Chico City Council

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.

Kacey Gardner

Prospective plans to substantially redesign a major street in Chico — the Esplanade — are being further refined ahead of an upcoming hearing before the city council.

Several conceptual designs have been cast aside after a previous hearing, but the crux of each remains under consideration.

City officials were notified a decade ago that the tree-lined boulevard’s narrow and buckled sidewalks did not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Chico City Council Tuesday night will decide whether and how best to provide the homeless with round-the-clock bathroom access. 
Chico has public restrooms, but they’re all locked at night.
Finding a solution is complex. The restrooms must provide privacy, but not enough to invite drug use, prostitution or other crime. They must be inexpensive to buy and maintain, yet stand up to vandals and resist graffiti. 

Chico officials are narrowing down ideas for revamping the broad, tree-lined portion of the Esplanade immediately north of downtown. At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, it was clear that complete agreement is still a ways off.

The plan is to develop a community-backed, shovel-ready blueprint likely to win millions in federal and state transportation funds if and when they become available.

The aims are three-fold: fix deficiencies, reduce accidents and keep traffic moving.