Ongoing Community Outreach

In order to undertake these updates to the City’s General Plan, there are some big questions that we need to answer: What are your big ideas for the future of Arcata’s built, natural, and economic environment? What are the characteristics of Arcata that make it a great place to live, work, and play? What actions can we take to combat as well as adapt to climate change? What are the things in your community that could change that will strengthen your community to be a better place to live, work or play in the next 20 years? We plan to ask these questions through a variety of methods, in order to ensure engagement that is both robust and COVID-safe.

“Town Hall” Zoom Meetings

Our intent is to have a meeting where we review these questions with the public and ask them what updates to our current policy makes sense in order to strengthen our community, combat and adapt to climate change, and increase opportunity for everyone to live, work, and in play Arcata. 

Ongoing outreach will further refine our questions by targeting four main areas of focus as identified through our outreach to date. These topics encompass all elements of the general plan that staff will be updating through 2023: 

  1. growth and development, 
  2. neighborhoods and urban form, 
  3. environment and sustainability, and 
  4. community and health. 

We will begin facilitating discussions around these topics at our February 25th meeting. We will also undertake follow up meetings for each of the four topics identified above, where we bring the “big ideas” gathered to date and compare them against current vision statements and General Plan policies, and dig into new policies that could speak to the new goals and priorities of the community on a 20 year timeline.

“Meeting-in-a-Box” Sessions

City staff has prepared targeted packets for further outreach that can be easily used both by staff or by various members of the community, further broadening our ability to connect and capture information form a variety of community stakeholders. A “Meeting-in-a-Box” is a self guided meeting format that will be available on the city’s website. This meeting in a box format will allow community members to dig into topics that are most interesting to them and submit ideas to city staff. The meeting in a box format will be available to the public through the end of 2021 in order to ensure maximum reach of engagement.

Online surveys

The City will also release surveys on the City website that align with the questions asked at the Town Hall sessions, in an effort to bring along members of the community who cannot attend our meetings, but still want to engage in our processes. These surveys will be released concurrently with the public meeting where similar topics are discussed, and the surveys will remain open for the duration of the drafting of the relevant General Plan Elements. Once draft updates to the General Plan Elements are released, follow-up surveys requesting feedback on the proposed updates will be released to the public as well. 

The City’s “community visioning” survey will be made available on the City’s Strategic Infill page the week of the community visioning session, and will remain open for all of 2021, in order to allow community members as much time as possible to engage with the materials.