Community Development

  1. Planning
  2. Housing
  3. Economic Development
  4. Foodworks Culinary Center
  5. Commercial Cannabis Activity Permit

The City of Arcata’s Planning Division helps to navigate the physical growth of Arcata with an emphasis on optimizing the land use and development of the city for the public welfare of its citizens.

Guided by the City’s General Plan and Land Use Code, the Planning Division supports long- and short-term plans for the best utilization of land throughout Arcata, and makes recommendations to the Planning Commission and City Council on proposed projects that will help to revitalize and prepare Arcata for future growth. The Planning Division also works with the Historic Landmarks Committee to ensure the continuity of the look and feel of the historic properties located throughout Arcata.

Major Development Projects

Major Development Projects that are happening throughout the City are identified in the map below. Click on a project outlined in red to find the link to more information on the project.

Short-Stay and Vacation Rental Permits

Short-Stay and Vacation Rental (SSVR) Permit Applications are now being accepted. More details about the SSVR Permits are on the Short-Stay and Vacation Rentals webpage.

COVID-19 Outdoor Dining & Retail Guidance for Arcata Businesses

The City of Arcata has released outdoor dining and retail guidance for local businesses located in the Arcata Plaza, Downtown and Northtown neighborhoods.

On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, the Arcata City Council unanimously voted to allow restaurants and businesses to offer outdoor seating for dining and retail operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance will remain in place until stay at home orders are lifted to allow unrestricted dining and retail operations, or until the City revokes these interim provisions.

Reopening certification from the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services is required for all Arcata businesses who wish to apply for an outdoor dining or retail permit, also known as an Encroachment Permit. 

  • Arcata businesses who have not yet applied for County reopening certification are advised to click here for more information.

The City’s outdoor dining and retail guidance are included below:

To apply for an outdoor dining or retail permit, complete an Encroachment Permit Application and submit it to the Building & Engineering Department at All permit fees will be waived for Encroachment Permits related to outdoor dining and retail operations that are obtained before Thursday, December 31, 2020. 

For additional information, please contact the Community Development Department by email at or call 707-822-5955.