Gulches and Greenways Planning Effort

Project Introduction

The City’s gulches are valleys or ravines that vary in size and topography and contain watercourses that eventually flow to Humboldt Bay. The City’s greenways are the vegetated areas within and adjacent to these gulches. The City’s gulches and greenways provide flood control and act as habitat and migration corridors for fish and wildlife. They also provide visual and physical relief to the urban landscape and an opportunity for public trail linkages.

Currently, outside of the Coastal Zone, there are no local guidelines or regulations that protect the wetland, stream, and riparian habitat of the City’s gulches and greenways or limit development on steep gulch slopes. The City’s 2040 General Plan (adopted in 2018) includes Policy NR-2.2 calling for the preparation and adoption of Gulch Greenway preservation / management standards to ensure new development is compatible with the environmental and public safety values of these open space corridors. As a result, the City is working on developing a Gulch Greenway Ordinance.

Public Workshop Results

The City held a public workshop via Zoom on March 29th to receive input and answer questions regarding this planning effort. A video of the workshop is available here. Over 50 people attended the meeting. One question that was asked of those in attendance was "envision the future of the City's gulches and greenways; in an ideal future, what would you like to see?" See the resulting word cloud here.

Online Survey Results

The City also sought public input on this planning effort through an online public survey which closed on April 15, 2022. The survey had 554 total respondents. 71% of the total respondents indicated they live and/or own property within the City, and 41% of total respondents indicated they live and/or own property on or adjacent to a gulch greenway within the City. A summary of the survey results is available here, and the full, unabridged results are available here.

Draft Gulch Greenway Ordinance and Mapping

City staff has incorporated the results of the workshop and survey into an initial draft of a Gulch Greenways Ordinance. The City is also working on mapping the area implicated by the ordinance. The initial draft of the ordinance and a draft mapping methodology are now available here for public review .

How to Give Your Input

Here is how you can get involved: 

Attend the Open Space, Parks and Recreation Commission meetings on April 28th and May 26, 2022. The meetings start at 6 p.m.; the public may attend in person at City Hall or via Zoom.

For questions or to request to be added to the Gulches and Greenways mailing list: Email

There will be opportunities for additional public comment at meetings of the Planning Commission and City Council.

Tentative Schedule