The Planning Division is responsible for long- and short-range City planning and implementation, including zoning, specific land uses, and annexations. Staff reviews private and public development and design projects to ensure they meet Arcata regulations (the Land Use Code). Staff is also involved with preservation of historic properties in Arcata, environmental review, code violations, grant applications related to land use, and many other issues related to land use.
The primary purpose of the Planning Division is to ensure that development within the City complies with local (the Arcata Municipal Code), state, and federal laws.
Most citizens become familiar with the Planning Division when they apply for planning permits. Planners work with the Zoning Administrator, Planning Commission, Historic and Design Review Commission, the Historical Landmarks Committee, and the City Council as they process planning permits for approval. To make the permit process easier, you can find information and checklists for nearly every type of permit (see the Planning Permits page).
Planners are also responsible for developing parts of the City's General Plan, such as the Housing Element, and other plans such as the Local Coastal Plan. Planners work with Commissions and Committees to ensure that Land Use Code reflects current land uses.