Move the recycling center – city has permitted too much housing in that spot, so should help Chico Scrap Metal move to a new location

5 Jan

Yes, Debbie Presson is incompetent and should step down.  As David Little reported in this morning’s editorial,City Attorney Vince Ewing said he hadn’t prepared his legal opinion on the matter yet [Chico Scrap Yard]. Obviously the city clerk and the mayor didn’t realize that when they set the agenda. And so 11 people got up in front of the council to ask for a decision, only to be told it would be put off for two weeks.”

Presson really jumped the gun on that – the signatures were only turned in a couple of days before the meeting, the agendas had already been sent out. She had to send an amended agenda the day of the meeting. That’s not very good noticing, but hey, look who we’re talking about here. 

This is the same woman who once told me the noticing distance for a project was only 300 feet when it was actually 500 feet. When I pointed this mistake out to her she actually giggled. Her mistake meant a neighborhood meeting had to be cancelled and rescheduled, but who cares about the inconvenience of the public at the clerk’s office?   A few months later the distance was “administerially” changed to 300 feet, meaning Presson had to notice less neighbors of impending subdivisions and other projects. I had to wonder – how long had she been noticing only at 300 feet? When it was pointed out to her the rule was changed.

She also told my neighbors and I that the 300 feet extended only along the sidewalk, from the “front door” of the project. Our project was an empty lot, but she still refused to notice any of the neighbors that lived along the back border of the project, their back fences lining the lot. She said the distance was measured along the city sidewalk, and the notice only had to include the neighbors on the facing street. What a bitch.

Frankly, I’m guessing Mayor Sean Morgan, who can be found leaning over Presson’s desk quite regularly, encouraged her to agendize the matter quickly so he wouldn’t have to listen to the little mob that has formed around this issue. While I question Karl Ory and Mark Stemen’s motives in this movement, I know Morgan likens listening to the public to listening to a set of fingernails being dragged down a chalkboard.

I honestly believe Morgan would like to run this issue under the radar, but the city attorney nailed him on it.

Little complains this issue has dragged out for 40 years. Well, in that time, the city has permitted housing right up to the boundaries of the property. Instead of protecting an industrial area by moving the old houses that were present, they permitted one low-income development after another. You realize, over the past 40 years, staff and elected officials have changed so much, the right hand hardly knows what the left hand is doing. That area is a planning disaster.

Yes, Chico Scrap Metal is an important business. When my family  was buying and fixing up old houses we made trips in there several times a year, with stuff no one else would take.  But that part of town has changed. Would you like to live next to the scrap metal yard? Who would? Especially now that other recycling locations are closing and that neighborhood suffers a steady stream of garbage can miners every morning.  But the city permitted housing right up next to that site as recent as last year. 

The scrap metal yard has been sitting on the train tracks for years – hey, wake up! You should have sued the city to stop permitting housing in your armpit or to help you move to a more appropriate location when they built Ricky Court. 

I do believe the city should provide financial and staff assistance in helping Chico Scrap find a new place. 

But yeah, this just adds more to Chico’s “business hostile” reputation and chases more jobs out of town.


6 Responses to “Move the recycling center – city has permitted too much housing in that spot, so should help Chico Scrap Metal move to a new location”

  1. Becky January 5, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

    Juanita I felt the same way the last 20 years, wondering why they were locating housing in that area. When I saw them building new housing next to the scrap yard I couldn’t believe it.

    What does this mean to other businesses along that corridor?

    • Juanita Sumner January 5, 2017 at 2:37 pm #

      Good question, thanks Becky. The argument against the scrap yard has been mainly superficial – they have not brought forward any evidence of water or air contamination coming out of the scrap yard. They’ve declared it ugly. They won’t even touch the transient issue. So, does this mean, they can declare the other businesses ugly and demand their removal? I don’t know.

      The whole thing is a disaster for the taxpayers, as far as I’m concerned.

  2. Jim January 6, 2017 at 8:29 am #

    I think it’s obvious what the problem is. The Brewery has become a tourist destination in Chico. The scrap metal yard just isn’t the place trendy Chico wants the tourists to see.

    This is a perfect example of how poor the city planning has been. I don’t think those over paid clowns could plan a trip to McDonnalds, let alone a city.

    • Juanita Sumner January 6, 2017 at 8:33 am #

      I think you’re right, and I often wonder how much Grossman has to do with this group. He was a member of Ann Schwab’s Sustainability Task Force, but I don’t know how involved he is with Stemen, who now runs the city’s Sustainability Task Force. This committee effectively meets in secret, most of their work done in “ad hoc” committee meetings that don’t need to be noticed to the public. At least Schwab used a notice list, but Stemen claims the city does not have staff to do the noticing, so he’s off the radar.

      Karl Ory is way off base. As councilor I’d like to see him come up with a plan to bring more jobs to town instead of chasing jobs away. People like Stemen and Ory stand out like pimples when businesses are looking to locate in little towns like ours.

  3. Rob January 7, 2017 at 7:01 am #

    You have to wonder how much city staff time goes into this stuff

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