The City of Arcata has a new Community Development Director. Current Deputy Director of Community Development David Loya has accepted an offer of employment to begin serving as head of the Community Development Department on April 30. Loya was recommended by both a community member panel and City staff panel that interviewed the finalist applicants.
“David has a proven track record as a creative leader committed to our community,” says Arcata City Manager Karen Diemer. “He understands the important planning, housing and economic development needs and issues facing our city, as well as the many wonderful and unique aspects that define Arcata. I look forward to seeing the results that his collaborative approach combined with his vision, character and dedication to public service will bring to Arcata.”
Loya replaces Larry Oetker, who will be retiring at the end of April. Oetker began his career with the City of Arcata in 1997 and served as an associate and senior planner before becoming the Department’s Deputy Director in 2002. He has been the Community Development Director since 2007.
During his 19 year career with the City, Oetker has conceived of, coordinated support for, and shepherded many large-scale projects through the regulatory processes required to build them. Some of Director Oetker’s notable projects are the Arcata Endeavor and Arcata House homeless services projects; the Courtyards multi-family affordable housing project on Boyd Road; the Downtown streetscape and vacant lot infill and Valley West neighborhood improvement projects; the Foodworks Culinary Center and Aldergrove Industrial Park lot development; the Plaza Point and Bayview Courtyard senior housing projects; the Arcata Bay Crossing transitional housing project; the Creamery District and the Medical Marijuana Innovation Zone.
“I have had the pleasure of working with a number of great local non-profits, businesses, contractors, developers, architects, designers, financial institutions, and real estate professionals that have done the hard work to make Arcata a great place to live work and play,” says Oetker.
While he played an important role in making several high profile projects a reality, Oetker says he is most proud of working on projects done not by professionals, but by home and business owners themselves. “It’s these small projects that were scattered throughout the city that truly give Arcata the look, vibrancy, and funkiness that we all enjoy.”
David Loya has worked for the City of Arcata for nine years and has been involved in planning, economic development and housing projects. He has served as the Community Development Department’s Deputy Director since 2009. He earned a masters degree in biology from Humboldt State University and is a self-proclaimed “amateur wrench head” who enjoys building vintage steel bicycles. He lives with his family in Arcata.
“I have been honored and pleased to serve the City, its residents, businesses, and visitors, for the past seven years as its Community Development Deputy Director,” says new Director Loya. “During this time, I’ve been involved in amazing projects with equally impressive people in the community and our City staff. I look forward to redoubling my commitment to the City, working with our excellent planning, housing and economic development teams, and continuing my service to our community.”