Business hostile city management to hear appeal of Simplicity Village

19 Sep

It’s always interesting to see the search terms by which people find their way to this blog. For about a week now the Yuba County sales tax lawsuit has been at the top of the pile:

yuba county sales tax 1% increase by voters,

homeless in ca chico 2019,

homelessness problem chico,

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kamala harris corrupt

But this week “homeless” related terms are moving in on the number 1 spot, bumping out the perennial favorite, “kamala harris corrupt”  

When my husband and I went out to run errands the other morning, we noticed the tents had sprung up again at “Devil’s Triangle,” the median next to Little Chico Creek at Mulberry Street. As we made our way out to 20th Street we saw the army of zombies leaving various shelters in the neighborhood, some of them carrying trash bags bloated full of aluminum and plastic stolen from recycling bins. Some pulled mounds of crap in their sagging bike carts. One man walked along behind a stolen shopping cart full of what looked like rags and unrelated objects routed out of garbage cans.

A man stood unabashed, panhandling at the door of Food Maxx. We’ve noticed a lot of stores have finally developed no tolerance policies toward panhandling, but transients still try to slip in unnoticed, walk up to you in the parking lot as if asking for directions, and hit you up.  We walk past these people stone faced. I don’t want to hear their stories, I got stories of my own that keep me awake at night. Spare money? Are you  fucking kidding me? Why would I be shopping at Food Maxx if I had money to hand out on the corner?

Next stop Payless Building Supply to replace some warped and broken old fence boards at one of our rentals. Payless has helped us keep our rental expenses down with low-cost building materials. We do our own work to save money, we know if our rentals are too expensive we won’t be able to find tenants. For years we’ve enjoyed a good relationship with PBS, who also offer credit so you can spread out your payments on big enterprises. This has really helped when we’ve bought old crappers that needed a lot of work before they were even habitable.

PBS owner Frank Solinsky notified us a few months ago that he was appealing a City of Chico decision to place a tiny house “Simplicity Village” on the lot adjacent to the PBS yard. For years that lot has been a problem because the city has turned a blind eye to illegal camping and other activities there. We’ve seen the shanties they’ve built with lumber and supplies stolen from the yard, just a hop over the fence and back. Solinsky has had to add security measures to the cost of our building materials, and I resent that.

I also resent this group not wanting to comply with the building code, or pay the ridiculous fees put not only on developers but any homeowner who wants to do anything to their property, even fix a leaking roof. I stood in the county permits line once behind a lady as she was told she would have to pay 100’s of dollars in permit fees to replace the rotting wooden steps off her kitchen door. 

Chico Housing Action Team, the group that is trying to force the tiny village onto a lot with no plumbing, no infrastructure like sidewalks, and against the city building code. They want put people in sheds with no plumbing, heat or air conditioning. They want a central toilet, but have not explained who will pay to have that facility hooked up to city sewer. They want to be excepted from just about every law on the books.

They say the residents will be carefully vetted, and held to rules of behavior. But there will be no onsite supervision, this group of otherwise dysfunctional transients will be “policing themselves”. I think Solinsky is right to be alarmed with this situation.

When the city council first permitted this pending train wreck, Solinsky hired lawyer Rob Berry of Chico First to bring an appeal before council.  You have to pay to file an appeal, so you have to have money to throw away. It used to be $180, and there was a low-income waiver, but years ago, former council member Andy Holcombe, outraged because our neighbors successfully appealed a decision in our neighborhood,  vindictively went about getting rid of the low-income waiver. It never came to council, he did it “administerially”  Holcombe couldn’t believe that a homeowner would be low-income, yet he champions low-income housing projects like CHIPS and Habitat for Humanity. The hypocrisy in this town is just overwhelming.

Solinsky is a small business owner, and it’s the nickel and dime crap that brings down a small business. As customers walk away  because they don’t like what’s going on in the neighborhood – or paying for it in the price of their goods –  he’s finding himself fighting for his livelihood.

So when Council (scuse me, that was the Planning Commission) rejected his first appeal, he decided to bring it back. I don’t know the process, but I’m wondering if there is a point where he will just sue the city. Anyhoo, council has agendized a special meeting to hear his appeal, on September 24, 6 pm. I don’t know why they need to have a special meeting instead of bringing it up on a regular agenda.

Council will also be discussing Vice Mayor Brown’s recent request to waive user fees for Chico State’s “Lame Debate,” which sucks – everybody else has to pay to use City Hall or City Plaza, just like we’d have to pay to use any facility at Chico State. Brown, Schwab and Morgan are employees of Chico State, which seems like inappropriate influence.

And, of course, there’s a closed session item – “conference with legal counsel” over “anticipated litigation”. Oh, gee, is somebody suing the City of Chico, again?

This special meeting deserves some special attention. Here’s the agenda:




6 Responses to “Business hostile city management to hear appeal of Simplicity Village”

  1. bob September 19, 2019 at 7:15 am #

    What’s with all the “closed sessions?” They sure have a lot of them. The local media never reports this.

    Another thing no one mentioned was all the government employees that got raises in the last meeting.

    Can’t fix the roads but plenty of money for raises.

    Everything these incompetent and corrupt politicians and bureaucrats do cost us more and more money every single meeting!

    Yet, no one seems to care. The people of this town are sheep!

    • bob September 19, 2019 at 7:21 am #

      And they are talking about getting into the power business!

      That’s hilarious.

      Our corrupt and incompetent local government can’t even maintain the streets but they want to sell us power!

      You can bet they will find a way to use it to fleece us for the pensions!

      And the people of this town are so asleep at the switch they will let these gangsters get away with it!

      The entire city council and city bureaucracy is incompetent and corrupt and the people of this town could not care less.

      • Juanita Sumner September 19, 2019 at 7:51 am #

        I haven’t had time to blog the Community Choice Aggregation, but what I’ve read so far is, they pay PG&E for use of the infrastructure. In some communities the corporate providers (PG&E) have been able to beat the CCA prices. Council would be able to raise rates without a vote of the ratepayers. And yes, the funding would be available to pay the pensions.

  2. bob September 19, 2019 at 10:24 am #

    All over the state the corrupt city politicians and bureaucrats are breaking their promises regarding what sales tax money would be used for.

    For instance the mayor and city council in Sacramento lied and now people there are upset.

    Here’s yet another example from Santa Ana.

    Will people every wake up and realize what liars their politicians and bureaucrats are or will they keep voting for tax increases?

    Just how stupid is the average voter?

    • Juanita Sumner September 19, 2019 at 10:47 am #

      I think it’s more a matter of misinformed, not informed, and naive enough to believe that people are honest.

      It’s really important to tell people about this story, I doubt it will show up in the local media. Thanks for posting it!

  3. bob September 24, 2019 at 12:56 pm #

    I’m afraid for Chico the row boat is a lifeboat that sprung a leak…

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