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Letter to the Editor of the Lost Coast Outpost

The following was sent to the editor of the Lost Coast Outpost on February 2, 2024.


Dear Editor,

 

I continue to be amazed at your publication's lack of due diligence and objective reporting. You continue to spread untruths about the Housing for All and Downtown Vitality ballot initiative and Citizens for a Better Eureka.

 

First, I want to clarify that the CEQA lawsuits and the Housing for All Initiative are PRO HOUSING. Neither the CEQA lawsuits filed by Citizens for a Better Eureka nor the Housing for All and Downtown Vitality initiative prevent the building of housing units on downtown parking lots.

 

The lawsuits request that the City do what it is already legally required to do and comply with CEQA when approving projects. CEQA compliance ensures that environmental impacts, if any, are analyzed and, where necessary, mitigation measures are imposed to reduce those impacts. The ballot initiative says the developments must preserve the public parking spaces that our local downtown businesses rely on. None of our efforts stop the proposed developments.

 

Last month, Citizens for a Better Eureka filed requests for injunctions in the four CEQA cases that were filed against the City. We did this because the City should pause, reconsider its parking lots development plan, and allow the City voters to provide guidance on the issue. However, it seems the City is determined to push it through.

 

While we are doing everything we can to win the injunctions motions, we also know there is a strong chance the court will not rule in our favor. Whatever the outcome, it won’t hinder our efforts going forward to save downtown Eureka and its businesses while continuing to bring much-needed housing to the city of Eureka.

 

We believe there are better options for solving our housing crisis than harming our downtown businesses. For instance, the proposed residential zoning overlay for the former Jacobs Middle School site included in the initiative provides a pathway to increase the housing supply in Eureka, bringing down its cost and making it more affordable – especially for working- and middle-income families. We were pleased to see a developer’s plan to purchase the site and encouraged to see so many of our neighbors agree with us that it is a good site for housing at last month's Town Hall meeting.

 

We are pro-housing, pro-business, and pro-citizens, using our voices to push back on ill-conceived plans that will harm our city.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mike Munson

Citizens for a Better Eureka Member

Eureka Housing for All and Downtown Vitality Initiative Co-Sponsor

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