Arcata City Planning Commision Rejected Student-Only Housing Project at Last Week’s Meeting

Press release from the Arcata Citizens for Responsible Housing:

The AMCAL Student-Only Housing Project was voted down by the Arcata City Planning Commission at last week’s meeting.

“This project went from 800 students to 700 students and a few changed trees, but basically we have the same elephant in the room that we started with,” said Commissioner Daniel Tangey on denying the recommendation of the project.

Instead of providing housing and mixed development that would integrate well with surrounding Arcata neighborhoods, Los Angeles developer AMCAL proposed to the Arcata Planning Commission a massive student-only development separate from the community and university. AMCAL’s project would create multiple logistical and traffic problems due to its location across the highway from campus and its distance from services.

“The list of project objectives…were clearly designed to accommodate pretty much this project and this project only,” noted Commissioner Judith Mayer.

The massive Southern California-style development has citizens outraged over it’s rejection of Arcata’s inclusive community values.

“AMCAL’s massive student-only off campus dorm sends the wrong message to students.” stated ACRH’s John Bergenske, “We want the young people who move away from their families to go to
school, to arrive to a welcoming community that integrates them into all aspects of our lives. Isolating them into a massive managed complex is the wrong approach.” Bergenske continued, “Arcata and Humboldt State are inextricably linked. Many longtime residents came here to go to HSU,and stayed for the diverse, inclusive environment, where students, families and seniors all live near each other, interacting and mingling. Arcata has grown from interactions with students and vice-versa. We want housing that values and builds on our inclusive and integrated college-town community, not projects that will destroy it.”



  • Where were they proposing to build this?

  • Trolling. . . .

  • At a time when local rentals are scarce and overpriced, this move only hurts the ability of HSU to attract students. Another inept decision based on the wrong principles and delusional ideas. Thank you for helping increase homelessness and ultimately everyone’s housing costs. All while damaging the college, local business and families. Not to mention the lost construction jobs and all those lost taxes! Arcata needed that housing:(

    • There’s hundreds of new units going up along Foster right across the freeway from HSU, and more and more buildings near the city center have rental units upstairs above shops and offices. This project was a trainwreck and would have wasted a huge track of prime real estate while doing nothing for the homeless (since most homeless people cannot afford the $12,000 a year to be an HSU student, which these units would be exclusive to). It was essentially a walled city with its own private security force.

      Turning down this projecf is not what’s hurting the homeless. What’s hurting them is the insane regulations that make building a house in California cost 25% more than building in any other state. It’s the absurd requirements for wildly expensive add-ons like water recycling and now mandatory solar (which costs 30,000 to instal and $500-$800 a year to mantain — thats an extra months worth of rent for renters who can’t even pay as it is). It’s the Coastal Commissions theft of Eureka’s waterfront, denying them the best real estate in the county and stalling out the economic recovery of the entire city by handing over prime land to addicts and thieves. It’s the counties “enable addiction then say addicts have to want to change” attitude that brings more and more meth and heroin into our community, discouraging development. It’s Arcata zoning huge tracts of land for dab labs and corporate industrial-scale weed farms instead of more apartments.

      A single LA-style intentionally designed ghetto is not the silver bullet to solve our local housing crisis. Our community needs to get over its delusions of feel-good “progressivism” and actually start taking actions which have proven effective elsewhere — enforce drug laws, target deals are traffickers, and force homeless out of parks and into shelters (which have empty beds every single night). Mentally ill and addicts cannot make the choices they need to make to improve their lives, anyone who has watched a friend or loved one fall into that pit can tell you. You cannot just stand by and let them kill themselves, you have to INTERVENE and give them a chance to think clearly without the internal demons or the addiction speaking for them.

  • Divide by Zero

    “The massive Southern California-style development has citizens outraged over it’s rejection of Arcata’s inclusive community values.”

    Allow me to translate this with the help of the progressive enigma machine. Decoded this translates; AMCAL wouldn’t apply enough grease to our palms.

  • groba dude osnt trustafarian

    Arcata is not really a town sophisticated enough to have a development like this.

    Go down to Davis and see what a mess the developers have made. UCD finally built more housing, but it also endeavored to increase the student body past the size of the general population by promoting the attendance of foreign students, and the town has turned into the mess they have today.

    Increasing the wealth of real estate developers is one thing, growing the size of a student body past the tolerances of the general population is quite another.

    If Humboldt State has it’s way, all you Arcatans will be looking for another home soon…

    Either make hay while, well, while it’s foggy and cold, and get out, or get the Uni under control…

  • Soon-to-be Former Supervisor Ryan Dumberg

    “…Increasing the wealth of real estate developers…”

    Isn’t that the campaign slogan shared by both right-wing Ryan Sundberg & Ronald Reagan’s biggest fan Virginia Bass?

  • Well they should do something with that eye sore that is the craftsmans mall

  • local observer

    another conflict of interest issue, as usual. When you google John Bergenke, you find he worked for Danco. Who is doing the foster projects? Danco, Strombeck, and Krammer. when people ask me what’s wrong with Humboldt, I explain this issue and how it leads to major entitlement problems that span generations. you can even tie the hard drug problem to this issue. its why professional transplants don’t stay, they see no future.

  • Same thing with integrity and the liquor store going next to Mckinleyville highschool. The city money movers (supervisors etc) are showing the kids how little they really care about the environment our kids grow up in.

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