We recently were able to talk with Lynette Chen, who serves as one of the Arcata Working Dog Group for the “Premier Destination Arcata Dog Park”. She shared with us a few details about the ongoing development and has provided us with an update on the current status of the project. Here is a quick summary of what we learned:
Currently, SHN, the local environmental consulting firm, are working on getting an assessment of the potential chemicals in the land known as Little Lakes Property that is designated by the city as the possible “Premier Destination Dog Park”. They are primarily assessing for dioxin, a hazardous chemical compound. The presence of dioxin is potentially in the area within the 11 acres of Little Lakes that had previously been the location of a “kiln room” on a mill site that was removed years ago.
A sampling plan will need to be approved and will most likely take the next three months to be approved.
The EPA has gotten involved in the site and will need to approve the site for cleanup. In order to approve, they need to make sure that the current owner of the land is taking the appropriate steps to decontaminate the land. This likely won’t be a problem, but may take a while.
Once the EPA is involved and sees no legal problem, there is a chance that they may do the cleanup themselves or contribute further.
The city has still not finalized a compensation plan and last we heard, is not likely to happen until this June which is a complicated affair. The City of Arcata has become the successor to the previous redevelopment agency that was handling the land (that redevelopment agency already being the City of Arcata itself). Now, if the city wants to own the property, they need to buy it from themselves (as the former redevelopment agency), for property tax purposes. They don’t have to pay themselves for the land, only pay the appropriate transfer taxes based on the value of the land. This will involve a planning a compensation agreement that the tax-receiving agencies will need to agree with.The value of Little Lakes is contingent on whether there is contamination, which will influence the amount of taxes the City will be required to pay.
We look forward to the results of the contamination assessment by SHN in order to have a clearer vision of how to proceed in procuring long awaited and overdue, Arcata Dog Park.
For more information about the Arcata Dog Park project and the developments up to this point please visit www.arcatadogpark.com
Or call Marni Lefevre ( member of Arcata Working Dog Group) at Humboldt Pet Supply. (707) 633-6216