Marina Center cleanup moves forward on 3-2 vote

It could happen.

What? It could happen.

The cleanup is now set to begin, after more than 200 people packed Eureka city hall Tuesday night to urge the council’s approval of the Marina Center Environmental Impact Report.

Public comments weighed overwhelmingly in support of the site cleanup and subsequent development. Some talked about the jobs the project would produce and the much-needed boost to the local economy. Others complained about environmentalists who “think their job is done when they’ve complained loudly enough and filed enough lawsuits.”

One commenter said, “We have an opportunity to take an eyesore and an embarrassment and turn it into something we can be proud of.”

Another asked, “We have a toxic wasteland in our city. Why wouldn’t we want to clean that up?”

And our fave: ‘Nobody cared how dirty the property was until someone offered to clean it up.”

Dozens of residents expressed their support for the project before Ralph Faust used his three minutes to threaten to sue to stop it. A woman representing EPIC and the NEC said those organizations would also sue. Not to be left out, CREGster Larry Evans threatened to sue as well.

That’s what the enviros brought to the discussion–unless you count the genius Arcata resident who said he had to attend a public meeting for a class at HSU and took the opportunity to sagely instruct attendees that they shouldn’t settle for anything but the best on the Balloon Tract. He didn’t present any thoughts as to what the best might be or who might pay for it. Maybe he’ll get to that next semester.

There were numerous demands for Larry Glass to recuse himself from any action related to the development because of his longstanding personal animosity toward the Arkley family. That didn’t happen, of course, but he and co-obstructionist Linda Atkins got all kinds of defensive about how they love jobs and love the city and didn’t stall anything right before they voted to, you know, stall.

The council’s vote means the EIR will be brought back Oct 27 with a staff recommendation to approve it. The Coastal Development Permit is scheduled to be approved November 3rd.

But keep in mind this isn’t the end. It’s advantage Eureka, but the progs knew all along they would lose here. They’ll make their stand at the Coastal Commission and in the courts.

The end will come when a polluted property is cleaned, hundreds of jobs are created, sales tax revenues rise, 11 acres of wetlands are added–and affordable building supplies are for sale in the city.