San Luis Obispo’s Tim Gill is moving forward with plans to develop what would be the largest mixed-use subdivision of houses in Eureka, a proposal that has been received with a mixture of praise and criticism in the Northern California community.
Aided by architectural renderings by Randy Rea of R2L Architects in San Luis Obispo and local real estate attorney John Belsher, Gill has been working his way through the public review process in Humboldt County since at least 2007.
The plan is to develop 370 acres into 1,442 residences — 621 single-family homes, 744 apartments or condominiums and 73 homes for seniors. The project would include 327,000 square feet of commercial development, enough for a Walmart, Home Depot and a Super Safeway. Prices would range from $175,000 to $500,000 and at full build-out, the subdivision, called Ridgewood Village, would be home to as many as 3,600 people. Humboldt County’s population is about 150,000 people.
Currently, the project is being considered by Humboldt County’s Planning Commission. Humboldt County planner Michael Wheeler had no estimate of the cost of final build-out, although he said Gill planned the first phase to be 250 homes, and he would be required to pay $8.5 million for traffic mitigation.
Recent letters to Humboldt County newspapers as well as reports of public hearings dating back to 2007 showed some citizens expressing concern about the development’s impact on adjoining redwood forests as well as how the project would change life for “all of Humboldt County.”
But Mark Lovelace, of Healthy Humboldt called the development an example of smart-growth principles — a high-density, walkable, live-work community replete with affordable housing, open spaces and trails, according to the county’s North Coast Journal.
“We know no one likes to see growth in their community,” Lovelace was quoted as saying. “But, there’s a lot of promise here. This isn’t building housing for someone else. It’s for people here.”
Gill could not be reached for comment. He has owned the property for at least 10 years, according to documents filed with the state. He has Humboldt County partners, Scott Dunn and the Robinson family. — Melanie Cleveland
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San Luis Obispo social worker Liz Johnston has been selected from applicants across the United States and Canada to serve in the North American network of subject matter experts who write test questions for social work licensing examinations administered by the Association of Social Work Boards. Johnston is a licensed clinical social worker in California, serves as a medical social worker for Twin Cities Hospital in Templeton, and maintains a private practice in San Luis Obispo.
— Julia Hickey