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The Issues

The Marina Center plan is to build a thoughtfully designed mixed-use, urban-infill development that will benefit the Eureka community. It will create both jobs and affordable housing while encouraging vital commercial and leisure activities. Marina Center will promote neighborhood livability by providing a safe, convenient, and attractive place to shop, live, and work.

Both the environmentally sensitive design and land-use of Marina Center will complement Eureka's downtown by incorporating its character while introducing smart-growth and green design attributes. It discourages sprawl by promoting infill development adjacent to existing downtown development. By virtue of its location, Marina Center can easily be accessed by car, public transportation, bicycle, and on foot. Marina Center will create an important and natural connection to the waterfront, linking Old Town and the Eureka Boardwalk with the new development.

The significant components of the project include up to 40 units of residential, upscale industrial sites, a broad array of retail user space and a significant multi-story office component. Marina Center will provide careful transitions from larger scale retail and lifestyle tenants to mixed-use light industrial, affordable residential, retail, and office uses, and additional transition to the existing light-industrial and historic Old Town.

In February 2006, Eureka City Council voted in favor to allow the project to move forward with submitting General Plan and Zoning applications for the Marina Center project. The applications were submitted and accepted by the city on March 7th, 2006. The purpose of the General Plan and Zoning Amendments is to re-designate to a land-use designation consistent with the adjacent downtown and to provide new opportunities for land that has remained vacant, contaminated, and underutilized for more than 30 years.

The amendments will result in land use designations compatible with the surrounding uses. A large proportion of the site is currently designated as Public / Quasi-Public and implemented by the zoning designation of Public. This no longer accurately reflects the existing development patterns in the area. When the General Plan / Local Coastal Plan were adopted by the city in 1984, the site was then vacant and underutilized for many years.

During that time, the city of Eureka elected to zone the property “Public” because it gave Union Pacific Railroad the opportunity to renew its historic use of the Balloon Track for rail service, if it chose to do so, while at the same time providing the city the opportunity to consider any future uses proposed for the site. The Public zoning designation has historically served primarily as a “holding” zone, and the city has always contemplated, at some point, a zone change for the Balloon Track. Likewise, at no time has there ever been a specific public project intended for the site incidental to its zoning.

The new land use designations have been carefully designed to complement and provide uses that are harmonious with existing land use patterns. The project includes extending an existing Service Commercial district from the south into the site; extending a portion of the existing Waterfront Commercial from the northeast into the site along Waterfront Drive and incorporating an Office and Multi-Family Residential district bounded by the proposed 2nd and 4th Street extension and Broadway. The proposed uses will be accommodated with architecturally appropriate and innovative design that will meet all the required zoning regulations.