Home > Kay Backer, Rob Arkley > Humboldt Sunshine ignored its own lawsuit

Humboldt Sunshine ignored its own lawsuit

The settlement of the Humboldt Sunshine lawsuit happened without any involvement by Humboldt Sunshine.

The court allowed Housing For All to become an intervenor in the suit soon after it was filed because HFA could better represent the needs of low income residents, said HFA’s Elizabeth Connor on KMUD news Thursday. She said Humboldt Sunshine representative Kay Backer stopped attending settlement meetings nine months ago.

KMUD news report below (story starts at 3:11).

Even so, Backer said she is shocked that she wasn’t notified of the settlement agreement and said she is pressing forward with the case.  But Conner says Humboldt Sunshine walked away and gave up any place in the suit.

Conner said HFA wanted compliance with state law in the Housing Element of the General Plan Update, “nothing more or nothing less.” She said HFA is only concerned with multi-family housing.  The settlement gives a timeline to finish the rezoning and be eligible for state grants to build affordable housing.

Humboldt County Supervisor Mark Lovelace told KMUD the benefits of rezoning for multi-family development include a rise in property values.  He said HumCPR — a so-called property rights group — should be banging the drum for the re-zoning.  “We’re trying to give away property rights.  You wouldn’t think it would be so hard.”

And since Humboldt Sunshine “shined on” the lawsuit, Lovelace said it appears they filed “purely for political purposes and not to provide affordable housing in Humboldt County.”

  1. Plain Jane
    June 23, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    “purely for political purposes and not to provide affordable housing in Humboldt County.”

    NO WAY!

    This does clear up my confusion over why Arkley would accept a settlement of a deadline to finish the rezoning after all his hard work to slow down the GPU.

  2. tra
    June 23, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    It seems to me that the very best place to put a bunch of new multifamily affordable housing would be over in the 2300 block of Buttermilk Lane in Sunny Brae. It would be fairly close to several schools, the Sunny Brae shopping center, the MRTS bus stop, the Bayside golf course, and it would be right near the Community Forest.

    I mean it seems like that neighborhood could be a virtual Smart Growth Utopia if it wasn’t for one thing: selfish suburban property owners who insist on hogging up space with their single family homes and suburban lawns instead of allowing some of that space to be used for the development of a more socially and environmentally conscious multi-family affordable housing apartment complex.

    If only there was some property owner over there who favored cluster growth, infill and affordable housing — and was willing to put their money (and their land) where their mouth is. After all, Supervisor Lovelace says that the County is “just trying to give away property rights, you wouldn’t think it would be so hard.”

    What’s that you say? Lovelace himself has property right there on Buttermilk Lane? He lives in a single family suburban house with some extra acreage? Well that’s wonderful! Surely he’ll be happy to have his property rezoned multi-family so that he can have as many affordable housing units as possible built on his parcel. And no doubt he should be able to convince some of his neighbors that they, too should get rezoned and help practice the Smart Growth principles he preaches. Looks like Mr, Lovelace should have this problem of where to put the multi-family housing solved in no time!

  3. Anonymous
    June 23, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Wait, people live in Sunny Brae?

  4. tra
    June 23, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Now, while we’re at it, just across Buttermilk Lane there’s still quite a bit of open pasture and a bit of woods behind the suburban houses, but when it comes right down to it, that bit of pasture and woods is already completely surrounded by existing development, so if they just re-zone all that as multi-family, too, they can do an even more substantial In-fill project, I’m thinking perhaps something along the lines of 1,400 units, plus some office space and retail, so that the smart-growthers can work and live in the same place, cutting down on the need for automobiles. Perhaps we could call it Sunny Brae Village, and get the developer to put aside a small percentage of the steeper land that they can’t build on anyway and call that Open Space and put some walking trails in there.

    Now some naysaying ne’er-do-wells will say that adding 1,400 units in a place where there is only one road through the area that already experiences heavy traffic would inevitably cause a traffic nightmare for Mr. Lovelace’s neighborhood. But with all those new people there, bus service can be increased and with the improved bus service people will just ride the bus rather than drive, so those traffic concerns are just silly.

    Plus, Sunny Brae Village would only be built gradually, in phases, so neighbors will have the opportunity to enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of Smart Growth construction for decades to come. Kids love to see dump trucks and bulldozers and backhoes and other impressive machines in action, so think of it as a learning experience that can last an entire childhood as one phase after another of affordable, in-filled, clustered, Smart Growth housing goes up right before their eyes.

    Sure, there will be a lot of trucks rumbling by for all those years, but consider this: If you get right behind one while riding your bike your bike, it will block the wind resistance and help swoosh you along on your way! (If you’ve seen the movie Breaking Away, you know what I’m talking about here.)

    It’s all win-win-win, and given Supervisor Lovelace’s wholehearted embrace of the very same concept for the Foster-Gill project over in the Ridgewood/Cutten area, I’m sure he’ll quickly embrace this plan for his own neighborhood. After all, if he wasn’t 100% confident that he could convince his own friends and neighbors to back this kind of growth in his own neighborhood, I’m sure he never would have advocated for it to be imposed on someone else’s neighborhood.

  5. Plain Jane
    June 23, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Can you explain why you favor dense development in Sunny Brae but oppose Forster-Gill, Tra?

  6. tra
    June 23, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Can you explain why you favor Forster-Gill, but oppose dense development in Sunny Brae? Can Mr. Lovelace?

  7. Plain Jane
    June 23, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    The most obvious is that Forster-Gill is a huge piece of property already zoned for dense development and the owners want to develop it. A secondary reason is the parks and retail incorporated in their plans, both of which are nonexistent in Ridgewood Heights. Another is that Forster-Gill is willing to pay more for infrastructure upgrades than would be paid by multiple developers doing piece meal lot splits for the same number of homes.

    I don’t oppose dense development in Sunny Brae if the property owners want to divide their properties. Would you force them to?

  8. Anonymous
    June 23, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Can you explain why you think anyone can explain how Mr. Lovelace can explain your hypothetical favoritism and oppositions of an anonymous blogger named Plain Jane?

  9. tra
    June 23, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    If the majority of the people in the Cutten/Ridgewood area favor the Forster-Gill development, I’m more than willing to defer to those who live in that area, since they are the ones who will be most affected by both the pros and the cons of such a development.

    Meanwhile, if Mr. Lovelace, and his neighbors and constituents favor this kind of dense development, I think they, too, should be allowed to get their wish. And I’m sure that it’s not like they favor that kind of development, as long as it’s in somebody else’s backyard. The fine citizens of Arcata, Sunny Brae and the third district have proven that the majority of them support exactly this kind of vision for development by electing Mr. Lovelace, who has championed precisely this kind of project. I’m merely suggesting that they take advantage of the same benefits that they have been so generously offering to the folks in Ridgewood.

  10. tra
    June 23, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    The most obvious is that Forster-Gill is a huge piece of property already zoned for dense development…

    Well what we’re talking about here is the fact that the county is trying to find new land to re-zone for multi-family housing, and in particular affordable housing. So zoning shouldn’t be a problem, Mr. Lovelace says that property owners should be delighted to take advantage of the county “trying to give away property rights” and that converting their property to multi-family housing would increase their property value. And Lovelace himself has some property right there in Sunny Brae, and favors In-fill and multi-family housing, so surely he should be the first in line, to convert his own parcel to multi-family zoning, and to build as many affordable housing units as he can right there next to his house, right? Perhaps some of his neighbors may find that this reduces their own property value and reduces their quality of life, but if that doesn’t matter in Ridgewood, and the only thing that matters is what the actual property owner wants, then surely the same would hold true in Sunny Brae?

    I don’t oppose dense development in Sunny Brae if the property owners want to divide their properties. Would you force them to?

    Most certainly not, but why would you have to force them to, when Mr. Lovelace makes such a persuasive case for the personal and societal advantages of such a project. Surely he can convince his own neighboring property owners that they should avail themselves of the county’s generous offer of “giving away property rights?” “You wouldn’t think it would be so hard,” right. Surely he could convince his own constituents to embrace the same policies that he advocates for the residents of other areas?

  11. Plain Jane
    June 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    The difference is they don’t own the property they want to stop development on, Tra. It’s already zoned for dense development and most of the people who live in the area live in very similar or even denser development with flag lots all over the place. These people opposed to Forster-Gill should be thankful earlier residents didn’t oppose the subdivisions they live in. I know some of them have their own plans for lot splits and are worried about the competition their flag lots would face from a well designed subdivision. .

  12. tra
    June 23, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    If you can’t get behind the more ambitious project I outlined at 9:16, surely you can get behind the much more modest proposal I outlined at 8:49?

    In that case we’re talking about property that Mr. Lovelace himself owns. Surely he’ll avail himself of the property rights giveaway that he says others should be lining up for, and convert his own property to multi-family housing?

  13. tra
    June 23, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    The difference is they don’t own the property they want to stop development on, Tra.

    Now it sounds like you’re channeling Rob Arkley!

  14. Anonymous
    June 23, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    The diff is you are full of it PJ just like Lovelace. The PC crowd that Lovelace crows for would never accept what they are all to willing to force on others.A bit of goat cheese with that bitter pill PJ ? Tra nailed it!

  15. Plain Jane
    June 23, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    What part of “already zoned for dense development” don’t you understand, Tra? It is true they are asking for even more dwellings than previously zoned, but not a lot more, and they are offering the community quite a lot of extras. This isn’t a case of them asking for a major zone change and then screaming “TAKING” when denied. If the county denies FG the development permits for which the land is already zoned, it is a taking in the constitutional sense of the word, not in Arkley-speak.

  16. Plain Jane
    June 23, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    NO ONE is being forced to subdivide or build apartments on their property. If you don’t want your neighbor to build an apartment building where it is zoned for apartments, buy the land from him. It’s funny how unlimited property rights people change their tune when other people’s property rights conflict with their desires as to how other people’s property should be used. Years ago in Ridgewood some newer home owners opposed a many decades old boarding kennel on a large and beautifully forested property and finally the county forced the kennel to close. They sold their property to a developer who built a whole bunch of houses. I wonder how many of the people living on the previous kennel forest are opposed to Forster-Gill.

  17. tra
    June 23, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    According to the legal notice filed last year, the Forster-Gill proposal would:

    …increase the current development potential from 940 residential units (and no commercial space) to 1,442 residential units and 327,000 square feet of commercial space.

    http://www.northcoastjournal.com/legal-notices/

    An additional 502 housing units is “not a lot more” dwellings? And together with 327,000 square feet of commercial space, you don’t think this would count as a “major” change? Really?

  18. tra
    June 23, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    If you don’t want your neighbor to build an apartment building where it is zoned for apartments, buy the land from him. It’s funny how unlimited property rights people change their tune when other people’s property rights conflict with their desires as to how other people’s property should be used.

    If you don’t want people to build a house on their TPZ parcel (TPZ zoning has always allowed that and still does), buy the land from them. It’s funny how the Healthy Humboldt crowd changes their tune when other people’s property rights conflict with their desires as to how other people’s property should be used.

  19. tra
    June 23, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    NO ONE is being forced to subdivide or build apartments on their property.

    Did someone suggest that they were?

  20. tra
    June 24, 2011 at 12:03 am

    If you don’t want your neighbor to build an apartment building where it is zoned for apartments, buy the land from him.

    If the land is already zoned for an apartment building, then I would tend to agree with that.

    If, on the other hand, there is a proposal to rezone a particular property to allow multi-family apartments, it seems to me that’s a somewhat different situation.

    And that’s what the original post is referring to, the rezoning of various properties to allow multi-family housing where it is not currently allowed, not just a situation where someone is trying to exercise their development rights under the existing zoning.

  21. Anonymous
    June 24, 2011 at 12:10 am

    You sir seem to be against both.

  22. The Big Picture
    June 24, 2011 at 12:15 am

    TPZ developments or sprawl…both have cumulative impacts long ignored…until the aquifers, streams and biodiversity diminish, infrastructure decays, public budgets collapse, traffic increases, and quality of life forever diminishes. How many more times must THAT scenario play-out??

    tra makes a solid point comparing Sunny Brae to Cutten. Neither community wants another massive development that fails to pay for its impacts. The existing piecemeal approach has already pushed waste water and road infrastructure beyond capacity regardless of “quite a lot of extras promised by FG” . How sad.

    The homes already permitted at FG an be stopped by a lawsuit showing the inadequacy of infrastructure.

    Meanwhile, it seems that every week Eureka adds to its rich inventory of vacant lots, empty buildings and shuttered businesses.

    Unlike Arcata, Eureka could assist the county in fulfilling its housing obligations, but that would require negotiation and diplomacy skills, not exactly what the development community paid for.

  23. tra
    June 24, 2011 at 1:51 am

    In Lovelace’s statement, as quoted above, he acts as though he is truly mystified as to why it is so difficult to find enough people who want to rezone their property for multifamily housing, and why others would rather not have their neighbor’s properties rezoned so that new multifamily housing can be built next door.

    Perhaps he would gain a better understanding if he tried going door-to-door in his own neighborhood — where there is plenty of property that could be rezoned as multifamily — and tried to convince his own neighbors that they should welcome a bunch of new low and moderate income apartment buildings next to their own houses.

    But of course it’s much safer and more comfortable for him to insist that more people in other areas of the county ought to accept those changes to their neighborhoods. Perhaps he suspects (accurately, I think) that most of the folks in his sprawling single-family neighborhood at the far end of Buttermilk Lane — where the twisting warren of suburban cul de sacs that characterize Sunny Brae gives way to the string of expensive homes stretching out around the golf course — are all in favor of the idea of multi-family housing and dense new developments, as long as the reality of these types of housing remain far from their own leafy little corner of suburbia.

    So the champion of densely-packed new housing developments, Infill and “smart” growth carries on his little charade, wagging his finger and scolding others for not jumping at the chance to bring more low and moderate-income multifamily aqpartment buildings into their neighborhoods, even as he remains more than content to let his own neighborhood remain a homogenous bastion of single-family suburbia.

  24. Plain Jane
    June 24, 2011 at 6:55 am

    I am not a planner and don’t know the criteria that is used to determine the best zones for different areas, nor does Tra. Allowing owners of undeveloped land who wish to build apartments and other low income housing options to do so in areas where they are lacking, like Ridgewood Heights, seems like a better approach than changing the zoning of lots which are already developed. Sunny Brae, on the other hand, is mostly in Arcata and Arcata has already met its requirements for low income housing. Changing the zoning of the area of Sunny Brae outside Arcata’s city limits would be purely symbolic since there aren’t any more property owners there willing to split their lots and build apartments than on Lumbar Hills, Oyster Point, the subdivision by Winship, or any of the other upscale neighborhoods. State law REQUIRES cities and counties to plan for low income housing. Cynical symbolic gestures like changing the zoning of Sunny Brae wouldn’t result in more low income housing any more than changing the zoning of Oyster Point would. Forster-Gill is already zoned for dense development and includes low income housing in their plans as well as much needed retail and recreational opportunities for the entire neighborhood whose nearest park or grocery store is several miles away. Tra’s insertion of TPZ into this issue is a red herring since it has absolutely nothing to do with low income housing which is the topic of discussion.

  25. Ben
    June 24, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Lovelace can take that position because there are NO proposed rezones in his district, odd is it not!

  26. Ben
    June 24, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Correction, I think there are some in Manila, but far from Arcata.

  27. Plain Jane
    June 24, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Arcata, like Eureka and Fortuna, has its own general plan which is already compliant with state requirements for low income, Ben. It’s odd that people who live in towns which are not compliant are whining about Arcata which is. The county can’t change the GP’s inside the city limits of any town, as you undoubtedly already know.

  28. Ben
    June 24, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Jane,
    Arcata is surrounded by Humboldt County lands and none are recommended for rezoning.

  29. Plain Jane
    June 24, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Have you made any attempt to find out why, Ben, or is your purpose just to imply that Lovelace is somehow blocking it? Do you have any evidence, other than they aren’t rezoning ag lands around Arcata, to support your hinted smears?

  30. June 24, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Apartment complexes do not need to be THE PROJECT– I A well managed Project can make a big difference for occupants but not
    neccessarily for neighbors. Multiple housing requires housed and housers to make tenancy work==Compromise and cooperation–

    NOT EASYI I;ve lived in two Projects–Marin and Berkeley–
    interim but essential–and owned three homes–in that order!!!!

  31. tra
    June 24, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Changing the zoning of the area of Sunny Brae outside Arcata’s city limits would be purely symbolic since there aren’t any more property owners there willing to split their lots and build apartments.

    (1) Do you know if Mr. Lovelace has made any effort to persuade the property owners in his neighborhood to see if he can convince them to consider rezoning to multi-family and building some affordable housing in his own neoghborhood? Or are you and he just assuming (quite likely correctly) that most of Lovelace’s upscale neighbors are just the kind of folks that I described at 1:51, who favor multi-family apartments and dense development elsewhere, just as long as it’s not in own neighborhood?

    (2) There is at least one property owner who one would think ought to be willing to split his propoerty and build some infill apartments next to his house — Mr. Lovelace himself, who can’t understand why others aren’t breaking down the county’s door to get their opportunity to do so. That is, one would think he’d be the first in line — unless, of course, he’s the classic “smart growth hypocrite”, preaching dense development for other people, while personally choosing to live on an oversized suburban lot in the classic single-family sprawl neighborhood.

  32. tra
    June 24, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Forster-Gill is already zoned for dense development…

    Not nearly as dense as they are trying to get it changed to. From a maximum cap of 940 units (and no guarantee that all those would ever actually be built) to a total of 1442 units, plus 327,000 feet of commercial development, a change that you laughably refered to as “not a lot more.”

  33. tra
    June 24, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Tra’s insertion of TPZ into this issue is a red herring since it has absolutely nothing to do with low income housing which is the topic of discussion.

    Except insofar as it quite clearly demonstrated the hypocrisy of those who are more than willing to eviscerate the existing property rights of small rural landowners who want to build even a single home on their own land, yet fiercly defend the idea of i> expanding the property rights of an out-of-area developer who wants to be allowed 500 more units (in addition to the 940 they are already allowed) on their property, or people who want to rezone ther single-family property to multi-family and build an apartment building even if their neighbors don’t want that.

    In a stunning display of hypocrisy, any neighbors who object to the massive development are portrayed as NIMBYs and the property rights of the out-of-area developer or the multi-family rezoner are held to be sacrosanct, yet in the case of the rural landowners, they are the ones portrayed as “greedy developers.”

    And the funniest part is that many of those folks tying themselves up in illogical knots while trying to maintain those contradictory positions while avoiding acknowledging their hypocrisy — they actually don’t realize how ridiculous they look as they flop and flail about!

  34. Plain Jane
    June 24, 2011 at 11:26 am

    It’s obvious to anyone without your bias that the number of homes which will be built in F-G depends on the demand. That the property is capable of supporting that many homes (after the already needed infrastructure upgrades) is clear given the space they are allotting to parks and commercial development. If you lived in a relatively densely populated neighborhood where everyone has to drive several miles just to buy a carton of milk (and complaining vociferously about the traffic) you might be more supportive of a store within a reasonable distance. Ideally every neighborhood should have a share of low income housing; however, changing the zoning of already developed neighborhoods won’t increase the number of low income units available. Rezoning vacant land to allow for more density to accommodate those less fortunate than you is a more realistic way to increase availability. Arcata has already fulfilled their quota of low income housing so it’s odd that you and Ben are smearing Lovelace for not convincing the residents of Sunny Brae outside the city limits to subdivide their property rather than focus on vacant land around other towns whose owners are happy to subdivide and to incorporate low income housing in their plans. I don’t know where you live, but I suspect you are one of those NIMBY’s who cares nothing for low income housing needs, you just don’t want them in your neighborhood.

  35. tra
    June 24, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Of course it’s all easy enough if you just assume that there is something magically sacrosanct about the existing zoning status of the timberlands “already slated for development” in Ridgewood, where the idea of rezoning that land away from development is not even considered, whereas the existing property rights on the rural parcels elsewhere are a trifling matter easily discarded by changing the rules for those parcels without even any discussion of some kind of compensation to the property owners there.

  36. Plain Jane
    June 24, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Are you not aware that the developers who are so vehemently opposed to already zoned residential F-G which is completely surrounded by development are keen to subdivide the forest lands on the east side of Walnut Drive which is contiguous forest for many miles, Tra? Why aren’t you concerned about the conversion of actual TPZ lands to subdivisions when you are so opposed to F-G? What exactly is your stake in this? Why weren’t these people up in arms over the subdivisions adjacent to Winship and all over the Campton to Excelsior Road area? Was the price of the homes being built the issue?

  37. tra
    June 24, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Ideally every neighborhood should have a share of low income housing; however, changing the zoning of already developed neighborhoods won’t increase the number of low income units available.

    Huh? “Changing the zoning” of some of the properties in “already developed neighborhoods” to accomodate some infill of affordable multi-family units among the existing single-family homes is exactly what this multi-family rezoning is about. But apparently “inclusionary zoning” is something Lovelace wants everywhere but his own backyard. Go figure.

    Rezoning vacant land to allow for more density to accommodate those less fortunate than you is a more realistic way to increase availability.

    Quite a bit of vacant land just across Buttermilk Lane from the Lovelace place that could accomodate “those less fortunate” than him…but I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen — Multifamily Infill and inclusionary zoming is something to wag your finger about, demanding that neighborhoods somewhere else take that approach.

  38. tra
    June 24, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Are you not aware that the developers who are so vehemently opposed to already zoned residential F-G which is completely surrounded by development are keen to subdivide the forest lands on the east side of Walnut Drive which is contiguous forest for many miles, Tra?

    I’m aware of it, and I oppose it. If those proposals actually looked like they were likely to move forward, I’d be much more concerned. At any rate, I’m more than happy to agree that any developers who are “keen” to subdivide and suburbanize those other Ridgewood-area forests lands while screaming about how F-G will destroy the “rural nature” of Ridgewood/Cutten are just as hypocritical as the Healthy Humboldt crowd that recoills in horror at the former while uncritically embracing the latter. From my point of view it’s a clash of hypocrites vs. hypocrites in this battle royale.

  39. tra
    June 24, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Why aren’t you concerned about the conversion of actual TPZ lands to subdivisions..

    Who said I wasn’t?

    … when you are so opposed to F-G?

    Actually, like I said upthread, I’m not necessarily dead-set against F-G, and I’d actually be quite open to a somewhat scaled-back version of it that substantially reduced the number of housing units and the amount of commercial space planned, while maintaining some of the clustered design and preserved open space advantages of their overall approach. Of course cutting back on the number of housing units and the size of the commercial development would reduce, somewhat, the profit potential for the large out-of-area developer, and for some reason the F-G enthusiasts seem to accept the premise that F-G must be allowed to absolutely maximize those profits, that it’s an all-or-nothing choice.

    So no, I’m not 100% dead-set against some kind of clustered-development-plus-open-space on the F-G property, but I do think we ought to recognize that in addition to the potential benefits of such a development, if it is allowed to be as large as currently proposed it would most certainly have some major negative impacts, especially when it comes to traffic and infrastructure, and I do think that the concerns of those who already live in those neighborhoods, and in nearby Eureka, ought to be taken seriously.

  40. tra
    June 24, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Why weren’t these people up in arms over the subdivisions adjacent to Winship and all over the Campton to Excelsior Road area?

    Probably because a lot of that happened gradually, and no single development provided as big a rallying point for opposition. That is, indeed, the dynamic of piecemeal development that let areas like Ridgewood and Cutten and parts of McKinleyville sprawl out as they did. And I’m inclined to agree with you that existing residents are less apt to object to the gradual building of a series expensive new homes at the periphery, which is evident not only in Ridgewood and places like Diamond Drive in Arcata, but also just up the street from Mr. Lovelace where the McMansions have sprawled out into the forest lands on the east side of the golf course.

    One might as easily ask, why wasn’t Mr. Lovelace up in arms about those sprawly homes? Perhaps the answer is that he fulfilled his own Not in My Backyard needs by ensuring that his own property values and “viewshed” was protected by the community’s purchase of the Sunny Brae Forest, which he championed (and I supported, by the way, even though it’s nowhere near my own backyard), while the sprawling into the forest along the golf course, or up at the aptly named Diamond Drive, neither of which affected his own property, was apparently of somewhat lesser concern to him. Not that different, really, than the suburban owners of properties near Forster-Gill in Ridgewood, who want to be the “last in” in a series of incremental developments, then draw the line against more development just at the point where their own backyard happens to end.

  41. tra
    June 24, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    …I suspect you are one of those NIMBY’s who cares nothing for low income housing needs, you just don’t want them in your neighborhood.

    You’re dead wrong about me (don’t get sucked into the NAN approach, you’re no better at the guessing game than he is), but I think you just described a lot of Lovelace’s neighbors quite well. Or, just as silly, they “care” about low income housing needs, as long as those needs are not met anywhere in their own neighborhood.

    As far as the supposedly ample low income housing in Arcata, it may look good on paper and satisfy the state mandate, but that doesn’t take into consideration that many of those “affordable” units are occupied by indoor ganja grows and many of the others are occupied by HSU students.

    As anyone who has actually looked for an affordable rental in the area can tell you, in practice it’s virtually impossible to find such a thing in Arcata, you’re much more likely to find something relatively affordable in Eureka — or if you’re willing to go a bit farther, in Fortuna or Rio Dell. So while Arcata may have met its affordable housing goals on paper, the “reality on the ground” is quite different, and if Mr. Lovelace was to practice what he’s preaching by rezoning his own property and adding some multi-family apartments next to his own house, he could in fact make a difference for at least a few low or moderate-income households who would jump at the opportunity to live in his backyard.

    And if he made some effort to persuade a few of his neighbors with the large lots and vacant land across Buttermilk Lane and up along the golf course to do likewise, he could help even more. Plus, as a bonus, if he even made the effort he wouldn’t look like such a complete hypocrite as he advocates for others to accept more multi-family affordable housing in their neighborhoods. But, I”m not exactly going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen…he seems quite content to have his cake and eat it too.

  42. tra
    June 24, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    And yes, I do realize that I’m relentlessly and rather harshly needling Mr. Lovelace for what I perceive to be a hypocritical stance as represented by his own choice of housing and neighborhood, but I think he’s invited it with his smug pronouncements as quoted in the original post at the top of this thread.

    But he’s a big boy, and, to his credit, not without a sense of humor, so I’m sure he can take the hits without his feeling being hurt too badly. The question is, can he (and his supporters) recognize the grain of truth in the point of view that I’ve expressed in this thread?

  43. Plain Jane
    June 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    You seem to be under the mistaken impression that it is Lovelace’s responsibility to decide which areas should be rezoned rather than the Planning Department which follows criteria not likely to include which supervisor lives in which neighborhood. Converting more ag land to residential may be what NIMBY’s prefer, especially those living adjacent to Cypress Grove, but it isn’t the best use of lands that currently produce food. I’m done wasting any more time on this gorgeous day arguing with you.

  44. tra
    June 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    The Planning Department takes direction from the Board of Supervisors, and Lovelace in particular is certainly quite involved in the process, as evidenced by how he is more than willing to share his opinions, case in point being the quote in the post at the top of this thread.

    Oh, and do tell me about all the food grown on that land on the south side of Buttermilk Lane, between there and the Golf Course Road. I believe I’ve seen a few horses grazing there…that’s about it.

    I do agree with you about the Cypress Grove NIMBYs. You gotta love it when Lovelace’s Third District constituents, so concerned about not losing agricultural land to residential development when they’re talking about someone building a single house on a several-hundred-acre rural parcel (which somehow magically is assumed to take the whole parcel “out of production” for ag or timber), are just horrified when someone proposes an actual working dairy be located on the prime agricultural land that happens to be adjacent to the suburban sprawl homes they live in.

    Apparently their idea of agriculture is Old McDonald’s Farm, with a couple of chickens, a couple of cows, a couple of ducks, a white picket fence, a red barn and a picturesque white silo. With a hip-hyp here and a hip-hyp there, here a hip, there a hyp, everywhere a hypocrite.

    Bottom line: they want their “viewshed,” and I guess now their “olfactoryshed” to remain untouched. Dairy smells are for Ferndale, dense development is for Ridgewood, and the Arcata Bottoms are there for the aesthetic pleasure of those living at the edge of town.

  45. tra
    June 24, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    P.J.,

    Kevin Hoover has an excellent article up about Arcata’s Cypress Grove panic attack.

    http://www.arcataeye.com/2011/06/winning-dirty/

    You may note that he has a few choice words about the non-leadership provided by your hero Mr. Lovelace. Not exactly “profiles in courage.”

  46. Anonymous
    June 24, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    How much time do you two have (PJ, TRA) for this stuff? You two are insane.

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