price, a resident of Bayside Court and future candidate for HSU, appeared before the Council and asked it to listen to the statistics given by Chant'e Catt because those numbers did not need to increase. He said he was formerly homeless. He urged the Council to please move forward with diligence for improving the quality of life for students and building a better community.

Daniela Parada, a student at HSU, appeared before the Council and said the students could not wait another two or three years for housing to be built.

Valerie Rose-Campbell, a resident of Arcata, appeared before the Council and said she had been a student at HSU and dealt with its housing issues. She said this project would greatly affect and shape the community in the future, so she hoped to see some push for student family housing, possibly with a daycare facility. She said she also wanted the project to integrate environmentally sustainable practices.

Nathan Davis Floyd appeared before the Council and said the housing should be affordable and not strictly for students. He said that anything not affordable would only contribute to student homelessness.

Tina Okoye, Coordinator at HSU's African American Center for Academic Excellence, appeared before the Council and said she had heard from a lot of African-American students who were terrified to live in the community. She said that having university housing outside of campus was an opportunity to bridge the gap between the community and the University. She said she was disheartened to hear people say there might be crime, noise, and disturbance just because the students would be young. She said there would be ways to prevent that from happening and that it was possible for everyone to be happy.

Doug Dawes, HSU Vice President of Administration and Finance, appeared before the Council and explained that, regarding HSU's prior contact with AMCAL, it was common for vendors to approach the university with proposals. He said the university considered them and conducted due diligence to see if a proposal would meet the needs of HSU and its students. He said that up until May 2018, HSU was not willing to accept this project. He said that significant changes made by AMCAL to the project made it highly desirable for HSU. He said that HSU did not currently have the resources to purchase a new building from AMCAL and that a reduction in amenities; contracting with HSU to program, oversee, and operate the facility; and ensuring affordable rent to residents, while AMCAL retained 100 percent ownership were key elements for HSU to decide to partner with AMCAL. He explained that the need for first-year and transfer student housing at HSU was well documented, and currently HSU was developing plans for on-campus housing solutions for first-year students, with an estimated completion date of the Fall of 2022. He said The Village project would support HSU's critical need for housing for returning and transfer students.

Wayne Brumfield, HSU Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, appeared before the Council and said HSU had carefully considered a location for a freshman housing facility and the best it could come up with was a one-acre site in an area northeast of L. K. Wood Boulevard and the Library Circle. He said a project on that site would be a building with multiple stories due to the small size of the parcel. He said the student housing crisis was real and had become a moral issue in the community. He noted that in response to concerns voiced by the community and City, AMCAL had made changes to the project, and it was HSU's sincere hope that the City would join in meeting the needs of students who come to HSU.

Milt Boyd, a resident of Hilfiker Lane, appeared before the City and said he had little faith in HSU's capacity to manage a facility of this kind. He said there had been recent examples of its lack of ability to manage and cited the lack of football starting in 2019 and the recent troubles at KHSU. He said that what was true four to five years ago was no longer the case, and the lack of management ability by HSU would rebound on the residents of the city.

Alan Sanborn, a resident of H Street, appeared before the Council and suggested HSU could put a dorm where the former Trinity Hospital was, perhaps even with a parking structure. He asked if there would be a contract between the City and HSU to limit the project to 602 beds and to pay property taxes in perpetuity. He said that until there was a contract between the City and HSU, the Council should not approve this project.

An unidentified member of the audience appeared before the Council and said that traffic on L. K. Wood Boulevard was already hazardous. He said he didn't think this was Arcata's problem and that there were sites on campus that HSU could use for housing. He said the Craftsman's Mall site was a prime infill area where a neighborhood could be built. He said the Village's type of housing would not translate into family housing.

Connie Stewart, a resident of Arcata, appeared before the Council and said the rent at The Village would be the same as the rent at the HSU dorms, and not every project could come in under affordability. She pointed out that the developer had changed the project and had been incredibly responsive to the community. She said the City could adopt a social host ordinance to deal with partying, and could have a prevailing wage program so that every would have to pay prevailing wages. She noted that renters were putting 75 percent of their income into housing. She stated that HSU needed 2500 new housing units, and The Village would go a long way to help with that.

Julie Vaissade-Elcock appeared before the Council and said the developer had single-handedly divided the community. She said she felt no one at HSU could make a contract with the City to pay property taxes in perpetuity. She said if the property was sold to HSU and the CSU Board of Trustees decided not to pay property taxes or wanted to increase the number of beds, there would be nothing the City could do about it. She declared this property could be developed and open to everyone.

Kimberly Tays, a resident of Arcata, appeared before the Council and said that HSU's dishonest behavior had eroded trust, and the draft terms of the contract between HSU and AMCAL provided no assurance. She suggested the City enter into a Joint Powers Agreement with HSU. She said the property should not be exempt from property taxes. She said the development should be open to everyone, and that duplicating amenities off campus drove up housing costs. She asked the Council to please deny the project so that something more appropriate could be created.

Susan Hanson, a resident of California Avenue, appeared before the Council and said that traffic at the L. K. Wood Boulevard and Sunset Avenue intersection was intolerable. She asked the Council to not add to that problem. She asked the Council to please consider the seniors when making decisions and put some housing for seniors in that area.

Edith Fritzsche appeared before the Council and said she hoped the Council would listen to the residents of California Avenue who thought this was not the right development for HSU. She said it was not in the right place and would cause a much more dangerous situation. She said the Council needed to think about the people who lived in Arcata and not just the university.

Carol Petty, a resident of Spear Avenue, appeared before the Council and encouraged it to consider other possible sites for affordable housing in the community. She said she had been terrified to come out of her house when there were college parties in her neighborhood. She asked the Council to please consider lighting, vegetation, traffic, etc.

Debbie Coles, Assignment Coordinator, HSU Housing and Residence Life, appeared before the Council and said that room assignments at HSU and Arcata residences last year had a wait list of over 500 students. She said parents called her every day crying and trying to get her to let their kids live on campus. She talked about how the cost of dorms included all utilities, compared to apartments in Arcata that were the same price and did not include utilities. She said one-quarter of HSU's students were 25 and older and living in the dorms. She asked the Council to please approve the project, stating that it would be both programmed and monitored.

Jack Roscoe, a resident of Janes Creek Meadow subdivision, appeared before the Council and presented it with a letter from a resident of Turlock, California, Mrs.Nanette Snoke, where AMCAL had built a similar project. He said that Ms. Snoke's concerns should not be taken lightly. He asked if there was a way to prevent HSU from increasing the number of beds in the project.

An unidentified member of the audience appeared before the Council and told it to not conflate the need for student housing with the need for this project as they were not the same thing. He said that bottling up 600 people with one road out didn't make sense. He said that if HSU could put a dorm on campus, it should do so. He asked why the City would want 400 more cars on the roads.

Jeremy Cotton appeared before the Council and said he did not believe a lot of people would be driving during peak hours from The Village to HSU because there was no parking at HSU. He said students from The Village would walk, ride bikes, or take the bus to HSU. He said the Sunset overpass intersections were dangerous and always had been. Regarding student parties, he said people did not go party in the streets, they went to parties that were already in progress, and that was already happening in Arcata. He said that without a major corporation with major funding to purchase the Craftsman's Mall, it would just stay the same.

John Rosa, a resident of Maple Lane, appeared before the Council and said the development was too big for the area, and too dangerous for traffic and bicycles. He said Arcata should have an intelligent development. He said he wanted the City to retain control of the project and keep the property taxes forever, and not give it over to HSU.

Alex Stillman, a resident of Arcata, appeared before the Council and said she supported the project. She declared it was important to have additional housing in Arcata and that people wanted to have HSU flourish. She said this was not an easy site to build on and it needed someone with deep pockets who could clean it up and make it possible. She said HSU was one of Arcata's biggest resources and that Arcata needed to take care of its future generations.

Carol Ely, a resident of Arcata, appeared before the Council and said she loved the students and wanted them to have housing. She said HSU didn't have money to build dorms and it was going to have more and more students. She noted that HSU was a destination college and didn't get its students from the local population. She said she wanted to see housing for the students and minorities because they didn't feel safe in some parts of the community.

Jane Woodward appeared before the Council and said that, despite the many changes to the project, it was still not in Arcata's short- or long-term interest. She said that AMCAL was not willing to modify its project as proposed by Councilmember Ornelas. She declared this was an HSU land grab and when HSU purchased it, the City would lose all control. She said this project would not help the homeless students without subsidies from HSU.

Quinn Murdy, a student at HSU, football player, and resident of L. K. Wood Boulevard, appeared before the Council and said he walked to school. He said he believed traffic was a non-issue as no one could drive to HSU because there was no parking. He said there would be no parties at The Village or noise. He said that a vote against the project was a vote against students, against HSU, and against the forward progression of Arcata. He told the Council to make the right decision and vote to approve The Village.

Gwen Roscoe, a resident of Arcata, appeared before the Council and said this student housing would be surrounded by three residential neighborhoods. She urged the Council to search for research papers on the impacts of purpose-built student housing on communities. She expressed her concerns about traffic. She said she did not understand what improvements might be built at the intersection of Sunset Avenue and L. K. Wood Boulevard. She noted that the developer could transfer title to whomever they wanted.

Written comments opposed to the project were received from Jim and Edy Vaissade, Steve Martin, Margaret Kelso, Susan Hansen, Carlisle Douglas, Jane Woodward, Judith Williamson, Mary Comella, Bill Kowinski, Brian and Alisha Hammer, Jennifer Olson, Lozeau Drury, LLP, on behalf of Laborers' International Union of North America No. 324, Jim Hatchimonji, Chris Lee, Bonnie MacRaith, Clarinda Van Horn, Colin Wingfield, Jack Roscoe, Marlena Kogel, and Remy Moose Manley on behalf of Arcata Citizens for Responsible Housing.

Written comments in support of the project were received from Rollin Richmond, Trish Barsanti, Quinn Murdy, Siddiq Kilkenny, Kevin Hoover, Mary Gearheart, Joe Mazzotti, Kristine Long, Mary Keehn, Robin Bailie, Ron and Monica White, Terrence McNally, Bob Felter, Cat Koshkin, Dave Ryan, Debbie Coles, Jeremy Cotton, Cap and Margueite Powers, and HSU Vice President Douglas Dawes.

Also received into the record were an Editorial from the Mad River Union dated July 13, 2018, in support of the project, email conversations between Director of Community Development David Loya and Vice Mayor Brett Watson regarding the City's policy on infill development and the Infill Redevelopment Plan, and an opinion piece in the July 18, 2018, edition of the Mad River Union in support of the project written by Chant'e Catt.

Mayor Pereira closed the public comment period

RECESS: The Council recessed from 7:44 to 7:51 p.m.

Councilmember Pitino said it was nice to see the project reduced in size and the rents lowered. He said he was confident that if there was a really good walkway up Eye Street, it would make this a nice project. He said he had no problem saying yes to the project and moving it forward.

Mayor Pereira said Arcata's housing had been student housing for a very long time. She said that housing was a rare commodity in Arcata and because of that, it was harder to afford housing in Arcata. She said she didn't want to invalidate the concerns of the community members, but thought time would tell. She reported that she had worked in housing at HSU and in the dorms, most nights there were not crazy parties and things were handled quickly. She said she heard the students in the community when they said they had faced housing discrimination. She said there were many students who could afford housing, but could not find it. She said she also heard the families and working people struggling to find a place to rent. She said it was appropriate to consider student housing. She said she had conditions for the project and believed it could relieve the pressure on the local housing market. She listed her conditions as: 1) Have a market onsite that included the sale of fresh produce. She said this could help reduce the number of driving trips. 2) Property tax. She said that as it currently stood, if the property transferred to HSU there would be a lump-sum payment toward property taxes. She said the City had wastewater and police costs and needed to have property tax from the property. 3) A limit of 602 beds needed to be on the title. She said she would also include flexibility in the long-term if, as a community, Arcata had to re-evaluate the limit on the number of tenants.

Councilmember Watson and said that when he was a student, he lived in Eureka, and after he got married he found that housing for young couples was very limited in Arcata. He said this site was a rare opportunity to build an infill project and he thought it was reasonable. He said the most equitable thing to do was to try to build a project where there was a little something for everyone. He said he felt where this project went wrong was that it did not involve the community from the start. He said the City could not control what HSU did, but it wanted to work with it as a partner. He said he would like to see the developer build on this site and allow HSU to purchase it later on, but said it would not be doing the community a service if it focused solely on the single-student model.

Councilmember Pitino relayed the story of how he had to rent substandard housing when he first came to Arcata, but eventually was able to purchase a home. He said he shared his housing with students so he could make his mortgage payment. He said his experience in Arcata as a landlord was that it was paradise, but as a tenant it was hell. He said The Village was not perfect, but AMCAL was trying. He said one of his conditions was that HSU needed to manage the facility and that was happening. He said he totally supported the project and felt it was a great opportunity to use the site and have control over how it was developed. He said if the property went on the market, it would most likely have apartments built on it and the policing problems would all be Arcata's. He said he didn't think HSU was lying to him and he would hate to see the opportunity disappear.

Councilmember Ornelas said she felt the project needed more diversity. She said the project focused too much on one type of housing for this small town, and it would be a disservice to the neighbors to move forward with this . She said the community would embrace a mixed development and it would not harm them.

On inquiry by Councilmember Pitino, Mr. Moon said regarding property taxes in Monterey, that CSU Monterey Bay signed a tri-party agreement with the developer and the City for a payment in lieu of property taxes. He said the university bought that project after one year and the payment in lieu of taxes went into effect. He said Monterey was receiving all the same amount of money it would have otherwise received. He said AMCAL was amenable to that and HSU had already agreed that it would sign onto such an agreement.

Councilmember Ornelas expressed her concerns with an agreement between HSU and AMCAL only. She said she felt the City needed to be a party to that agreement.

City Manager Diemer said the $300,000 payment in lieu of taxes was an original condition for the project. She said she was hearing the Mayor say she wanted property tax payments in perpetuity. She said staff would figure out what the mechanism would be to meet that goal. She asked the Council for a list of conditions that would allow it to move the project forward.

Councilmember Watson said his primary condition was that the project needed to be opened up to a more diverse population of students. His second and third conditions would be for property taxes to be paid in perpetuity and an occupancy guarantee that would be in effect unless the City agreed to change it.

On inquiry by Councilmember Pitino, Councilmember Watson said he wanted the project to include married students and students with families, not just single students.

Mayor Pereira said that HSU's housing division could state what level of demand there was for married students and students with families. She said she would want to have that conversation with HSU to see what would make the most sense for the project.

David Moon said that housing for married students and students with families was something they were open to discussing. He said HSU was the expert on what their students' housing needs were. He said they were willing to explore specifically the ratio of family housing and then they would have to look at the economics of it. He said that if there was a need and they could afford to accommodate that need, they would like to do that. He said this project was a component of solving the housing needs of HSU.


MOVER:Paul Pitino, Councilmember
SECONDER:Susan Ornelas, Councilwoman
AYES:Paul Pitino, Susan Ornelas, Sofia Pereira, Brett Watson
ABSENT:Michael Winkler