Home > Ridgewood Village > EUREKA: Forster-Gill lawyer was right

EUREKA: Forster-Gill lawyer was right

Eureka city staff confirmed at Tuesday’s City Council meeting that extensive correspondence exists between project proponents of the Ridgewood Village development project in Cutten (aka Forster-Gill) and the city.

Project attorney John Belsher belabored the point at the September 23rd Planning Commission meeting following bitter complaints by City Manager Dave Tyson that it had been virtually shut out of the project. Now it appears that wasn’t exactly true.

But the city remains united against the project, and residents can expect to see the city take it’s vehement opposition to a future meeting of the Planning Commission.  In fact, they will come out swinging and won’t “pussyfoot around,” according to Councilman Larry Glass.

City Manager Dave Tyson said recent accusations that the city misplaced $6 million in funds meant for waste-water treatment is accounted for and was not used inappropriately.  He said the Martin Slough Interceptor project is still in the works and that the city has been working diligently on it.

  1. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 1:17 am

    This hullabaloo is so Eureka gets the tax revenue instead of the county. Support sprawl so everyone in Cutten has to drive to Old Town and the chain stores.

  2. Toohey
    October 6, 2010 at 7:21 am

    The City of Davis few years back found out the limits of its ability to control growth. The developers just started talking to the county about building on the edge of town. The city council capitulated and let the developers back in so at least they could have their design review involved.

  3. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Local developers are opposed to Forster-Gill because it isn’t their development. It will be so far superior to anything they could do due to the size of the parcel and its location, they want it stopped. The City of Eureka acts like it is entitled to all the consumer dollars of Humboldt as evidenced by their claims that Home Depot will cannibalize business from hardware stores all over the county and crowing that is great for Eureka while complaining about the non-Eureka citizens of Ridgewood having even very minimal shopping opportunities nearby taking sales tax from Eureka. Not being able to buy even a loaf of bread without driving 2+ miles (to Murphy’s Cutten – not Eureka) is energy foolish. The hypocrisy of the pro-Marina Center, anti-Forster-Gill people is blatant.

  4. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 7:52 am

    jane, what makes you think local developers are opposed to this project?

  5. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Because they have said so in public meetings, 7:52. Do you think they were lying?

  6. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Because their mouthpiece HumCPR is in strong opposition.

    Why is HumCPR against the property rights of the Forester/Gill owner?

  7. High Finance
    October 6, 2010 at 8:13 am

    If the city wants to have the final say for projects on its immediate border, they should annex the areas.

  8. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 8:16 am

    To turn the tables on these hypocrites, don’t people have a right to live and shop in the neighborhood of their choice? Don’t land owners have a right to develop their property as they wish so long as they obey zoning ordinances? Should the government block a large developer’s plans in order to stifle competition for the benefit of other developers? Should they block retail business outside the city because it will take business (and sales tax) from Eureka? Let’s see some consistency here folks.

  9. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 8:19 am

    If people wanted to live in Eureka they would. I doubt very much that the people of Ridgewood want to become part of Eureka and they certainly don’t want their excellent schools to be taken over by Eureka City Schools. Don’t the wishes of the people being annexed matter?

  10. the reasonable anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 8:21 am

    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” – Ralph Waldo Emmerson

  11. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 8:26 am

    “A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.”
    Adlai E. Stevenson

    “A hypocrite is the kind of person who would demand their own property rights while refusing that of their competitors.”
    Plain Jane

  12. Harold h. Greene
    October 6, 2010 at 8:31 am

    mindless consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, works better for me.

    I’m just say’n.

  13. Wazthere
    October 6, 2010 at 8:36 am

    This project is just what HumCPR opposes, which is urban sprawl. HumCPR advocates for rural property owners not developers who cram intense development on ridgetops. Well PJ, you sure sing the party line!

  14. the reasonable anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Thanks, Jane, the Stevenson quote fits the Forster-Gill supporters perfectly. Cut down the forest to build thousands of suburban homes, then mount the stump and make a speech about “smart growth” and “infill.”

  15. the reasonable anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 8:39 am

    That being said, I do think CPR’s statement on Forster-Gill is rather ridiculous, at least the part on how the development “could change the rural quality of life for the Ridgewood/Cutten area.” What rural quality of life? More like suburban quality of life.

  16. Ridgewood
    October 6, 2010 at 8:43 am

    the funny thing is the City complains about the roads and unmitigated use of the roads by Existing Cutten and Ridgewood residents but they fight the commercial that would help mitigate. in the May 2006 letter from Tyson to FG that the lawyer submitted to Planning Commission Tyson says FG can have 1100 houses on the property. What would that do to the roads without a place to shop.
    The letter is public record now everyone should request a copy. Who’s the biggest NIMBY?

  17. Anon
    October 6, 2010 at 8:43 am

    That forest was cut down years ago, now it’s a lot of slash and Jeep rutted dirt roads. It stands to reason that it’d be heavily logged since it was rolled out of TPZ.

    Remember that the choices are 940 tract houses McKinleyville style, or something like what is proposed. Returning to forest isn’t one of the choices–the Supervisors decided that in 1995.

  18. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 8:43 am

    I hope someone tells Bruce Emad and the other Planning Commissioners who have made a big point of directing the county planners to get more input from the City of Eureka. Can we talk about the project now instead of Eureka politics? Oh no, sorry, I guess that is asking too much.

  19. the reasonable anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Some are claiming that the opposition to Forster-Gill is all coming from competing developers and CPR. But unless I’m mistaken, Larry Glass has come out strongly against it, too. So it seems that there are “progressives” on both sides of this one.

  20. Ridgewood
    October 6, 2010 at 8:57 am

    By the way for a city in financial crisis they are spending a lot of time and money fighting this project. A 25 page comment letter written by the heads of each department had to be expensive. Plus they are spending wastewater funds to hire a law firm Reed Smith I always wondered what the 300,000 line item legal expense in the wastewater fund was for.
    The funny thing they hire the law firm to fight the project in the MSI region, this same law firm has been paid millions to lobby for the MSI to serve this region.
    It seems like the city is trying to put in a 30 million dollar pipe and project but they don’t want anyone that’s not in city boundary to use it.

  21. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 9:01 am

    As Anon at 8:43 said, the property has been logged numerous times over the years and hardly qualifies as forest. The only large trees left are those which were inaccessible to loggers using Cats with chokers rather than high lead. People want to live in Ridgewood because it’s beautiful and sunnier than in Eureka, better for gardening and has great schools. Forster-Gill would provide nearby shopping for the area, a park which is sorely needed, increased funding for the schools and public safety and possibly increase the population to the point where public transportation would become available.

  22. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Larry Glass is doing his job looking out for the best interests of his constituents, the businesses and citizens of Eureka. At least he is consistent with his opposition to the Marina Center.

  23. the reasonable anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 9:17 am

    So it sounds like you would agree that defeating the Forster-Gill proposal would be in “the best interests of…the businesses and citizens of Eureka.” If so, we at least agree on that.

    At the same time, it appears that many who actually live in Ridgewood and Cutten feel that defeating Forster-Gill would also be in THEIR best interest. Though I don’t know how many in Ridgewood and Cutten feel that way, I suspect it would be a majority of those residents, given the traffic and other impacts of such a massive development.

    If it’s not in the best interest of EITHER Eureka residents and businesses, nor in the best interest of those already living in Ridgewood and Cutten, whose interests WOULD be served by this massive new subdivision? Besides one wealthy out-of-area developer, that is?

    It’s not in the best interest of the residents of Eureka, Cutten and Ridgewood, but it IS in the best interests of other Humboldt residents? Or in the best interests of humankind in general?

  24. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 9:27 am

    It is also not in the best interests of Eureka residents to put twenty thousand homes on every timber parcel in Humboldt County with no way to pay for services. More traffic, more tax dollars demanded for rural roads, fire and safety, less fish and wildlife… sounds great!

    It’s not even a good deal for those of us already in the hills. More neighbors, less water, more fire danger, more spread out public safety.

  25. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 9:30 am

    There are, as in life, pluses and minuses for the people who live in Ridgewood. While traffic will increase with more people driving into the city to work, it will decrease the driving for shopping and, as previously stated, a park and increased funding for schools and public safety is also a benefit to those who already live there. Houses will be built in Ridgewood so long as more people want to move there. The only question is if it will be haphazard without the benefits Forster-Gill offers or with.

  26. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Let’s ask the city to protect the neighbors from the McKay development. Oh, don’t do that it is owned by Arkley.

  27. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 9:39 am

    We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that years ago this property was zoned residential. They are asking to amend the zoning on the property from low density single-family residences to a mix of commercial space and single- and multi-family residential. You know, so people who can’t afford $500,000 for a home can still live in a great neighborhood.

  28. NotPlainJane
    October 6, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Larry consistent on his opposition to the Marina Center? Maybe you missed it, but at Eureka Rotary forum he said he is now all for the project! Keep on spouting.

  29. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

    HumCPR is for housing for our young workers, but only in the hills, where all they really can do is grow weed.

  30. Sam
    October 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

    The issue local developers have with this project is that it will create less demand for their own residential projects, especially given the proposed number of units. This is the game your play as a developer. Use you’re political pull where ever possible to limit competition, then nickel and dime every subcontractor, consultant, etc. on board to maximize profits (while claiming their actually saving the end customer the money)

  31. the reasonable anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 9:48 am

    “It is also not in the best interests of Eureka residents to put twenty thousand homes on every timber parcel in Humboldt County…”

    Which isn’t happening and isn’t even remotely likely to happenn in the future. Get a grip.

  32. tenth street dreamer
    October 6, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Glass is not opposed the the Marina Center in concept. His concerns have always been the clean-up. Now that that has been litigated and a complete clean-up will take place, the project will move forward. There are concerns about the mixed use of the project and how it will affect other existing retail, how it will tie into Old Town, traffic flow on Broadway and other connector streets. All these things will have to be looked at and decisions made. Glass wanted Measure N to be put to a public vote so the next council will have direct input from the community. The original EIR was not a well thought out study and will be revisited at the appropriate time. All the issues will be addressed and the project will move forward with full council input. Again, Glass has not stated he was against the project, it was the clean-up that needed addressing. That has been done.

  33. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Although Glass wanted the issue of the Marina Center to stay within council hands, he supported the public’s right to vote on the zoning changes proposed in Measure N, which is coming to a ballot near you in November. He also wants a full clean-up and even suggests that Union Pacific, who owned the old railyard before selling it to Security National, should help foot the bill for that clean-up.

    “But he still had concerns about expanding retail in the city without expanding the city’s wealth base, adding that he supports the development of an industrial park or incubator similar to the successful Aldergrove Park in Arcata.

    “To me, expanding retail hoping for greater success and prosperity is like cannibalism,” Glass said. “When you do add wealth to a community is with manufacturing.”


  34. the reasonable anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 10:02 am

    “There are, as in life, pluses and minuses…”

    Very true. So the question becomes, do the pluses outweigh the minuses? When it comes to situations like the Forster-Gill project, reasonable people can reasonably disagree on how it all adds up. That’s why you find Larry Glass amongst the opponents and plenty of reasonable folks among proponents as well.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of this giant subdivision approach, “smart”-sprawl or otherwise. I do understand the argument that concentrating population in a given “sacrifice zone” prevents (or at least delays) residential impacts in other areas. However, I doubt that the 1,400 Forster-Gill suburban homes will be built *instead of* a couple of thousand rural homes (throughout the county over the next few decades), I think it will just end up being *in addition to* these rural homes. That’s because someone looking to live on 40 acres or 160 acres is not going to suddenly instead buy a home with a tiny lot in Forster-Gill — it’s just a completely different type of buyer.

  35. Ridgewood
    October 6, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Seems like the NIMBY’s prefer continued unmitigated sprawl as was done in the past 20 years. At the 60 houses per year in 20 years thats 1,200 sfr where you going to put them. Lets sprawl them thats a good idea.

    Or we can have a planned development and know exactly whats going to happen. Some say a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush. With this development thats what you get is a known not an unknown. Don’t forget who is the biggest Nimby.

  36. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 10:08 am

    The subdivision might happen, but who pays to fix the traffic between Harris Street and Walnut Drive? Who pays to put in the light on Herrick? Who pays to re-engineer the exit from Lundbar Hills?

    Legitimate questions. Too bad the city can’t get along better with the county.

  37. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 10:15 am

    You seem to be ignoring the point of supply and demand, TRA. If there is demand for all these houses they will be built and that will undoubtedly affect if and where additional houses will be built. If there is demand for more than 1,400 residences in Ridgewood, they will be built. If people want a house on 40 acres, they won’t buy a Ridgewood Village home. If Forster-Gill is blocked and 1,400 people want to buy homes in Ridgewood, they will be built but without the infrastructure Forster-Gill is offering. As someone who grew up in Ridgewood and lived there most of their life, I have seen all these NIMBYs move in and change the character of what was once a fairly rural lifestyle. We had to pay for the sewer hookups required for denser populations but gained more funding for our schools. One of the oldest businesses in the area, a dog kennel, was forced to close by these people who bought homes nearby, and now the large parcel is covered with McMansions. Same for the old church camp. There is a serious lack of affordable housing in an area that was once solidly working class.

  38. Decline to State
    October 6, 2010 at 10:18 am

    If you’re going to support the building of the Marina Center then you’re also going to have to support the building of the Foster-Gill subdivision. It will be needed to house all those newly employed people from the 1000’s of new jobs the MC is going to create!

    The proceeding remark is an attempt at sarcasm and not to be taken seriously.

  39. Ridgewood
    October 6, 2010 at 10:20 am

    In the next 20 years there is a need for over 6000 homes subtracting 1400 that leaves 4,600 homes say 1400 in Mckinleyville that leaves 3,200 homes needed for continued rural sprawl lifestyle homes. Seems like a pretty good distribution 3200 unafforable rural homes for the wealthy. Of course that would mean that 53% the new homes would be available to less than 20% of the population. So there is plenty available for the HUMCPR only the wealthy have rights group.

  40. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Larry Glass has come out strongly against it, too. So it seems that there are “progressives” on both sides of this one.

    Larry has a business in Old Town. Larry’s bottom line is affected if Cutten has a commercial district. Progressives are only progressive until their pocketbook is affected.

  41. High Finance
    October 6, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Plain Jane, whether Eureka annexes the areas around the city limits or not has nothing to do with Eureka Schools or even Fire District #1. The school district & fire district are entirely separate & distinct legal entities beyond the control of the city government.

    And I have had three kids graduate from Eureka High & who also attended Zane & Grant. Another kid is at Zane now. Those schools were every bit as good as the Cutten schools. Some snobs think Cutten schools are better because they don’t have poor kids there. Surely you aren’t one of those bigoted snobs are you?

    At least some developers are against the Forster-Gill project because they believe it will saturate the market & make any future projects harder for them.

  42. Fence
    October 6, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Look up city notes #33, #35, #49, #50, #56, #57, #193 and #194 loaned to redevelopment. Tyson is right he knows where the money is the 6 million from the wastewater fund is accounted for in these illegal notes to redevelopment agency.

  43. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 10:42 am

    If you think there aren’t poor kids at Cutten-Ridgewood you are an idiot, HiFi. The schools are superior because of parental involvement and care taken to hire excellent teachers, not because a large percentage of students are wealthy. For an arrogant snob like yourself to call someone else snobby is f-cking HILARIOUS!

  44. High Finance
    October 6, 2010 at 10:53 am

    You should stop & think once in awhile Jane. I did not say there aren’t poor kids there, I said that is the perception. And I don’t mind my kids going to school with poor kids, character is what counts. I said that is why there is white flight to Cutten & outlying districts. I was raised dirt poor myself.

    Only your ignorance makes you think the Cutten schools are better, not any facts.

    GFYS Jane.

  45. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 11:00 am

    WAAAAA WAAAAAA WAAAAA HiFi is upset because his kids’ went to an inferior school.

  46. High Finance
    October 6, 2010 at 11:06 am

    You are incredible Jane. Apparently my previous low opinion of you was still over estimating your abilities.

  47. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Poor HiFi couldn’t afford a house in a neighborhood with superior schools so he deludes himself into believing there is no such thing as superior schools. :P

  48. anadromous
    October 6, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Here’s an idea, how about the Marina Center nix the Big-Box (home depot, wal-mart, whatever – move it to the Bayshore Mall if people want it), replacing it with a used materials depot and locally manufactured goods outlet (like the rebuilding center in Portland) and increase the size of the wetland/park. Also, Forster-Gill could reduce the size of their commercial district so that it fits the needs of the Cutten community without taking away business from old-town/downtown. Restore the hacked-to-heck forest to a viable community forest with trails to provide residents with a more “rural” experience in what is otherwise suburbia.

    P.S. From my perspective, planned growth that incorporates housing for lower-income folks and seniors is better than unplanned low-density sprawl that caters to the wealthy.

  49. Cycling guy
    October 6, 2010 at 11:32 am

    @anadromous: Right on. Good constructive ideas.

  50. October 6, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Yeah! That’s what I needed too. CHARACTER! That’s why they gave my grades to the dumb (poor) kids so they could go to college and I would get drafted.

  51. October 6, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Plane Jane, you on Twitter. If not, you’d have fun.

  52. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 11:46 am

    I have never used twitter, Joe. I work at my computer so it’s way too easy to pop in and out of blogs, my virtual break rooms.

    Those are good ideas, Anadromous. I don’t know exactly what sort of businesses they have planned for Ridgewood Village, but the basics of a grocery store, a coffee shop, a banking outlet, maybe a laundromat/dry cleaners would cut down on the need to drive so much.

  53. MoneyHoney
    October 6, 2010 at 11:49 am

    This has little to do with bickering between developers, this has to do with the misuse of funds by the City of Eureka. County rate-payers have been paying into the wastewater reserve fund for years and the city, much to no one’s surprise, can;t account for the money that’s supposed to have been collected.

  54. tenth street dreamer
    October 6, 2010 at 11:50 am

    The Forster-Gil project, as advanced, has many problems that will affect the city of Eureka. The traffic flows in and out of the subdivision will cause congestion at most south side intersections. If a retail complex is built along with it, the traffic congestion will be compounded. Cutten was the rural outskirts of south Eureka and has slowly had infill, to the point that it is no longer rural. The connector streets have become more crowded and the area around Sequoia Park is already heavily impacted. Harrison and Harris is as well. Eureka’s sewer system is at near capacity and will need major improvements to handle a large subdivision like F-G. A new shopping center/mall will impact Eureka as well.
    This does not even address the fact that it is county land and Eureka’s say in these issues will be minimal, unless we stand our ground until a resolution is reached, both with F-G and the county. We are a long way from a real solution at this point.

  55. Not A Native
    October 6, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Sam 9:45 and Hi Fi 10:27 have it absolutely correct that this project is unwanted competition to developers who want buyers to have to come their way.

    And TRA is incorrect that its a different group of buyers. Marketing, competition, and fashion are big factors that determine what buyers “want”, especially buyers with above average means who have more economic choices.

    I’d say theres also a “social” factor here too. Regularly I see letters to the editor from some resident concerned about a proposed development near them. Often they write “Who will the people be that buy those(unecessary/higher density) houses?” Compact “smart growth” developments will attract people who appreciate the advantages of that lifestyle, not because they have economic limitations. And those people will be voters who will promote policies that favor their lifestyle ideas. Over time, they will influence local trends and fashions.

    As PJ wrote, if “smart growth” is a choice, local developers(land owners) know that the product they have to offer, spread out developments on widely separated parcels far from infrstructure, will be become unfashionable to the people who have the largest economic ability. Then, their “rural heavens” will be attractive mostly to folks who have less money to spend and their developments won’t generate as large a return.

  56. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Anadromous @ 11:15 – Great ideas/ideals – something to strive for that would benefit our community as a whole. What a concept!

    Plain Jane – rarely do agree with HiFi but in regard to the schools issue I completely concur. My children also went all through school in Eureka – Eureka City Schools. They received an excellent education from (mostly – let’s be realistic) dedicated teachers and I was one of many involved parents from elementary school through graduation from Eureka High. I feel they got into good colleges and succeeded there largely due to the education they received at ECS and the fact that the schools they attended reflected “real life” economically and culturally. Your assumptions are offensive.

  57. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    It’s a free country and you’re free to feel offended, 12:17. To be honest, I was mostly yanking HiFi’s gold plated chain; however, Cutten-Ridgewood does provide an excellent education and lots of people drive their kids from all the area to attend. I truly believe you get the education you work for. The best school won’t educate an unmotivated student and even inner city schools with horrific test scores still manage to send some kids to college. Having teachers skilled in motivation and parents who are paying attention seems to be of vital importance.

  58. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Lots of people also drive their kids to Jacoby Creek, Freshwater and Arcata High. There are successes and failures in every school system – on that I think we agree. However, having personally experienced Eureka City Schools and at times even felt I had to defend my choice to educate my children in ECS, there are many misconceptions about the quality of education they offer. You state the obvious about the teachers and parents. Not all teachers are equal and I believe you find that in every school. Most importantly, not all students are fortunate enough to parents who are involved and “paying attention.” I never felt it was detrimental for my children to be in school with those students – in fact, just the opposite – I felt it was positive for everyone.

    In this instance, you sound more elitist than HiFi.

  59. anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Theres no Middle or High School in Cutten/Ridgewood, so theres no reason to beef about quality of schools. except maybe for those who learned everything they needed to know in kindergarten. lots of kids being driven from outside the area must really increase the traffic. Wheres the concern over that impact?

  60. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    You seem to be reading stuff that I never said, 12:43. I never said anything about it being detrimental to go to school with poor kids and in fact don’t believe that. You want so badly to be offended that you are making schit up. Whether a school is excellent, mediocre or lousy has less to do with the money the students have than the quality of the teachers and parental involvement and I have said that several times now. Go on being offended. I could give a rats azz.

  61. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    That is a point I meant to bring up, 12:53, and it isn’t just people driving their kids to school from out of the district. Lots of people drive their kids to school when they could walk or take the bus which causes a large share of the traffic congestion on Walnut. Of course, if Forster-Gill is approved the schools might not have room for the out-of-district kids which could cut down on the amount of traffic.

  62. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    You take frequent and seemingly lengthy breaks, PJ.

  63. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Don’t be jealous, 1:25. It’s the nature of my work and, besides, I’m self employed so don’t have to answer for my breaks, certainly not to you.

  64. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    It would be nice but maybe Im dreamin…if the County and city of Eureka could work out an ammicable tax sharing agreement as well as services for this proposed development. If it came AFTER annexation there wouldn’t be the same problems if I’m reading the situation correctly.

    You cannot blame Eureka for having their drawers in a knot over services with so many Humboldt County offices located in the city and not contributing to the tax base. Its ludicrous to assume the citizens of Eureka can foot the bill for everything.

  65. Not A Native
    October 6, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    On a dollar per acre basis, I’m certain the City of Eureka collects more property/assessments taxes than any other city in the county. And higher density gives Eureka a fair shot to provide essential services more efficiently and have additional services people can enjoy.

    If Eureka is so financially afflicted by the county or Foster-Gill, the city can disincorporate. Then there’d be no economic reason to fear development in nearby areas.

  66. Reinventing The Wheel
    October 6, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Careful Jane! Your argument (above) that more housing in Cutten would bring more public transportation sounds a lot like the, “increased tax base from more big boxes”, when, historically, both have proven to be tragically incorrect.

    It appears that proponent’s ONLY remaining arguments are:

    #1) The false choice between, “Ridgewood Village ‘gentler’ sprawl and the alternative of 940 Mckinleyville-style track homes”. In reality, Eureka’s decayed infrastructure qualifies it, and surrounding areas dependent upon it, for a building moratorium like those recently imposed upon other nearby cities, FOR THE SAME REASONS! However, without an advocacy group’s lawsuit to impose a moratorium, the supervisors have the opportunity to address housing needs that secure state-funds…without impacting THEIR individual neighborhoods. Otherwise, they have the documentation that could easily justify their pursuit of a moratorium that would disallow ANY developments until our infrastructure is finally updated for CURRENT demand. (Not a great campaign platform considering the dominate political role of the development community …).

    #2) “It addresses the desperate need for affordable housing”. Requiring extremely poor families and seniors to drive 20 miles, round-trip, to services, entertainment and low-wage jobs, negates affordability. The thought that residents would pay more for products in their tiny “village”, when they have to drive downtown anyway…is ridiculous. Poor people are not stupid people. However, they need housing and this development model will add to their poverty, ensuring they remain renters indefinitely.

    #3) This project will pay its fair-share of infrastructure impacts. Does anyone still buy this crap?

    Without a building moratorium, there’s no incentive for the larger community to work together for Smarter alternatives, like focusing growth downtown, where empty lots and buildings cry for residential development that is inherently more affordable; modest apartments that can be purchased…extending the fundamental necessity of building capital in a capitalist society.

    It will be difficult to ween the development community away from the glamorous and profitable tricks and traps that put mediocre incomes into remote 4,000 S/f McMansions.

    Oh right, there’s NO MONEY FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING…..but trillions for the bailouts.

    Just say no…..

  67. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    We were told for YEARS that there weren’t enough people in Ridgewood to justify extending the bus route, TRA. If there is public transportation extended, that negates your #2. Furthermore, the number of people working from home will undoubtedly exponentially increase over the next 30 years. The chance of their being a building moratorium with our desperate need for affordable housing is nil.

  68. A-Nony-Mouse
    October 6, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    As the thread goes careening down the gulch…..

    I have heard that the intention is to recruit smaller boutique size chains for the shopping area. That means it will generate traffic both TO and FROM, compounding the problems. Streets take a beating as traffic increases. They require more repair. Who will pay for that? Not F/G apparently. Harris and S Streets, Buhne and S Street, Myrtle and West would become practically impassable, especially with the Safeway superstore in the mix. All that traffic is headed from Cutten to Hiway 101. Add trying to get onto Fairway Drive which is hazardous enough right now. Herrick and F Streets are already a major alternative to Broadway and would become even more so if the MC was built. Some of you must really LOVE to sit in your cars!

    The point is that there are more problems created by F/G than it solves, especially for the city. It is NOT the only course for development in Cutten, it is the only one on paper.

    Hmmmm, Maybe it could build the FREEWAY through Cutten as proposed long ago. That would solve the traffic problems and the problems with downtown Eureka. There’s a solution to ponder!

  69. FoxStudio
    October 6, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Ah, yes, The Green Route. Out and around the backside (so to speak) of Eureka. Wonder what THAT would cost these days.

  70. Plain Jane
    October 6, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    That would mitigate some traffic problems and would avoid the issue of divided neighborhoods and decay so prevalent with in-town freeways, but business might not like it.

  71. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Cal-Trans color-coded green route alternative of yore was further in than Cutten. Like all five routes considered at the time, it went through Eureka (golf course gulch sytem, sort of) and would have enriched only Eureka landowners. A Cutten-Ridgewood route would have worked at the time. Now it would have to be like the Redwood National Park bypass. Railroad money might be more likely.

  72. FoxStudio
    October 6, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Yeah, I’ve looked at a map and have wondered where the heck it would go these days and could imagine the screaming and yelling (at least somewhat justified) by those who thought they’d settled out back of beyond and now got to listen to freeway noise.

    I think the green route was set to split off at Elk River and come back in just north of Ryan Slough.

  73. Seems like uh, yesterday?
    October 6, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    In any event, event the state admitted in their report the people wanted the Green Route. Then they approved the Red route at the behest of property interests. The chosen route was a trench six lanes wide with one exit to downtown and Old Town. Sixty-some new dead end cul-de-sacs would line both sides of the monstrosity. The Establishment thought cutting commercial off from residential would be a good idea. This was fifties thinking running Eureka in the seventies. Sort of like now.

  74. FoxStudio
    October 6, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    I remember that. It was a go and Caltrans had started to move some of the Victorians that were in the way. At least a couple of them are down across from the Library.

    “This was fifties thinking running Eureka in the seventies. Sort of like now.” Eureka always seems to be behind the curve. Some of the powers that be in the 1990s thought that turning the 4th/5th corridor into a outlet mall would “save” the downtown. Of course, this was a couple of years after the outlet mall phenomenon had topped out and the first ones were closing.

    Frankly, MC ends up being another example of that. An up to date idea….for 1999.

  75. Seems like uh, yesterday?
    October 6, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Eureka might have had the red route disaster except for one event. Jerry Brown got elected Governor. He had different priorities.

    Some funding seemed likely in the 80’s but it fell through. In the interim the city had built a sewer plant and Bayshore Mall in the route for Phase II, and evenually the state abandoned the route and sold dozens of properties back into the community about 20 years ago.

    Let’s vote for Jerry Brown again.

  76. FoxStudio
    October 6, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Sounds like a plan to me.

  77. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    The thinking here is largely behind the curve and, yes, MC falls in that category. Maybe part of the problem is that concepts are outdated by the time they’re approved. I don’t know, but it would be nice if we could learn from past mistakes and come up with a forward-thinking, cohesive plan for our community. There are many positives to living here and, rather than capitalizing on our assets, we seem to try to obliterate them. It’s frustrating and has been going on for the 30+ years I have lived here.

  78. FoxStudio
    October 6, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I think they’re outdated by the time they’re thunk up.

    What’s lacking is a cohesive vision of what Eureka could be/should be in the 21st century. There always seems to be a race to the lowest common denominator, whether it’s design standards for new construction, high standards for renovating historic structures or promoting foolish, dangerous projects like the LNG terminal.

    It’s almost like the community has a deeply embedded inferiority complex. And is waaaay too impressed by flashy outsiders (and locals) with big plans that always seem to be short on implementation. Eureka could just say “no” and plot it’s own sensible path into the future, but it seems that that would be too, uh, sensible.

    Part of the problem I see here with the back and forth about F-G, is that there is no consensus on what the actual goal is. And if you don’t know where you’re going, then how do you choose the best path?

    Both the ideas of a light industrial park on the Balloon Track and short sea shipping seem like no-brainers to me. Better jobs, support the local people who have enough gumption and courage to start new businesses and a practical way to get the county’s goods to market. Doesn’t do much for Arkley and his accolytes, but one can’t have everything.

    Don’t live in Eureka anymore, but still watch from (not too) far away.

  79. the reasonable anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Plain Jane @ 2:33,

    Just for the record, I think you meant to respond to “Reinventing the Wheel’s” post, not mine.

  80. A-Nony-Mouse
    October 6, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Foxstudios last post is one of the most sensible I’ve seen. Maybe we need our own “Million Moderate March”. Hell, I’d settle for 3 or 4.

  81. Anonymous
    October 6, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    I also agree with Foxstudios. We need a vision and one that strives to be appropriate for our larger community and possibly innovative – not a typical, tired cookie-cutter plan or no plan! Our government entities need to work together, rather than in opposition, to create an environment that is friendly to industry, business and a forward-thinking community.

  82. Anonymous
    October 7, 2010 at 6:54 am

    the reason we have the cookie cutters is because that is what you get with all the setbacks, restrictions, etc. it is also efficient construction and people like them.

  83. Reinventing The Wheel
    October 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Right, and people take minimum wage jobs that qualify for food stamps and medi-cal because they like those jobs…there are many development alternatives to malls and sprawl successfully implemented elsewhere.

    We’re up against a well-funded, politically entrenched, outdated orthodoxy that rejects developing a community vision for growth, because private investments are always right…they trickle-down to benefit all… What actually trickled-down is a devastated infrastructure, diminished services, (chronically inadequate bus service), collapsing budgets, and a temporary boom in parasitic businesses.

    We lack a single economics degree among our elected officials, that’s why they hired Bay Area Economics that concluded Eureka is already saturated in low-wage retail. Consulting more experts will reveal that there are thousands of dollars in unfunded subsidies required for every new home and car added 10 miles from downtown.

    Subsidies that have the development community clinging to “voodoo economics” and the candidates still willing to preach it.

    (Jane: I agree with you most of the time….but who would have thought that ANY of our rural cities would have building moratoriums imposed? That’s like saying the ancient trees and salmon runs could vanish….).

  84. Plain Jane
    October 7, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Don’t building moratoriums just make it harder for lower income people to find affordable shelter since it drives up the prices, Reinventing? A city that can’t afford to maintain and upgrade necessary infrastructure on the taxes they receive isn’t going to improve its lot by foregoing enlarging their tax base with a building moratorium. On the other hand, if they are forced into a building moratorium because of unavailable necessary resources, like water for example, that’s a different story. Upgrading the sewer system and roads isn’t an insurmountable problem but developers will have to chip in generously.

  85. High Finance
    October 7, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Reinvent shows off his lack of an “economics degree” by forgetting about one thing.

    It is better to have a low wage job than no job at all. Creating more low wage jobs does not exclude high paying jobs in the area. In fact it creates more high paying jobs, not less.

  86. tenth street dreamer
    October 7, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    It doesn’t exclude high paying jobs if there is a plan to created high paying jobs. We need an industrial park and a business incubator in Eureka. There has never been a concerted effort on the part of city government to lay the groundwork to make it happen. The Balloon Tract project would be a great place to develop such a concept but the powers that be are set on retail. I don’t get it. So all we get is another couple hundred low paying jobs that will pirate low paying retail jobs from other businesses in Eureka. Show me the logic HIFI.

  87. Plain Jane
    October 7, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    HiFi is counting on all those jobs being pirated from other towns in Humboldt County. He doesn’t get that destroying the economies of other towns would eventually negatively affect Eureka, or maybe he is like most “conservatives” who only care about the next bottom line.

  88. Fence
    October 7, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    What do you mean the City isn’t upgrading its infrastructure. Haven’t you seen all the new concrete work down on the waterfront. That costs big bucks. But don’t spend the sewer funds upgrading sewer that would be to logical spend it putting in concrete along the Boardwalk. A City that is confused.. I wonder why people don’t want to annex.

  89. Anonymous
    October 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    “Fence says:
    October 7, 2010 at 5:15 pm I wonder why people don’t want to annex.”

    The reason people don’t want to annex is because annexation would cost the citizens of Eureka a tremendous amount of money.

    Currently the County of Humboldt only takes care of the roads, they do not do any utility work. Humboldt Community Services takes care of the sewer and water needs of the some of the county. The City would take on a huge unknown burden in taking over the sewer and water needs of the properties being annexed. The City would also take over miles of road without any funding or any input into how these roads were built or maintained.

  90. FoxStudio
    October 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    HiFi, of course, would be perfectly happy with a low wage job. Oh wait, those are for the “little people” who should be grateful for any employment crumbs thrown their way.

  91. High Finance
    October 8, 2010 at 8:44 am

    So FoxStudio, does that mean you are perfectly happy with welfare & unemployment instead of low wage jobs?

    Annon 5.39pm, the HCSD is a seperate legal entity. It is my understanding that it will remain responsible for the sewer & water needs for its area regardless of whether the city annexes or not.

    And the county is paid by the state to maintain roads. If those roads are now the responsibility of the city, the city will receive the payments instead.

  92. Reinventing The Wheel
    October 10, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Terrible logic here but I get it.

    It’s convenient to ignore the actual research out of desperation and fear… The ONLY economic research completed locally was by Bay Area Economics that concluded Eureka is already saturated in poverty-wage national retailers…books are written on this subject. Try reading one. The same is true for housing.

    People are poor and need ANY job, even though the job is guaranteed to keep them poor and often qualifies them for welfare? They need food and should be grateful for its affordability, despite the toxins and poor nutrients from industrial mass-production? They need shelter, even though its location is less-affordable and they will NEVER own it, adding further to their dilemma, and on, and on…??

    They need other consumer goods, made by foreign children and resources requiring 730 foreign military bases and black-ops budgets keeping the world safe for plunder. A nation’s gold that could have instituted the solutions already successfully used by FDR.

    The known alternatives are also worth fighting for…again…

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