The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for a controversial 81-acre subdivision in suburban Eureka is being recirculated again. The North McKay Ranch subdivision in the unincorporated community of Cutten would feature 320 residential units and approximately 22,000 square feet of commercial development. Though the DEIR was first circulated in May of 2020, since then there has been a change in state law to how agencies determine the negative environmental impacts of development and transportation projects. Before July 1, 2020, traffic congestion levels were the main measurement to determine the negative environmental impacts of development and transportation projects. Under SB 743, these effects are now measured according to the overall amount that people drive, known as vehicle-miles traveled, or VMT. VMT is calculated as part of a building or transportation project’s CEQA environmental review process.
This proposed development is on the edge of Eureka, away from services, but possible VMT could be mitigated by funding a new bus line and improving bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure to connect it to public transportation.
The DEIR comment period will end on December 1, 2021. The document can be found at humboldtgov.org/2755/North-McKay-Ranch