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City of Eureka Being Sued Over Parking Lot Housing Projects

City Business Owners Petition the Court to Require Eureka to Properly Assess Impacts from Housing Plans on City Parking Lots

Eureka, Calif., Apr. 4, 2023 – A large number of downtown Eureka businessowners and residents are filing a lawsuit Thursday, April 6, 2023, against the City of Eureka in California Superior Court, Humboldt County, over the city’s activities related to affordable and low-income housing projects on downtown parking lots. The thirty-two petitioners, known as Citizens for a Better Eureka, claim the city failed to meet the requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to properly assess the environmental impacts of the housing developments planned for city parking lots.

The petitioners are asking the court to stop the city from further actions on the proposed projects and restart with an honest study of impacts to traffic, pedestrians and public safety, air quality, neighborhood compatibility, and other impacts, not just parking.

“While we support finding ways to meet affordable housing needs, the City’s process has been flawed from the beginning,” the group’s members said. “They are using outdated and inaccurate parking lot studies, some performed during COVID, as well as not fully assessing all the environmental impacts in making their decisions.”

Citizens for a Better Eureka includes Security National, with over 200 employees based in downtown Eureka, former city mayors, former city council members, local businessowners, and residents. They jointly have stated the City Council members and staff have not listened to city residents and business owners who have consistently said the developments will not only ruin downtown businesses but create an unsafe environment.

The petitioners have said in public hearings there isn’t enough downtown parking and employees and customers will have to walk even further in unsafe conditions created by the number of homeless camping out on the sidewalks, the traffic (especially on US 101), and the rising number of attacks on pedestrians. The petitioners also noted that the City’s plan to place housing on these lots is unacceptable.

“We understand the city is under significant pressure to comply with the state housing requirements for affordable and low-income housing,” the petitioners said. “We believe the city must first thoroughly analyze the impacts of these projects as well as perform a needs assessment on transportation and necessary amenities, such as grocery stores, before moving forward. There currently is not adequate public transportation to allow residents to get to and from work, shopping, schools, medical appointments, and other places necessary to carry on normal life and very few of these services are found in the walkable downtown area.

Citizens for a Better Eureka includes: Security National, Dan Marchetti, Andy Cleveland, Cindy Olsen, Shane Blackwell, Michelle Constantine, John Fullerton, Sondra Kirtley, Chuck Ellsworth, Laura Bringhurst, Jorge Bravo, Holly Blackwood, Ben Smith, Anthony Mantova, Mike Munson, Jim Morrison, Marion Brady, Roger Miller, Connie Miller, Nancy Flemming, Susan Santsche, Chris Lehto, Rebecca Blanc, Christopher Larsen, Jennifer Rudick, Nina Chadwich, Frank Jager, Steve Cunningham, Lacy Cunningham, Ray Conti, and Rod Anderson.

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23-4-6 Petition-Conformed
Download PDF • 4.26MB

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