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Council to consider incentives for development of vacant lots

EUREKA - Council will consider new development at the zoo, Henderson Center and empty lots across Eureka as well as the creation of one of the state's first cultural districts.

Council will vote on the zoo's updated master plan. That plan calls for creation of new exhibits like a redwood canopy linked with increases in admission pricing. Adoption would allow staff to begin the design and environmental review phases.

Members will also hear a proposal to improve pedestrian and traffic flow in Henderson Center. Some ideas include a gateway along Harris Street, specialized landscaping or sidewalk extensions.

In addition, with most of Eureka already built out and annexation unlikely, staff is recommending the city offer incentives like fewer parking requirements for constructing on vacant lots.

And Eureka may have the chance to be included in the state's cultural district pilot program. That means financial and technical resources could be provided by the state to explore and promote Eureka's unique character.

Development Services Director, Rob Holmlund, said, "It's a competitive process so the city is working with the Ink People and Main Street to do a co-application. I think the most exciting thing is that it'll eventually probably lead to more opportunities and more funding. So having a designated Eureka cultural district will ultimately help us forward the goals of the Strategic Arts Plan that council adopted last month." 19