In a “virtual” meeting Thursday evening, the Humboldt County Planning Commission voted 4-2 to deny a special permit that would have allowed Eureka’s AllPoints Sign Company to rebuild a billboard that was toppled by high winds back in November.

The sign has been located in the coastal wetlands near Elk River for at least 65 years, according to a staff report and historic photographs. Its construction predates all the zoning and building codes that would apply to any new structures.

So the debate at last night’s meeting focused largely on the question of whether rebuilding the sign constitute repair or new construction. 

Jennifer Kalt, director of the environmental nonprofit Humboldt Baykeeper, told the Outpost that sign companies usually don’t bother applying for permits to rebuild fallen signs. Instead, they simply rush out and rebuild them without permission. And she scoffed at the notion that this particular sign dates back more than half a century. 

“There’s probably not a single board left from the 1940s, let’s face it,” she said.

“This county has been talking for 40 years about regulating these things [billboards] to get them out of scenic and coastal wetland areas, and it’s time to just do it,” she said.

Read More

Nordic Aquafarms has expanded its vision for a big land-based fish farm on the Samoa Peninsula.
On April 29, the Norwegian company agreed to lease an extra three acres of the former Evergreen Pulp Mill property from the Humboldt County Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District.
The agreement between Nordic Aquafarms and The Harbor District states that they will collaborate on a relocation plan for the tenants with long-term leases in the building. Nordic Aquafarms will also be responsible for demolition of the buildings on the additional acreage. 
The company also announced it will apply for aquaculture permits for both Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon.
Read More

Major shellfish wholesaler Coast Seafoods has terminated Greg Dale, a Humboldt Bay official who says the separation will ease his conflict of interest in future harbor decisions involving his now former employer.


Dale’s most recent title was coastal operations manager for Coast Seafoods, the largest producer of shellfish in California and a prominent seafood company at the harbor. Since 2011, Dale has served on the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District’s board of commissioners.


Read More

Coastal Commissioner and Chula Vista Councilmember Steve Padilla was admitted to the hospital and placed on a respirator to aid with difficulty breathing associated with COVID-19. Padilla, who has asthma, asked his daughter to pass on this message:


“Everyone needs to take COVID-19 seriously. Please follow the advice of our public health professionals to reduce spread of the virus and take precautions to keep your families and our community safe.”


He had recently traveled through the San Jose Airport, where multiple TSA agents have tested positive.


Read More