Chico leaders reject proposed legislation

After months of debate, the Chico City Council voted to reject Chico’s inclusion in Assembly Bill 430 (the Camp Fire Housing Assistance Act).

Assemblyman James Gallagher (pictured), a Republican from Yuba City, drafted the bill to “fast track” development in Biggs, Chico, Gridley, Orland and Oroville by exempting those municipalities from California Environmental Quality Act regulations.

That was the rub for the council. During a special meeting Friday (May 10), the panel voted 4-1 to request that Chico be removed from the bill. Councilwoman Kasey Reynolds was the only nayScott Huber and Sean Morgan were absent.

Most members of the public spoke in favor of AB 430, arguing that it would help provide much-needed housing post-Camp Fire. Others called the bill “disaster capitalism” and criticized it for ignoring affordability.