Home > David Tyson, Eureka California, Frank Jager, Ridgewood Village, Virginia Bass > Eureka flip-flopped on Forster-Gill project

Eureka flip-flopped on Forster-Gill project

John Belsher.

An attorney for the Ridgewood Village development project, also known as Forster-Gill, aimed sharp criticism at the City of Eureka during Thursday night’s meeting of the Humboldt County Planning Commission.

John Belsher criticized the city’s mishandling of money that was meant to improve sewer and waste water systems. He said that although the city pledged to improve sewer infrastructure, it loaned over $5 million of dedicated funds to its redevelopment agency while necessary upgrades were ignored. As a result, Belsher said project developers will spend in the neighborhood of  $3 million to build a collection system that will “skirt around the problems the city has refused to fix.”

Belsher said the project was once embraced by city manager Dave Tyson, who in 2006 called a now-controversial road expansion a “critical connection that will benefit both Forster-Gill and [neighboring] Lundbar Hills.”

At the August 3, 2010 City Council meeting, Tyson said the city had been virtually shut out of the project, but Belsher read from letters he had received from the city over the years praising aspects of the project.

“It is completely untrue that the city has been left out of discussions on this project” Belsher said.

Slide from county staff's presentation on Ridgewood Village.

Former city planner Kevin Hamblin was involved in many meetings about the Ridgewood Village and even had a map of the project on his wall, Belsher said. “But politics being what they are, we now have a 25-page letter of rejections.”

Belsher also said he presented a draft annexation plan to Tyson but the city declined to support it. “They said if you can go get annexed, we’ll talk to you,” Belsher said.

Mayoral candidate Frank Jager is talking annexation on the campaign trail.  Perhaps Tyson neglected to tell him about the draft the city rejected.

Mayor Virginia Bass has made opposition to the project part of her campaign for Humboldt County supervisor, going so far as to invent non-existent aspects of the development to criticize — or to deflect voter jabs away from her favored Marina Center big box mall project.

Belsher’s best quote of the night followed discussion about the rash of development in Eureka’s unincorporated neighbor to the north.

Ridgewood Village “is the answer to McKinleyville,” Belsher said. “Instead of piecemealing out South Eureka, you Master Plan it.”

Ridgewood Village is a 386-acre project, but a solid 220-acres of the total area will be dedicated to forested greenbelts and open space.

The Planning Commission continued the hearing on Ridgewood Village to November 18.

  1. Pitchfork
    September 24, 2010 at 12:29 am

    There are no players you can trust in this deal.

  2. Anonymous
    September 24, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Er, I’d say the developer is the only one being honest in this situation.

  3. McKinleyvillan
    September 24, 2010 at 7:42 am

    it is true that 950 houses have been built in McKinleyville in the last 10 years–but with no parks, no trails, no affordable housing, nowhere for people to work. Belsher mad a lot of good points.

    From up here in McKinleyville–especially when you see that the project site is surrounded on almost 4 sides by development–it doesn’t look terrible. And we’d be pretty stoked on the Community Forest!

  4. McKinleyville Kris
    September 24, 2010 at 8:04 am

    But we don’t have a forest here nor the roads to support that kind of growth and parking lots in “town” are a mess and dangerous, there are still very few sidewalks where needed.

    So, not a good idea, a craptastic idea for sure.

  5. A Non A Me
    September 24, 2010 at 8:31 am

    No parks in McKinleyville? Let me see Pierson Park, Larissa Park, Hiller Sports Site, Hammond Trail, Central McKinleyville Trail…..

    September 24, 2010 at 8:46 am


    McKinleyville was easier to develop for major subdivisions since grasslands were predominant (marshes too) – not many THP’s needed. Not many grasslands left as a result within the heart of the bluff called McKinleyville. What is left has been mostly slated already for future development – community pool, health and spa center, more major subdivisions = homes, etc….

    Also, Pitchfork nailed it – LACK OF TRUST!!!!

    Questions are: But for what and why?


    Lastly, parks and trails have been and are typically only required in major subdivisions of land (not developmints, not lot splits, etc.) OR as some special mitigation or condition to counter other impacts – usually CEQA through a DEIR process and to its final analyses. Sorry if I left out a few other exceptions I may be unaware of.

    As far as the developer – he’ll whine over the up-front costs only to ever so quietly pass these costs along to the consumer via a sales transaction based on additional price increases. So, here is a property with development all around it – seems to me the developer MAY HAVE 4 potential sides to tap into or through for various needs. Based on land-locking (not absolute however), the devloper has had plenty of time to develop this property in conjunction and coordination with previous surrounding “build-outs”. Maybe, just maybe some of the issues are due to poor planning of past developments(subdivisions) and some are due to greed. AT any rate, why should the city taxpayers and county taxpayers pay for what the devloper should pay for? This includes water and sewer extensions and upgrades for increased capacity needs, road improvements in surrounding neighborhoods due to increased traffic loads and impacts, noise pollution and wastes controls for the infiller-esque promoters, etc…

    This project is just “too much” – too much in problems, too much in costs, too much on the current and immediate neighborhoods!

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  7. Plain Jane
    September 24, 2010 at 8:52 am

    And too much competition for contractors who want to do small subdivisions and lot splits without paying for increased infrastructure like Forster-Gill plans, Jeff? It’s shockingly unprecedented that a developer would pass on the costs of development to the people who buy the houses!

  8. Anonymous
    September 24, 2010 at 9:18 am

    We need to be more welcoming of business…. uh, unless it competes with my friend’s business.

    September 24, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Can’t be competition when such a large tract is owned by a single or very few entities – at least not until after the improvement impacts and costs are put into a sellable form, eh?

    Further, you’ll find that the costs in smaller subdivisions are not necessarily more or less – comes down to land and that which is easiest to develop from a “process standpoint” which tends to equate to less costs on the developer.

    The infillers argument now on behalf of this poorly planned project is that small subdivisions don’t pay their fair share???

    Just another reason why population reduction is needed – to eliminate schemers, especially the pyramidally challenged types that prey on babies and booming.


    September 24, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Forgot to lament PJ,

    not as shocking as certain developers who garner “EXTRA AND ADDED” public subsidies either! Afterall, how many more geneal contractors can there be to further destabalize a free market through a fascist network of taxpayer subsidies used to create higher privatized profit margins in order to set up the tax collectors for higher taxation billings?


  11. Plain Jane
    September 24, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Sorry I bothered to comment on your silly post, Jeff. It only encourages you to post even more silliness.

  12. eurekite
    September 24, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I agree that it sounds like the developer is being the most forthright. Tyson is certainly not credible after what we’ve learned about his professionalism.

    Good to hear annexation is in the discussion and that the developer is open to it, possibly even enthusiastic. The single best thing for this project and Eureka is to have it be part of Eureka.

    September 24, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Nameless and Faceless PJ,

    stirring up negativity in debate; then, sticky icky tail goes between the legs to name calling once again – just like the last time, the time before that, etc…..

    You need psychological help, really. Deception is shortening your lifespan, but I am ok with that. It means that people like you will be gone sooner than later!

    Schemers get no sympathy!


  14. Goldie
    September 24, 2010 at 9:46 am

    “Belsher criticized the city’s mishandling of money that was meant to improve sewer and waste water systems. He said that although the city pledged to improve sewer infrastructure, it loaned over $5 million of dedicated funds to its redevelopment agency while necessary upgrades were ignored”
    This issue of the misused millions is massively important and yet it is shrouded in such a mucky confusion it is impossible to understand. IMPOSSIBLE.
    The money is loaned to the redevelopment agency but then is not a loan and is not a debt, but a transfer that gets paid back in some ‘magical’ way that only Tyson and City Finance Director Valerie Warner understand.
    Where is the money? Will the books ever balance? How high will citizens rates need to go to pay for the sneaky arrogant City Hall smoke and mirrors routine?

  15. Plain Jane
    September 24, 2010 at 9:47 am

    I doubt that will be a selling point for the people who live in Ridgewood and Cutten, Eurekite.

    Thanks for the advice, Jeff. Can you give me the name of your psychologist? I wouldn’t want to make the mistake of going to yours since you only seem to be getting worse.

  16. Anonymous
    September 24, 2010 at 9:56 am

    No one wants anything built next to them.

  17. Anon
    September 24, 2010 at 10:09 am

    In County areas like McKinleyville developers build the roads, sidewalks, put in the street lights, sewer, water and electric for their development even if small. Then they pay a fee of over $4,000 per lot for sewer buy in. If the development is near the Central trail they have to build a trail to connect also. This actually gets passed on to buyers. Some time back a developer considered putting in quite a few homes but would have had to upgrade the sewer line that runs under the highway and reconsidered the number of homes because of the cost to them.

  18. Eric Kirk
    September 24, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    The politics of this whole thing are fascinating!

  19. Reinventing The Wheel
    September 24, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Yes, $5 million is big…but Eureka needs $100 million to update its system according to the recent report by Brown and Caldwell.

    It appears that the problem is much bigger. Weren’t Jager and Madsen in office while Eureka was busy building beyond capacity…where were the installment payments to the WWTP fund??

    In any case, it’s poor planning to plop extremely low income families and seniors in more rental housing 10 miles from jobs, services and transportation…while Eureka is saturated in empty lots and buildings.

  20. Goldie
    September 24, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    So how does a citizen get City Hall to respond to the mess they are so comfortable in. How do you get beyond the three minutes of bland attention they give citizens at their meetings?
    Do we need to get a Sewer Keeper or Fund Monitor, or will getting mad help?
    The shit they spend money on is not going to help the shit we need to get rid of.
    What makes a difference?

  21. jax
    September 24, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    be very careful heraldo, most of what belsher had to say was half-truths and lies. the planning commission aint buying most of his or girard’s story. don’t be so fast in posting his side of this mess.

  22. Goldie
    September 24, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    It is not just what he has said. There is something very fishy going on besides Bass.

  23. September 24, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Funny how the T-S didn’t mention his comments at all.

  24. Goldie
    September 24, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    T-S has been very consistent in what they leave out.

    September 24, 2010 at 5:11 pm


    at least I can change, for better or for worse; you however, there is no hope!


    September 24, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Redevelopment Agency also got a huge subsidy by the County Headwaters Fund Board when it should have not – for the Flake Ice Plant complex that the city of Eureka gets to own a majority stake. Talk about fascism and old boy connections.


  27. Anonymous
    September 24, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Yep, the Times-Standard’s coverage has been slanted toward the NIMBY crowd. In its briefly mentioning the unusual features (walkability, etc.) of what the developer is planning, the TS somehow keeps forgetting that more than half the land will be preserved as a forest with hiking trails. Only when the county held a separate meeting suggesting, hey, community forests would be good all around the county, the newspaper was forced to mention the Forester development because it’s what inspired the county in the first place.

    September 24, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    How can you preserve a forrest by constructing walking trails?

    Answer: You can’t!

    This is a typical infillest propaganda project, pure and simple.

    Community forrest = letting the public destroy the virginity of a forrest but disallow the property owner from doing the same thing for only himself or herself. Ya, it is easy to see deception at work and play.


    September 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Sorry, “hiking trails” since walking is not the political “catch-phrase term” used to pamper minds with.


  30. Plain Jane
    September 24, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Forster-Gill is not virgin forest. It’s been logged repeatedly. It is also honeycombed with trails used by walkers, equestrians and motorcycles and has been for many years.

    September 24, 2010 at 5:53 pm


    an idea that comes to mind IS


    Now, let the county audit each and every subdivision where land dedications have been mitigated to see if “the general public” really fracks up the “preserved portions of projects – those parts of the development process that local government uses manipulatively in order for making submissions on state mandated documents regarding Humboldt County housing quotas.


    September 24, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Virgin in so far as currently NO housing development (harvesting a natural and renewable resource is ok with me and does not make the status change). Its all about what it is NOW and it sure ain’t homes!

    SO, why the need for more trails then PJ? Obviously no need to make it sound like trails will be a highlite. Further, the suggestion that there exists current trails is an acknowledgemnt of trespassing – so, no need to make it sound like “new uses” are being created either.

    Now, maybe there is enough land to set aside for a motocross racetrack since the county took away the historic one near Redway.


  33. The Monitor
    September 24, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Ouside the lost redevelopment money question. Why would Eureka agree to build the marten slough interceptor, when the project is on county land and they want to tie into the city sewage plant, no city tax advantage that I can see. They want to build a 500,000 sq. ft. retail complex as well as the housing, no city sales tax advantage there. Those that live there would use city streets thereby adding to congestion, no advantage there. It looks like a big advantage to the county, not the city. Why don’t you guys talk about the real issues connected to this project?

  34. Reinventing The Wheel
    September 24, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    An audit of subdivision tax/fee contributions will confirm the obvious, developers receive massive public subsidies to build homes that 80% of local residents cannot afford.

    And least those who can’t afford to live there can be happy that their skyrocketing utility bills will enable others to do so.

    Allowing more rentals, and commercial property ten miles from a blighted downtown, is dumb.

  35. Reinventing The Wheel
    September 24, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Had former council members fought to build the Martin Slough Interceptor when it was first envisioned, and made sure appropriate fees were assessed, it would have cost about $7 million.

    No way the development community will fund the usual political gang with THAT kind of attitude!!

    Depending on which news story you read, the Interceptor will cost over $40 million upon completion. (The Interceptor was needed BEFORE Ridgewood Village). The Humboldt County General Plan Update, and its elements, are predicated on the completion of the Interceptor.

    September 24, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Good points Monitor,

    Kinda makes one wonder about these quasi county/city Headwaters and redevelopment deals.


  37. Capt.Truthiness
    September 24, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Why doesn’t Belsher simply agree to help pay for the Martin Slough Interceptor? Its my understanding the Interceptor will provide a much more energy efficient system (using gravity not pumps) and a drastic improvement for our environment over the aged, current system of leaking pumps and clay pipes. I thought back in 2005 Belsher first wanted the City to grant him access to City sewer capacity, and the City agreed… once the Interceptor was completed. Problem is, Belsher demanded access now, using the old leaking system, and refused to pay into the Interceptor.

    Why would the City want to take its VERY limited staff and resources off of the Interceptor project, essentially abandon its Federal grant obligations for the Interceptor(thanks Cong. Thompson), and commit them to Belsher for several years? It doesn’t make sense.

    I remember hearing about Belsher bird dogging this project and our City back in 2005. He’s a slick attorney with alot invested in this project. His job and his only job, is to make money for his client. Watching him on TV the other night, he just didn’t give me that feeling of “truthiness.” I’d love to see the look on his face should the Board reject his project. Does he in fact have the votes?

  38. Anonymous
    September 25, 2010 at 2:42 am

    Capt, he answered your question in H’s post… The city had millions of dollars set aside for sewers and instead used it for unrelated things. Short of facts, you attack the guy because he’s a lawyer doing his job. He caught the city with its pants down while it was pandering to peoples’ worst fears and getting caught telling tall tales.

  39. Anonymous
    September 25, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Why would the City want to take its VERY limited staff and resources off of the Interceptor project

    Because The city was receiving millions earmarked for a project exactly like the one they didn’t fund. It seems you haven’t been paying attention. Get past the fact that the guy is a lawyer and listen to what he’s saying.

  40. Capt.Truthiness
    September 25, 2010 at 9:18 am

    What the Capt. finds interesting is that we consider ourselves progressives, and yet we are willing to take the word of this shark Belsher, who is fabricating a story for politcal purposes and to line his own pocket. Personnaly, I think the project has merit. I just find it interesting that we progresives have so easily bought into the rhetoric. The Capt. needs to see all the facts before the truthiness can unfold. All I see today is rhetoric ramping up 6 weeks before another important election.

  41. September 25, 2010 at 9:22 am

    The conservative candidates have been twisting this project for political gain for weeks now, as noted in the post. Bass especially.

  42. Anonymous
    September 25, 2010 at 10:31 am

    “conservative candidates”? You mean Arkley candidates. Can’t wait to see if the residents around the proposed McKay Tract get as much sympathy from Bass.

  43. Anonymous
    September 25, 2010 at 11:10 am

    who is fabricating a story for politcal purposes

    No story was fabricated. Capt., you shouldn’t lie when the claims are backed up by a paper and/or e-mail trail. A lawyer isn’t likely to make empty claims, especially on a high profile issue such as this one where a single false statement could sink his client’s project. If they want to push him, I bet he’d turn the records over to the news media.

    Oh, and who says you’re a progressive? From the start you assail this guy with nothing other than the crime of being a lawyer. Be honest and grow up.

  44. Bonniebigbucks
    September 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    The Forster-Gill devlopers are giving Bonnie Big Dollars. No mention of that here?

  45. Pitchfork
    September 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    If Gill’s backing him, It’s becuase he hasn’t ask Ron what he thinks about this, disaster of a project. Ron isn’t backing this nightmare!

  46. Goldie
    September 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    What do all these people have in common: Concern about the Waste Water Funds!

  47. The Monitor
    September 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Ron is not for this project, that’s for sure. However, he and a lot of people in town want to know what happened to the sewer funds that went missing after redevelopment got it’s hands on the money. That would be Trowbridge-Thomas and Tyson playing with the money. It is another case of financial mismanagement and the staff at city hall.

    September 25, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Kirk Girard stated at the last county Planning Commission meeting that he did not believe anyone could have predicted the current housing/construction problems.

    Response: I know of one person who seered the bust and fraud; and, stated it in writing duplicitously YEARS AGO.


  49. Anonynous
    September 25, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Bonnie took $5,500 from Forster/Gill that they laundered through Mike and Dee Atkins their Project Manager. Ron did much the same. Lets hear him condemn Bonnie and the project now.

  50. Reality Check
    September 25, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Why the flip?-this is not an Arkley project-simple as that!
    Forrester-Gill is giving Bonnie big money-how about the developer money heading into Virginia’s campaign-

    Kramer Investment Corp., of Fairhaven: $1,500
    Becky Pritchard, Sequoia Construction, of Eureka: $1,500
    Pierson Company, of Eureka: $1,500
    D&R Miller, LLC, of Mckinleyville: $1,500
    J.L Furtado Construction: $1,500
    Steve Strombeck, Strombeck Properties, of Eureka: $1,500
    Hilfiker Pipe Co., of Eureka: $1,500
    Eureka Ready Mix, of Eureka: $1,500
    A.N. Hunt and Sons, of McKinleyville: $1,500
    Hooven & Co., of McKinleyville: $1,500
    Robert McBeth, O&M Industries, of Eureka: $1,500
    Jack Reike, Schafer’s Ace Hardware, of Eureka: $1,500
    Maxine Maples, Retired, of Eureka: $1,500
    C&K Johnson, of Arcata: $1,500
    Eureka Oxygen Co., of Eureka: $1,500
    Charles Bussman, George Peterson Insurance, of Eureka: $1,500
    Shaw & Peterson Insurance Co., of Eureka: $1,500
    Bettendorf Enterprises, Inc., Arcata: $1,500
    TJS Leasing & Holding Company, of Eureka: $1,500
    Lee Ulsaney, Artist, of Kneeland: $1,500
    Audrey D. Bode Rental Account, of Bayside: $1,500

    Let’s get real about this one!

  51. Reality Check
    September 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Oh, Bonniebigbucks-if you think that anyone is going to buy your bs about where the big money is coming from, you are as dense as your candidate! I can’t wait for the debates!

  52. Pitchfork
    September 25, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Anonynous 7:00 pm
    “Bonnie took $5,500 from Forster/Gill that they laundered through Mike and Dee Atkins their Project Manager. Ron did much the same.”
    Bullshit! Ron does not support this project period.

  53. September 25, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    He prefers the piecemeal development approach?

  54. Anonynous
    September 25, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    I guess we will have to wait until Ron files his donation reports to find out unless he waits until after the election. In the mean time lets see if he come out against Bonnie’s already reported graft.

    By the way on that Bass donor list I don’t see anyone donating $5,500 like Forster/Gill to Bonnie much less $10,000 from the SoCal coastal developer of Blue Lake casino. I know what Gill is getting but what about the others who have paid her off?

  55. September 25, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Lee Ulansey bought an appointment to the Eureka Planning Commission with his 2006 donation to the Bass campaign, but it was blocked by the council. If Bass wins the election for Supervisor, Ulansey will likely enjoy a seat on the County Planning Commission.

    Bought and paid for, right Anonymous?

  56. September 25, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Bonnie took $5,500 from Forster/Gill that they laundered through Mike and Dee Atkins their Project Manager. Ron did much the same. Lets hear him condemn Bonnie and the project now.

    How could you possibly know who has donated to Ron’s campaign when the information hasn’t yet been released by the elections office? Use a crystal ball much?

  57. Capt.Truthiness
    September 26, 2010 at 1:34 am

    What exactly are these claims against Dave Tyson and the Mayor and the City? That waste water funds are unaccounted for? What is the email and paper trail that backs up these claims and provides the Capt. with the truthiness we all crave and hunger for? What are the facts and why have we not run down every conclusive detail of this allegation? Why are we progressives not jumping all over this conservative developer from out of town here to make a mint off our town. Its what we do. We protect old rural historic neighborhoods and families who’ve lived out there for generations. Why are we so convinced that Belsher is telling us the truth?

    I’m just sayin, when we aren’t consistent, we lose our credibility. There are a lot of us progressives who don’t particularly enjoy the project partly because of the drastic traffic and economic impacts it will have on our beloved little town of Eureka, and upon the many good people who live there now. The Capt. wants to know every truthy little detail, please. Who IS John Belsher?

  58. Ne'er-do-well
    September 26, 2010 at 2:17 am

    What the fuck planet do you live on Henchasshole? Your posts are a fucking meaningless distraction. A short stay at Semper would do you wonders.

  59. 06em
    September 26, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Related issue? Hodgson Street (from the zoo all the way to Henderson Center) was just completely redone with stimulus funds. It is an alternative street that Cutten residents use to get to Eureka. I can easily drive around Eureka and name dozens of street in far worse shape than Hodgson, but that is the street that gets the full monty. Hodgson didn’t even have any pot holes as I recall. Why Hodgson? Anticipating Foster-Gill?

    It reminds me of Lucas Street. That street links Myrtle and Harrison two blocks beyond Stars Hamburgers. It was redone a couple years back (again, nothing wrong with it in the first place) and there are maybe two or three house on the whole damn street. At the time I thought there must be some city bigwig that lives on lightly used Lucas Street.

    September 26, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Heraldo fails to mention that governments “love peacemealing” too – especially the processes that raise project and societal costs to super-inflated values that tax collectors salivate at like head bitches in heat. Further, well until the seered housing BUST, governments were able to obstruct through piece-mealing by pushing out further into the future the abilities of land to be more appropriately completed in a more timely fashion – pyramid scheme affect!


    September 26, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Capt. Truthiness – hmmm, maybe some reasons are the same reasons as to why we now have a county supervisor who is a former city slicker!


    September 26, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Neer or far on dwelling not doing to well,

    The truth sux big, I know your pissed off!


    September 26, 2010 at 8:49 am


    you reminded me again of the by-pass boondoggles and lack of quality control conversations (for local infrastructure and its future needs of growth) from the 70’s and early 80’s.


  64. Pitchfork
    September 26, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Heraldo, I don’t see the choice as piece mealing or Forester Gill. There are many smart choices somewhere between those two extremes.
    Planned disaster or random disaster, the out come is the same.

  65. Anonymous
    September 26, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Why Hodgson? Anticipating Foster-Gill?

    Maybe they are anticipating the numerous parcels all over Cutten coming up for development after having been planned for exactly this use for 30 years. The Gill project is the only one proposed as a master plan to understand how it will unfold decades later. The rest are piecemeal subdivisions dropped in cookie crumb fashion with no planning, contributing to low density sprawl and driving to Eureka for jobs and services.

    Henchman, which are you supporting?

    1) no development
    2) piecemeal development
    3) master planning for developments

  66. Anonymous
    September 26, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Pitchfork, umm, no. A master plan considers ramifications for many years ahead (in this case, 3 decades). Piecemealing considers the ramifications under current conditions with little or no future consideration.

    So you’re saying there are many choices in between? What, planning for 5 years or 10 years instead of 30 years? Why on Earth would you want to limit planning to a shorter timeline, and how is that better? Why would the NIMBYs want anything except a master plan? If the NIMBYs are successful, they will succeed in destroying their neighborhoods. Watch. The NIMBYs are close to creating another McKinleyville.

    September 26, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Maybe it would still be a disaster because population and immigration/emmigration totals keep going up and so many people depend on it for jobs. Afterall, without population growth, pyramid schemers make hardly a schilling. Those who profit from the pyramid schemes also make hardly a schilling. Getting back the freedom taken away from a plentiful bounty of manipulative fingers (those who graft, steal, financially seduce, etc.) is true freedom that lessens a growth disaster!


  68. September 26, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Keeping 220 acres that could otherwise be developed as forest/open space doesn’t sound like a disaster.

  69. Anonymous
    September 26, 2010 at 9:53 am

    H, Henchman is, by default, opposed to everything. That way he can say, “See, I told you!” no matter the nature of the outcome.

  70. Pitchfork
    September 26, 2010 at 10:05 am

    That’s a false dichotomy. I’m opposed to any non supportable development in that area, also, no plan should involve building on the steep slopes that forester gill as slated for forest and open space. A wiser plan would be for no more than 250 homes and a small 100,000 square foot maxum neighborhood retail/service center. Oops not enough profit in that plan! This whole pretext of mandated growth is wrong.

  71. Anonymous
    September 26, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Pitchfork, you’ve failed to explain how the development is not supportable. It’s built in phases and if there isn’t support, the phases slow or stop until there is support. By definition, it is supportable because it only occurs in the presence of support.

    You are suggesting that Humboldt County is not going to grow. You are denying reality. Cutten will be its own city 50 years from now.

  72. Pitchfork
    September 26, 2010 at 10:30 am

    “Pitchfork, you’ve failed to explain how the development is not supportable.”
    not enough vehicle capacity!
    little or no fire protection!
    little or no police protection!
    limited water and sewer capacity!
    “Cutten will be its own city 50 years from now” ya like a little Orange County, sweet!

  73. Anonymous
    September 26, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Pitch, thanks for confirming my suspicion. You have no argument.

  74. Anonymous
    September 26, 2010 at 11:06 am

    To say it another way, Pitchfork’s denial of all the research and evidence does not an argument make.

  75. Ne'er-do-well
    September 26, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Ever notice how many people engage you on here Hench? There’s a reason for that. Semper is always an option if your not too proud.

  76. Pitchfork
    September 26, 2010 at 11:43 am

    ……”Pitchfork’s denial of all the research and evidence”….. You mean that weak ass EIR. That was only surpassed in it lameness by the Balloon track EIR.

  77. Anonymous
    September 26, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    No Pitchfork, I don’t mean the EIR. I mean the state and local research that has driven county planning for decades.

    These developers are following the county’s lead and the county is following the state’s lead, backed by the county’s own separate research which happens to concur with state projections. If you have a gripe, it should be with state and local planners. But given that you’ve revealed that your opinions are groundless (meaning, not based upon evidence), you are shooting yourself, and our community, in the foot by trying to deny the oncoming storm.

    Growth is happening. The decision is how we plan, or not plan, to deal with it. I suggest that if you love Humboldt, you will choose to plan for growth so you have some control over Humboldt’s future.

  78. Reinventing The Wheel
    September 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Meanwhile, Eureka remains saturated in empty lots and buildings…

    Repeat: Dumping extremely low income families and seniors in more rental housing 10 miles from jobs, services and transportation is extremely poor planning.

    The EIR addresses obvious transportation problems by concludes that they will be “emphasizing job-sharing and Dial-A Ride” for the new residents.

    If the community works together, maybe we can also get crosswalk volunteers until we can fund the traffic signals already needed on H, I, F, Harris, and Myrtle.

  79. Anonymous
    September 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I suspect he’s referring to the decades of local and state research on population growth specific to Humboldt County.

    September 26, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Near is really far from doing well, so he continues to engage me.

    Hey, we all need a little semper. I need it to offset the frauds who lie and manipulate on this godless foresaken planet. Anyhow, I shall still be truthful to your displeasure.

    Statement: It is no wonder why the nameless and faceless attack – because they can and enjoy it too like a yellow-bellied bushwhacker.


  81. September 26, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    The Forster-Gill area is zoned for residential development and will be developed, one way or another. Ridgewood Village would keep most of the land as forest, even putting it into TPZ (Timber Production Zone) if I understand correctly. That’s a voluntary down-zoning you won’t see much these days.

    According to Belsher there will be a fire station in the development, and hence, fire protection.

  82. Ne'er-do-well
    September 26, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Just so we are clear Hench, we actually agree on something. Namely population control. Which I, in my socialist enfeebled mind see as a prime objective of the, now every conservative hold your breath and get ready to wrech, fucking United Nations, minus all the idiotic god talk, and give the fuckers rubbers at my hard earned tax dollar expense.

  83. Voice of Reason
    September 26, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    OK, Heraldo, I get all the great things you suggest are awesome about the development, but what about the traffic?

  84. Reinventing The Wheel
    September 27, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    It doesn’t matter how this property was zoned decades ago if the infrastructure is no longer there, and the project will contribute to existing traffic and waste water disasters…(note: According to Dr. Arbitise of British Columbia’s School of Planning, “there will no longer be a market for homes ten miles from downtown in 20 years”. The Gulf oil disaster should have begun a national debate about the inevitability of the end of cheap oil forever).

    It’s difficult to make the “best” decisions in a community long-dominated by the speculators.

    However, if our powerful political friends merely began the process of filing the appropriate complaints with the Water Board, and other agencies, Ridgewood Village wouldn’t see the light of day, and would, at least, be delayed for another generation when we will be asking ourselves, “what in the Hell were we thinking”?

  85. Anonymous
    September 27, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Awesome! Reinventing the Wheel just solved the problem. According to his evidence, “there will no longer be a market for homes ten miles from downtown in 20 years.”

    No problem then. Because this is a master plan built in phases, they won’t get past building the first phase. You have nothing to worry about!

    What the hell are you thinking? Or rather, what the hell are you smoking? Smart growth is the future and this is the smartest growth this county has ever seen. Cutten is being built out. Heck, it already is built out, which is why the land in question is already surrounded by subdivisions.

    You should have known it when you bought your house here. You can’t stop the progressives. We will win. We’ll force the future upon you because the world can’t take your trash-the-planet lifestyle.

  86. Cranker
    September 27, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Heraldo, I agree with the all the aspects of this project. However, the project is not well thought-out as is just assuming a free pass because of the concepts it is claiming. The fire protection you mention is not funded, nor is there a credible method of funding it in the EIR. You like others are falling hook, line, and sinker for a concept only. When you read the EIR you see the project has major revisions and analysis needed. I was very impressed with Planning Commissioner Faust’s astute observations of the EIR comments. There are deal killers in the City’s comments which blowhard Belsher tries to half-truth into a City / County pissing match. My sources tell me the County staff thinks Belsher is a big pain in ass, much like Arkley is the man with the handgun taking aim at his own shoes!

  87. Anonymous
    September 27, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    nor is there a credible method of funding it in the EIR

    Translation: There is a method of funding specified. You merely disagree with it.

    blowhard Belsher tries to half-truth

    Ahem. With your radical commentary, we are supposed to believe you’ve thoughtfully considered the EIR? You’re a raving NIMBY. Admit it. Wipe the foam off your mouth first though.

  88. Anonymous
    September 27, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Oh, and if you’re going to imply the lawyer isn’t telling the truth, back it up with specifics. The video is online. Tell us what he said and explain why it’s not true. Until then, you’re a rave, rave, raving NIMBY.

  89. Anonymous
    September 27, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Oh, my mistake. You might be a city employee.

  90. A-Nony-Mouse
    September 27, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    The ONLY way the Forster/Gill project won’t suck the life out of the city is for it to annex into the city. Otherwise the drain of city resources for street maintenance, police and fire back-up, the loss of sales tax revenue, and traffic mitigations will be overwhelming. If the area is willing to annex, at least the sales tax revenues and other incomes will help the city rather than detract from it.
    That said, it still looks completely out of proportion, phased or not. Where are the good paying jobs that will allow people to buy those homes? Maybe the minimum wage jobs from the so-called Marina Center are supposed to allow people to buy the ultra-low income housing? Talk about lowering the bar!

  91. Anonymous
    September 27, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    A-Nony-Mouse, look at the project. It’s not all mansions. There’s a mix of housing. You know, evil apartments, and, gasp, smaller houses. There are a LOT of current Humboldt residents, myself included, who would love to own a home, but the prices are absurd. These smaller homes mixed with the housing group working with the developer (owning the land while you own the house or somesuch) sounds like a good deal. But I’m not a rich retiree, so the NIMBYs hate me.

    As for annexing, I agree with you, but as has been pointed out, the city chose not to pursue annexing. It’s so much easier for the city to cover its ass by playing the victim.

  92. Not A Native
    September 27, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Since the thread has moved discussing the inevitability of State mandated housing construction goals, here’s a news item about a Florida initiative to make housing goals a local decision. Personally, it sounds like this development is at least fully planned in one effort. It may not work out as planned but it will likely work out better than housing built with no area wide planning.

    I guess the argument boils down to whether you believe regional planning is a good thing and will result in better communities than developing smaller parcels at whatever time a developer acquires rights to them.

  93. Reinventing The Wheel
    September 27, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Anonymous says:
    September 27, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    “…What the hell are you thinking? Or rather, what the hell are you smoking? Smart growth is the future and this is the smartest growth this county has ever seen. Cutten is being built out. Heck, it already is built out, which is why the land in question is already surrounded by subdivisions”.


    1) Old Town was the smartest growth this county has ever seen.

    2) Building moratoriums are the “present” for our local cities. And they will be Eureka’s future with more sprawl like this.

    2) Cutten is already sprawl, with it’s tell-tale maze of dead-end Lanes, Ways, Drives and cul-de-saks.

    3) Cutten is hardly “built-out”, there’s miles of forest to its East begging to be cashed-in.

    4) The term “Smart Growth” originated in downtown areas, essentially, recreating Old Towns with their mix of incomes, uses, walkability, and affordability; close to jobs, services and transportation. Everyone in Ridgewood Village will be headed into downtown Eureka where development should have been the priority.

    This is a fabulous project. It’s just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The infrastructure is already exceeding capacity in too many areas. It’s not the 1950’s anymore, and tiny Eureka needs $100 million today merely to replace its aging waste water system, not including the Elk River WWTP expansion or the Martin Slough Interceptor. Our traffic issues are legendary.

    But this never stopped every local project from ensuring it would pay its “fair-share” of costs for its impacts…this time they mean it?

    The Forster-Gill guarantee?


  94. Reinventing The Wheel
    September 27, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Funny how the future looks so much like the past.

    My neighborhood (three miles from downtown) is beginning its 4th recent subdivision…all funneling into Eureka via Fern Drive.

    And the only “improvement” has been to install a tiny sign on a ten foot pole urging cyclists and pedestrians to stop using Fern Drive!

    Oh, and each new subdivision promised their “fair-share”.

    In reality, millions of dollars are being made and the biggest costs are the externalities Eureka is so famous for.

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