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City News

Posted on: December 1, 2021

Arcata Gateway Area Plan Update

Arcata 2021

UPDATED: Friday, August 5, 2022


The Community Development Department released the draft of the Gateway Area Plan on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 which provides details of how Arcata’s Gateway Area could be redeveloped to create more housing and job opportunities for the community. City staff has been holding a series of public meetings to discuss the contents of the draft since December 2021. More opportunities for public engagement will be announced as dates are finalized. 

The Gateway Area Plan draft will be circulated to the public for approximately one year before it can be adopted by the City Council, and members of the public may review the Gateway Area Plan draft hereClick here to watch a 60-minute informational video about the Gateway Area Plan draft.


The Community Development Department is in the process of scheduling more public engagement opportunities through the summer, including opportunities for the public to learn more about next steps in developing a form-based code for the Arcata Gateway Area. 

The first presentation in this series was recorded on June 29th, 2022, and is available for review on the City’s YouTube page here. This meeting included an hour-long presentation from the City’s design consultant, Ben Noble, as well as 30 minutes for general Q&A from the public following the presentation. Please consider reviewing this presentation in advance of the August 16th workshop. 

The second presentation in this series will be held August 16th, from 6-8 p.m., also via Zoom. This meeting will include additional information from the City’s design consultant, Ben Noble, and will cover additional design standards proposed to regulate building scale and massing, as well as additional information on proposed building heights by zone and community benefits. The meeting will be recorded and will be available on the City’s Youtube channel. 

This meeting will include virtual polling and participants will be asked to weigh in on building standards, in order to provide additional information to the City Council and Planning Commission in advance of the joint study session scheduled for the evening of August 23rd

To participate in the meeting, please use the following link/information:

When: Aug 16, 2022 06:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Design and Form-Based Code Virtual Workshop
Webinar ID: 880 0093 8400

If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to submit comments, please do so to the Community Development general inbox at dloya@cityofarcata.orgwith cc to Delo Freitas at Staff will ensure that comments submitted are forwarded to the Planning Commission and City Council. The Planning Commission and City Council can also be contacted directly through their City email addresses which are available on the City’s website at and


Upcoming public meetings will focus on building and neighborhood design and other topics of interest. These conversations will also provide an opportunity for Arcata’s residents to share feedback about community benefits and amenities they would like to see in the Gateway Plan Area. The dates for these meetings will be provided as they become available. Planning Commission hearings on the Gateway Area Plan are ongoing. The tentative public engagement schedule for the next few months (Planning Commission and other hearing bodies) can be found here under the calendar. 

The City of Arcata Planning Commission is also continuing to work through various chapters of the draft Gateway Area Plan at its regularly scheduled planning commission meetings, which take place the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 6 PM. These meetings can be attended in person or via Zoom. The Planning Commission can also be contacted through their City email addresses which are available on the City’s website at

Past Planning Commission meetings where Gateway Plan topics have recently been reviewed, as well as agendas for upcoming meetings, can be viewed on the City’s website, here.


Community members are encouraged to sign up for the Community Development Department’s Long Range Planning & Community Visioning email notification list to stay updated on public comment and engagement opportunities. Sign up by clicking here.


In addition, the City of Arcata has released the Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the General Plan Update. This EIR process includes an analysis of the Gateway Area Plan draft as a new Element of the City’s General Plan, and associated zoning changes needed in order to implement the General Plan. The NOP review period began on Friday, February 4 and closed on Monday, March 7 at 5:00 p.m. A recording of staff’s scoping hearing presentation can be reviewed on the City’s YouTube page here.


The City is also currently working to update its Local Coastal Program, which contains development regulations pertaining to properties located within the Coastal Zone of the City of Arcata. These properties are regulated by the California Coastal Act in addition to local regulations, which primarily relate to the protection and preservation of coastal resources as well as encouraging coastal access. 

The City’s current coastal regulations date back to the 1980s and we have been working to update them for several years. Arcata’s updated Local Coastal Program is now at the point of having these updated regulations ready for review by the public. We will be sending these updates to the City’s Planning Commission and City Council for review and discussion over the course of the next few months. 

Here is how you can learn more and get involved in this process:

  • If you would like to learn more about where to find information on the updated Local Coastal Program, you can find more information at:
  • To be updated about upcoming meetings, sign up for the Long Range Planning & Community Visioning and Sea Level Rise Notifications at:
  • If you’d like to discuss this with our Planning team, feel free to contact us at or at 707-822-5955. We would be happy to speak with you about the City’s plans for future development in the Coastal Zone and how we are planning to alter current regulations to address future economic and environmental needs into the future.


Based on public input received in the last month, the Community Development Department has identified common concerns related to the draft plan and has created a fact sheet for the public to review. The fact sheet will be updated regularly, and is available here.


The draft Community Engagement Report is available on the City’s website here, under the “Engagement Report” tab. This document will continue to be updated over time and contains feedback from 2020 to Spring 2022. 

Video recordings of previous public engagement meetings regarding the Gateway Area Plan draft, including the virtual Town Hall, Planning Commission and City Council meetings are available to view on the City of Arcata’s YouTube page.

For more information on the Gateway Area Plan draft or to learn more about Community Development projects and plans, please click here or call 707-825-2213.

Arcata residents are encouraged share their input and reach out to the Community Development Department with questions regarding the draft of Arcata Gateway Area Plan. City staff can be reached by email at or by calling (707) 822-5955. In addition, City staff is available to meet with individuals or groups of community members interested in discussing the plan. Please contact (707) 822-5955 to schedule a virtual or in-person meeting.

Arcata Gateway Plan Area 2021

A portion of the Gateway Plan Area, courtesy of the City of Arcata.

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