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A brownfield site is a property where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse efforts are complicated by the presence or perceived presence of petroleum, hazardous substances, or other contaminants. Common examples are vacant or underutilized properties, including gas stations, auto repair facilities, and older manufacturing sites.
The City of Eureka received an assessment grant totaling $300,000. The first grant is a community-wide grant set aside to assess properties potentially impacted by hazardous substances and petroleum. This grant will be used to inventory brownfield sites and conduct a limited number of environmental site assessments to determine if sites are contaminated. All work will be performed within the Balloon Track and Waterfront area in Eureka.
Brownfield sites are often a blight on neighborhoods and can potentially impact the environment. Most brownfields produce little tax revenue and reduce local employment opportunities. Cleaning up and reinvesting in brownfield sites increases the local tax base, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, and improves and protects the environment.
Yes, like all cities throughout the United States, Eureka has a number of properties that are idle, vacant or underutilized, and may have contamination that is preventing reuse.
Community-wide sites are inventoried using a variety of criteria including location, potential contamination, how reuse fits into the City's general plan, community expectations and needs, and other factors. The public is encouraged to help with the prioritization process by participating in community meetings and staying involved.
We want to involve as many of our residents, property owners, business owners, and community organizations as possible throughout all stages of this work. If you would like more information, please email Erin McDannold or call 707-441-4177.
Complete our Brownfields Community-wide Assessment Grant Feedback survey.
No. Your project participation may be limited to a Phase I report and you may choose to forgo a Phase II or a Phase II may not be recommended by the Phase I report.
No permitting or ground disturbance occurs with Phase Is. Phase IIs require permitting and subsurface sampling/ground disturbance, but Phase IIs are not required in order to participate in the project.
Individual Phase Is typically take one month to complete. Individual Phase IIs may take up to 2 to 3 months to permit, execute, and report.
If a Phase I recommends a Phase II and a Phase II is completed and contamination is found above regulatory action levels, then a State or Local agency may require further delineation of the impact. This could result in opening a regulatory case file and the current landowner would be named as a Responsible Party, along with any previous owners who caused or contributed to the contamination.
Numerous grants and loans are available through State programs to address environmental impacts. These grants, however, utilize a competitive selection process and funding is not guaranteed.
You should consult with your legal counsel to evaluate your particular liability situation. Participation in the project may increase your liability. Commercial/industrial properties typically require a Phase I and possibly a Phase II investigation as part of any real estate transaction. Participation in the project is free to eligible landowners/properties and therefore you could save these potential future costs by participating in the project. Landowner environmental liability should decrease once properties are cleared by conducting either a Phase I or a Phase II.
The California Fair Political Practices Commission enforces state conflict-of-interest laws for City officials. More information can be found on their website.
The Eureka Municipal Code and the Charter of the City of Eureka can be found online. The Municipal Code is updated periodically and may not yet reflect recently adopted ordinances.
Fill out the Claim for Money or Damages Against the City of Eureka (PDF) and mail it to
City Clerk's Office531 "K" Street Eureka, CA 95501-1146
You can also pick up a copy of the form at the City Clerk's Office.
The City Attorney is the lawyer for the City of Eureka as an organization. That means we work for the City Council, the City Manager, and other City staff. By law, the City Attorney is prohibited from representing residents, businesses, private individuals, or groups.
Go to our Legal Resources page for a list of referrals to lawyers who can help with landlord-tenant issues, business or neighbor disputes, family issues, personal injuries, etc.
By law, lawsuits against the City of Eureka must be served on the Office of the Clerk. The City Attorney’s Office does not accept service of lawsuits against the City of Eureka.
In cases in which the City of Eureka is not a party to a lawsuit, subpoenas should be served on the specific City department that you are seeking records.
The City Attorney’s Office generally does not handle the prosecution of state Penal Code infractions or misdemeanors, which are handled by the County’s Office of the District Attorney. The City Attorney’s Office is responsible for enforcing the City’s own ordinances.
The Facilities Division provides corrective and preventative maintenance for over 80 City of Eureka buildings and facilities.
Major facilities include City Hall, Eureka Police Department, Eureka Fire Headquarters, Municipal Auditorium, Adorni Recreation Center, Wharfinger Building, the Economic Development Association Plant and the Sequoia Park Zoo Entry Pavilion.
Service functions include custodial, carpentry, plumbing, painting, building electrical, traffic system, electrical and festival or event site preparation.
Yes. All significant public facilities are accessible including City Hall, Eureka Police Department, Eureka Fire Headquarters, Adorni Recreation Center, Municipal Auditorium and the Wharfinger Building.
The Facilities Division is made up of nine regular full time positions and one 10-month regular part-time position. The positions include a Harbor and Facilities Maintenance Manager, Facility Maintenance Specialist, Electrician, Facilities Maintenance Technicians, Senior Custodian and Custodians.
The City has over 1,400 street trees and includes trees and landscaping as a component of any major city development project. In 2002, the City Council passed a resolution establishing the City of Eureka as a “Tree Lined City.”
Dog licenses are required by law. Both California State Law and Eureka Municipal Code require that your dog has an active rabies vaccination and be licensed. If you do not license your dog, you may be issued a citation, and you will incur extra fees and fines. Dog licensing provides a central registry of rabies vaccinations, which is a critical resource in the event of dog bite incidents or in the case of a rabies outbreak.
Yes. All dogs, regardless if they never leave the yard, must be licensed. Dogs have a way of getting out through gates accidentally left open or by digging under fences. Loud noises, such as fireworks, and natural disasters like an earthquake or fire may cause your pet to flee the safety of your property. Having a dog license on its collar will help reunite your lost pet with you.
The licensing fees are based on your dog's ability to breed. By not spaying or neutering your pet, you incur a larger portion of responsibility for pet overpopulation, and the need to maintain an animal shelter. A dog's instinct to breed often overcomes the pet owner's ability to prevent it.
Animal overpopulation is a huge problem in our community. Even well-intentioned breeders cannot predict what will happen to an animal after it has gone to a new home, and many of these dogs end up in the animal shelter. Many dogs are very difficult to place, either due to breed, size, temperament, health, or age. It is your responsibility to help prevent this problem.
Spaying/neutering also causes your dog to experience less stress, decreases the risk of many diseases and cancers, and may prolong your dog's life. It also creates a more obedient, even-tempered, less aggressive, and happier pet, which is less likely to run away.
If you need assistance accessing spay or neuter services for your pet, there are several local programs that may be able to defray most of the cost. For more information, please contact our office, your veterinarian, or visit the Humboldt Spay / Neuter Network website or call them at 707-442-7729.
Licensing fees are used to help defray the monthly share of cost paid by the City of Eureka to the Humboldt County Animal Shelter.
Voters will only vote for the City Council position up for election in their specific ward. All five current Council Members will continue to represent the ward that they were elected to until their term ends. At the end of their terms, the council members can run for re-election in the ward that they currently live in.
Residents can check the 2020 Ward Map (PDF). If you do not have access to a computer, contact the City Clerk's Office at 707-441-4175 or in person at Eureka City Hall: 531 K StreetCity Clerk's Office, Second Floor
Voters should check their sample ballot for any changes to the location of their polling place. Voters can also find their polling location online.
The City of Eureka consolidates its elections with the County of Humboldt, who administer all City elections. The County of Humboldt also administers the elections for special districts that along with the City have district/ward geographical boundaries. Due to the changes, many precincts have changed for City voters and some voters who reside within a small precinct area may have a "mail only" option for voting.
Previously, councilmembers had to live within the geographical boundaries of their wards, but all registered voters in the City could vote for the candidate. As of 2018, voters in each ward select one Council representative who must live in that ward.
In 2016, Council placed a question on the ballot asking voters if they wanted to change the ward/at large election method to a by-ward election. Voters approved the Charter Amendment, (Measure P) by 57.6% of the vote, changing the election method to a by-ward system.
The previous wards had been created in 1976. Populations within those wards were uneven, requiring new ward boundaries to be drawn. The new wards are based on the latest (2010) U.S. Census data and are within 2% of the population mean.
Council appointed a Ward Redistricting Committee comprised of one representative from each of the 5 wards and two members appointed at large by the Mayor. City Geographic Information System (GIS) staff presented several scenarios for the Committee to study and comment on. Based on the Committee's recommendation, Council approved the new Ward geographical boundaries and numbered the wards in a counter-clockwise manner.
ANYONE wanting to make a difference in their community, regardless of ability, location, (residents from outside Eureka are welcome!) race, ethnicity, gender, age, etc.
*Please note, volunteers under 13 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, unless enrolled in a specific youth volunteer program. Volunteers under 18 years old must have their parent/ guardian sign a waiver before they begin volunteering.
It depends on your schedule!
There are both short- and long-term volunteer opportunities from a one-time experience or a few hours on a Saturday morning to a weekly commitment for the span of a season or year.
It's not just about showing up and lifting things. Volunteering includes being a voice, whether its speaking at city council meetings to making phone calls from your home to sharing your experience. And investing in a cause you believe in, whether its funding a grant or buying a drink at one of our community events. We are here to find the best way to allow you to offer your strengths to the city.
Yes! Upon completion of volunteer hours, Empower Eureka would be happy to verify your hours. Once you've found a program of interest, fill out the City Volunteer Application.
Thank you for your participation! We look forward to hearing feedback from our volunteers. Please feel free to share your experience and let us know what you love, and what needs improvement. Testimonials can be emailed to Empower Eureka.
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The City of Eureka only accepts online job applications for Full-Time positions. If you are interested in a Temporary/Part-Time position with a specific Department, you can contact that Department to inquire about any current opportunities and you will then be instructed to complete a paper job application to apply for that Temporary/Part-Time position opening.
Only certain positions require an attachment to be submitted with the job application. When an attachment is required, the application will specify the type of document that is needed and any other document attached will not be considered.
You will receive an email within one week from the closing date of the job posting containing information about the status of your submitted job application. That message will come to the email address you used to create your governmentjobs.com account.
CalPERS retirement, 80 percent City paid health insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, 12 paid holidays, City paid life insurance, Employee Assistance Program, free family membership at the Adorni Recreation Center, free enrollment at Little Saplings Preschool for children and grandchildren of City employees, reduced rate for after school programs, free family membership to Sequoia Park Zoo and more!
This is a health insurance deduction.
This is a CalPERS deduction that the employee pays which is 3% of the employer's portion.
This is a continental supplemental insurance deduction.
In lieu of Social Security, payroll deductions go into a 457 supplemental retirement plan with MissionSquare Retirement (formally ICMA) for all temporary/part-time employees.
First, inform your supervisor of the need for time off due to a serious medical condition. You do not need to provide details. Then, reach out to Human Resources and they will inform you of your applicable benefits.
First, inform your supervisor of your need for future time off work and then reach out to Human Resources who will inform you of your applicable benefits.
If your injury requires immediate attention, go straight to the emergency room and let them know it is a Worker's Compensation injury so you do not get billed. When you are able, complete the Employee Claim form and submit to your supervisor or Human Resources in order to initiate a Worker's Compensation claim.
Grants are an important source of funding for City parks and trails projects. The City of Eureka has limited financial resources that it is able to dedicate to improvement projects. A majority of the services that the City provides its citizens are funded by various taxes and fee revenue. This general fund fluctuates every year due to the economy and a number of other external factors. When City revenue is less than City expenditures, there is less funding available to provide services, and reductions are made to keep the City’s budget balanced. Grant programs help fill the funding gap for projects which the City’s general fund revenue cannot support and provide opportunities that would otherwise be fiscally impossible. Grants can also provide economic benefit to communities as local companies and businesses are most often utilized for the project in areas such as design services, construction and / or providing supplies.
Grant funding opportunities are provided by outside agencies such as Federal, State, Local, and Private Organizations through a competitive application process. Each grant opportunity has its own unique project guidelines respective to the funding organization’s desired outcomes. Funding organizations seek out the strongest and most impactful projects which utilize funding to their best ability. Through the highly competitive and complex application process, applicants must propose their plan, how the money will be spent, and how it is going to serve the desired outcomes of the funding agency. Grants are symbiotic between the funder who wants to support a public cause and the recipient who can carry out the project if awarded funding. Grant funding awards do not need to be repaid.
Due to grant parameters, grant funds can only be utilized for the grant project as outlined and approved by the governing grant agency or organization. Grants require a detailed budget and accounting for all money awarded. Any deviation from the approved project not only jeopardizes any current projects but can affect the ability to receive grant funding in the future. Grant funding is not a blank check for the City to use at its own discretion.
City staff are aware of parks that need improvement and are actively seeking grant opportunities to fund these costly projects. There are a number of factors that are considered when selecting a project in need of funding. Some of the questions that staff ask when reviewing grant opportunities to pursue include:
Unfortunately, not all projects that the City would like to complete are a good fit for the grant opportunities available at the time. City staff are persistent and continue to search for project funding. Some projects take a little longer to fund but their completion is just as exciting and magical.
There are a number of ways that community members can be part of the process.
The Eureka City Council unanimously placed Measure H on the November 3, 2020 local ballot to maintain voter-approved locally controlled funding for vital City services.
It is more important than ever to continue investing in and supporting our own local economy and unique needs. Continuing Measure H will preserve local control over local needs for public safety, emergency response, roads, and other vital services that keep our community a great place to live and raise a family as well as help attract and retain local jobs.
Measure H builds on Eureka’s ability to improve our streets and roads. Without extending Measure H, Eureka will not be able to bring in additional state and federal matching funds for critical local improvements that makes our roads and sidewalks safer for drivers and pedestrians, including first responders, who need to reach people quickly in an emergency.
Yes. Like many cities, homelessness has been a growing problem in Eureka. Especially with the pandemic, continuing Measure H funding will speed up efforts to connect those in need with local services, including emergency shelter, while keeping our neighborhoods and public spaces safe and secure for all residents.
When you dial 911, every second counts. The City’s top priority is keeping or community safe. Continuing Measure H maintains emergency response services and helps ensure our paramedics, firefighters, and public safety officers continue to be ready to help when you need them the most.
In recent community outreach and engagement, residents identified top priorities the City should maintain if Measure H is extended, including, among others:
Measure H would continue the existing, voter-approved local sales tax at a 1.25 cent rate. Measure H is not applied to prescription medicine or food purchased as groceries, and out-of-town visitors to our City also pay the cost. Half of Eureka’s sales tax revenue comes from visitors. Measure H is not a tax on your property or home.
Yes. Measure H continues to require community and fiscal accountability, including financial audits and an independent citizens’ oversight committee to review Measure H funds to ensure they are spent responsibly on public priorities. Measure H will continue to be spent locally to benefit residents, and none can be taken by the state.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Check your registration or get registered to vote.
The City will continue to keep the community informed about Measure H. If you are a member of a community organization that would like to receive a presentation on Measure H please contact City Administration at 707-441-4144. You can also find additional Measure H background and voting information in the links below.
There are six community park facilities which include Cooper Gulch Park, Halvorsen Park, Hartman / Kennedy ball fields, Sequoia Park, Sequoia Park Garden, and Sequoia Park Zoo. There are seven neighborhood park facilities including Carson Park, Clara Mae Berry Park, Hammond Park, Highland Park, Lundbar Hills Park, Ross Park, and 20 / 30 Park. The historic Myrtle Grove Cemetery is also part of the park facilities program which encompasses a total of nearly 140 acres of parkland. There are also two dog parks, Eureka Dog Park and Del Norte Street.
Most of our City parks have open multi-use grass areas. League standard softball fields are available at Cooper Gulch Park and at Hartman / Kennedy ball fields. Smaller practice fields exist at Carson Park, Hammond Park, Highland Park, Ross Park, and 20 / 30 Park.
Yes. Sequoia Park is a 60 acre facility that features walking and bicycle trails through the redwood forest, meadows, duck pond, and two small creeks. The park includes two playgrounds, open turf grass, picnic tables, a restroom, group picnic area and a gazebo bandstand. The Sequoia park property also includes the Sequoia Park Garden and Sequoia Park Zoo.
The land of Sequoia Park was donated to the City of Eureka in 1894 by Bartlin and Henrietta Glatt as the last large stand of redwood trees in the City. Although logging did occur within the park, some of the original 40 acres of old-growth forest is still standing in the park gulch areas.
Yes. Sequoia Park has designated parking locations, an accessible sidewalk to picnic sites, an accessible restroom and a total of over a mile of wheelchair and baby buggy accessible asphalt paved trails. One trail is the old maintenance road that runs through the forest behind the Zoo and the second is the Sequoia Creek Trail that heads west from the Duck Pond through meadows and loops back along a forested creek.
The Parks Division maintains 42 landscape sites throughout the City including the Old Town Gazebo Square, Clarke Plaza and the Sacco Amphitheater.
Yes. Cooper Gulch Park includes a nine-hole Disc Golf Course, a hiking trail along Cooper Creek and a Skate Park. The 18-hole Eureka Municipal Golf Course is located on Fairway Drive at the south end of F Street.
Parks, athletic fields, and buildings can be reserved for your use by emailing the Community Services Department or by calling 707-441-4241.
Please contact the City Manager's Office at 707-441-4144.
No, we accept applications year-round.
No, it expires June of every year and requires a new affidavit to be submitted.
Please note the exemption period is always July 1st through June 30th of the following year. Therefore, no matter what month you submit the exemption, it always expires on June 30th. Every household seeking an exemption must submit a new form prior to June 1st every year to prevent a lapse in exemption.
No. The affidavit is a legally binding document enforceable by the Eureka Municipal Code. Eureka Community Services will provide a new and updated form each exemption year which is subject to modifications to improve and streamline the program.
No, Please contact Recology to place your service on hold due to vacancy.
No. Enforceable by Eureka Municipal Code, unless exempt through this program, every household in Eureka has mandated curbside waste and recycling service by Recology. Once approved for exemption, billing will cease for the exemption period.
No, if you apply for exemption, you are opting out of any service with Recology.
No. This exemption program is specifically for households who generate such a small amount of waste that weekly curbside service is unnecessary and in turn are contributing to positive waste diversion efforts for our community. If you generate a significant amount of solid waste per week, you are not eligible for an exemption.
Waste and recycling must be regulated to the extent necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, to conserve disposal capacity, to meet state laws and to ensure cost effective public service.
No, the exemption is voided as soon as service is reinstated.
The general intent of Old Growth, New Adventures is to preserve the park's natural and cultural resources, improve amenities and create an inclusive, unique, and safe park experience that reflects the spirit of Sequoia Park and Eureka.
In the fall of 2017, a community-driven design process made possible by Redwood Capital Bank began. The project has been gathering community input on all aspects of Sequoia Park including the Upper Meadow (playground, pathways, roadways, parking, etc.), Duck Pond and surrounding areas, and the overall trail systems.
The Sequoia Park Playground and Upper Meadow
The first phase of the project will be the playground and Upper Meadow, once the community-driven design is finalized a total cost will be determined. Fundraising efforts will range from local donations to state funding grant opportunities. Additional park phases will follow as funds become available.
Thanks to an initial sponsorship of $10,000 from the Rotary Club of Old Town Eureka, The Humboldt Area Foundation has set up the Sequoia Park and Playground Improvement Fund. This fund provides a mechanism for private donations to support the construction of the new Sequoia Park Playground and Upper Meadow. It also gives businesses, residents, neighborhood groups and park advocates a chance to build community, foster stewardship, and make a difference in Sequoia Park.
In 2017-2018, an extensive community input process was conducted with an outpouring of community support and feedback, made possible by Redwood Capital Bank who provided the funds for Greenway Partners to create preliminary designs. A community fundraising campaign will be launching soon to carry the remaining phases to the finish line.
Community feedback has indicated that outdated and broken amenities such as old restrooms and playground equipment are in dire need of replacement. Furthermore, there is limited ADA access in and around the park which limits the ability for all to enjoy this special space. The beloved open green space will be improved with new grass and irrigation for lounging in the sun and playing games as our community has enjoyed for over a century. The swings will be updated with more seating options including the addition of inclusive seats and a seat where you can sit across from your child! All improvements were carefully vetted to ensure this project enhances what is loved, restores what is broken, and provides what is missing.
For the City of Eureka, and most public agencies, Gas Tax funding is typically the main source of funds for road maintenance. Gas Tax is paid at the pump per gallon and is distributed to the State, Counties and Cities.
Typically, no. Gas taxes were increased in 2017 to counter act the declining value of the dollar after not having been indexed to account for inflation. To bridge this gap in funding, many cities have passed local tax measures to fund maintenance and preservation of their transportation infrastructure. In November of 2020, voters of the City of Eureka passed Measure H which supports additional funds for road maintenance and repair throughout the City.
Good question but hard to answer. It depends on many factors. A simpler way to look at it is this: The City’s road infrastructure would require approximately 6.87 million dollars per year to maintain it at today’s current condition. In other words, approximately 6.87 million dollars per year is needed to not allow the overall road network to deteriorate any worse than it is!
Every five to seven years, the City (and all cities in the County), have every road surveyed for condition, called a Pavement Condition Survey or Index (PCI). This gives every road (each will be broken into many sections) a score from 1-100. 80-100 is “Good”, 50-70 is “Fair”, 25-50 is “Poor” and 0-25 is…well you can guess. With this we can estimate what a road of a 30 PCI ranking (a lot of construction $ to improve) vs. a road with a 75 PCI ranking (a lower $ to preserve).
In 2023 it was 61 (fair) and is expected to lower by two to three points per year, based on the past budget.
No!!! For the first time in many years, the future looks very bright for road maintenance in the City of Eureka! Thanks to the voters of the City who passed Measure H in November of 2020, there is a promising future. The City averaged about $500,000 per year in Gas Tax funds for road construction previously, which only met a portion of the approximate three million dollars needed every year. With Measure H, the projected funds for road maintenance is approximately three million dollars per year.
There are a number of factors that go into a decision to perform road maintenance on a roadway. They include, (in no particular order): Road condition, traffic volume, length of roadway needing repair, type of repair required, and underground utility (water / sewer / power…) issues. Historically with a very limited budget, the City was limited to work on (largely) the highest traffic volume streets in order to extend the dollars as far as possible. With a more stable budget, road maintenance will include a combination of reconstruction (high cost / high work effort / lowest condition roadway), pavement grinding and patching (moderate cost / moderate effort / moderate condition roadway), and pavement preservation (lower cost / lower effort / better condition roadway).
The City published a paving priority list for the next five years as part of the annual Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). This is a guideline to identify the streets that are of high priority for the next five years. As part of this list, the City is committed to setting aside a portion of the dollars to repair lower volume streets as part of these annual projects. These projects, as well as the priority list, will be somewhat fluid as final details will be determined once engineering design takes place for each roadway.
Typically projects are designed & bid in the winter, construction will kickoff in the and wrap up in the fall.
We are currently at the very beginning of the planning process, with an initial public meeting planner for November 15, 2023, and an online survey recently released, to give feedback on public priorities for the project prior to development of a conceptual design. After the initial meeting occurs and survey results are analyzed, one or more conceptual design(s) will be drafted and will be brought to a future City Council meeting for feedback from Council and the public, and then a final design will be taken to the City's Design Review Committee for Design Review approval. Once Design Review approval is secured, RCHDC may apply to the City for building permits to construct the project. Per the City's agreement with RCHDC, a minimum of three public meetings will be held to encourage public input on the project prior to RCHDC applying for a building permit.
Rural Communities Housing Development Corporation (RCHDC) is a nonprofit dedicated to providing decent and affordable housing to low- and moderate-income persons in rural northern California. We strive to be a strong, dynamic, and flexible organization; effective at achieving our mission through our efforts and partnerships both public and private. RCHDC has developed over 700 units and manages over 1,400 units of multi-family affordable housing for individuals and families, elderly, and special needs populations. This extensive organizational history exemplifies our experience and capacity for developing and owning affordable housing. Throughout the last 7 years, RCHDC has expanded its knowledge of Housing First Principles as evidenced by our successful collaborations with the Counties of Siskiyou, Mendocino, Lake, Tehama, and Humboldt to develop five No Place Like Home developments for people experiencing homelessness and/or serious mental illness.
RCHDC’s approach to developing affordable housing in the City of Eureka will be driven by the needs of the local community. To understand and plan for a project that meets those needs, we focus on five essential components – building a project-specific team, ensuring community involvement and integration, knowing the market and target population, assessing the built environment possibilities, and matching the appropriate funding sources. We look forward to expanding housing opportunities in the beautiful City of Eureka.
To meet the City's Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA; see "What is RHNA?" below) and help alleviate our local housing crisis, the City has adopted a program to sell or lease City-owned parcels to affordable housing developers, with a goal of contractually requiring developers to construct at least 327 deed-restricted affordable housing units on City-owned parcels by 2028. The four Sunset Heights parcels were added to the program in 2022, after Pierson Properties & Development, LLC came forward with a proposal to swap three of the City-owned Downtown parking lot sites originally included in the program for the Sunset Heights property. The City acquired the Sunset Heights property from Pierson in early 2022, and officially added the site to the housing program in October 2022. On September 5, 2023, City Council entered into an agreement with RCHDC for development of Sunset Heights with a minimum of 80 affordable dwelling units (a.k.a. residences).
Since 1969, the State of California has required that all cities and counties adequately plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in their communities. To meet this requirement, each city and county must develop a Housing Element as part of its General Plan (the local government’s long-range blueprint for growth) that shows how it will meet its community’s housing needs. There are many laws that govern this process, and collectively they are known as Housing Element law.
Every eight years, every city and county in California must update their Housing Element and have it certified by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The current Housing Element cycle for the Humboldt region runs from 2019-2027. HCD determines the number of new homes by income category the Humboldt region needs to plan for during the current Housing Element cycle, and Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG) distributes the region’s housing allocation amongst the seven cities and County of Humboldt. The City of Eureka was allocated a RHNA of 952 units (i.e., a goal of constructing 952 new housing units within City limits between 2019-2027). The RHNA goal is divided into four income levels as follows:
City of Eureka 2019-27 RHNA
Very Low Income (VLI)
Low Income (LI)
Moderate Income (MI)
Above Moderate Income (AMI)
As seen in the table below, 231 new residences have been permitted in Eureka since 2019, but to meet the RHNA goal for the current Housing Element cycle 721 additional dwelling units will need to be built by 2027.
Affordable housing generally means not spending more than 30% of a household’s income on housing, including rent and utilities for renters, and mortgage, interest, insurance, taxes and utilities for homeowners. For purposes of affordable housing planning and funding, State Housing law establishes the following income levels:
Very Low Income
31 to 50% Area Median Income
51 to 80% Area Median Income
81 to 120% Area Median Income
Above Moderate Income
>120% Area Median Income
According to the Census, median household income in Eureka is $46,926 (2017-2021). However, for the purpose of determine affordable housing prices, HCD has set the 2023 median income in Humboldt County at $83,800 for a family of four (HCD raises Humboldt County’s area median income to equal California’s non-metropolitan median income). HCD uses the $83,800 median income value to determine which Humboldt County households qualify as very-low income, low income, and moderate income as follows:
Official 2023 State Income Limits for Humboldt County by Income Category
As shown in the table above, if a four-person household earns the median household income in Eureka of $46,926, that household qualifies as low-income. A one-person household earning $46,926 qualifies as moderate income. For context, the minimum wage in California will increase to $16.00 per hour in January 2024. A person working full time (2,080 hours per year) and earning minimum wage will bring home $33,280 in 2024.