General Plan Updates

The Arcata General Plan shapes how the city of Arcata will look, function, provide services, and manage resources for the next 20 years. The plan is the City's “constitution” for physical development and change within the existing and future city boundaries. The plan is a legal mandate that governs both private and public actions. The general plan is atop the hierarchy of local government laws regulating land use. Other laws and policies, such as specific plans, subdivision regulations, and the zoning ordinance are subordinate to, and must be consistent with, the general plan. Comprehensive in scope, the plan conveys the fundamental values that public decision-makers will use to guide the City's evolution, from its physical development to the ever-changing network of services provided to its citizens.

If you recieved a City mailer indicating your property is proposed for Land Use changes, learn more by clicking here.


Updating this General Plan

The City is currently working to update the General Plan. Although the majority of the General Plan is still relevant, Arcata is nearing the 20,000 residents projected in the plan, and some elements must be updated to accommodate future growth. Among them, the Land Use, Circulation, Utilities, Open Space, Resource Conservation and Management and Growth Management Elements , will need revision in order to strengthen conservation and infill policies. Other updates that will be made include new land use and utility priorities, equity and environmental justice policies, and more. 

Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report

The City of Arcata is releasing a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for its General Plan Update, which will include the City’s Gateway Area Plan as a new Element. An NOP signifies the formal start of the General Plan Update’s environmental review process. 

Planning Commission & City Council Review & Adoption

The City of Arcata Planning Commission is currently conducting review of the current General Plan, through a series of public hearings. The following schedule is a draft and subject to change, but provides a general roadmap of upcoming hearings. 


Gateway Area Plan

Review the Gateway Area Plan here.

Explore Draft General Plan Elements

As draft Elements and supportiong documentation is presented to the Planning Commission, they will be updated and made available for review on the left sidebar.