Chico City Council

Marc Albert

Chico Mayor Sean Morgan called it mob rule and judicial overreach. Vice Mayor Reanette Fillmer called it coercion. Nevertheless, by a narrow majority the Chico council again changed course on its scrap yard saga Tuesday night.

What should have been a contentious, but fairly typical rezoning battle has dragged on for decades. Some insist Chico Scrap Metal, with its open-air yard, heavy equipment, noise and dust doesn’t belong in the changing neighborhood.  

At issue is an industrial scrapyard and recycler that’s stayed behind as the surrounding neighborhood changed. Habitat for Humanity built several single family homes just outside the gates of Chico Scrap Metal on assurances that the business was set to move.  

Activists have been trying to put the issue before voters. But they say the council’s conservative majority has repeatedly used parliamentary tricks to blow deadlines and keep the issue off the ballot. 

Marc Albert

Despite plenty of sound and fury from the community, there was little decisive action made by Chico's city council Tuesday night on issues surrounding homelessness, poverty and crime.

After much drama and confrontation, the council delegated suggestions and ordered further study of a list of five proposals pushed as helping curb incivility and lawfulness, which were also derided as inhumane, anti-homeless and downright cruel.

From a potential sales tax increase in Oroville to making showers available to those experiencing homelessness in Redding, elected officials are set to consider a number of weighty issues around the region this evening.


In Oroville the discussion will be purely conceptual, but a bump in the sales tax rate may be on its way.

Jack Berry is an Oroville city council member.

“Well, it’s pretty much up in the air right now,” Berry said.

Last night the Chico City Council approved a deal assigning county mental health counselors to the police department, advanced a low-income housing project and moved forward with plan to relocate a major provider of homeless services.

Following negotiations with Butte County officials, the council approved a plan to assign two mental health counselors to the Chico police, with the aim of responding to calls involving persons suffering a mental break.

Michael O’Brien is chief of police.

Dave H

Tough restrictions on marijuana will remain on the books in Chico following a close vote by the City Council Tuesday night.

The move more or less preserves existing restrictions while complying with a statewide proposition that legalized recreational marijuana for adults. That law gives local jurisdictions a free hand to pen their own rules.

The 4-3 vote came despite the pleas of a woman using it to manage chronic colitis pain. Charles Pierce, who described himself as a consultant helping growers navigate cannabis rules, cast doubt on the outcome.

Vjiced / Wikipedia Commons

Following the lead of other local communities in restricting the possession and purchase of butane cans, Chico is expected to follow suit at a council meeting this evening.

The cans, about the same size and shape of a spray paint can, have been used to extract concentrated THC from essentially worthless marijuana leaves.

A lucrative but dangerous cottage industry has developed. The heavier-than-air gas is extremely flammable. Amateur chemists attempting to refine so-called butane honey oil have mistakenly set off explosions, some fatal.

Marc Albert

The future of a contentious Chico scrapyard advances to the city council, after the city’s planning commission failed to take conclusive action last week.

It’s doubtful the council will have the final say. The owners have spent years fighting efforts to force a move. Any council decision is likely to be challenged in court and at the ballot box.

Brendan Vieg is a principal planner with Chico’s Community Development Department

“These are one of these classic Chico land use issues,” Vieg said.

No Moves By Chico Council On Esplanade Safety

Apr 6, 2016
Kacey Gardner

The Chico City Council last night made no further moves on the Esplanade safety study. The Chico-Enterprise Record reports proposals for a re-designed, safer Esplanade were discussed for more than two hours, but no decisions were made.

The plan now is to hold a follow-up meeting of which no date was set.

Marc Albert

“If they continue to drag their feet, we will put this on the ballot.”

Fighting words Friday from former Chico mayor Karl Ory as he and about a dozen activists pledged to eject a scrapyard from its current location.

The dispute stretches back over a decade. County and later city officials rezoned the area, encouraging residential development. Industrial businesses, including an asphalt plant, trucking yard and furniture refinisher along with Chico Scrap Metal, were given a deadline to move, activists said. While the rest found new homes, the scrap yard dug in. Legal wrangling followed.