Letters to the editor: Feb. 2, 2023

Voices against Valley’s Edge

Except for the four years I spent attending UC Santa Cruz, I have spent my entire life in Chico. I was born at Enloe Medical Center.

As anyone who’s been here over the past 30 years can attest, we are now seeing Chico grow faster than ever. Every time I drive around town I see new fancy apartment complexes and more shiny new housing developments. At the same time, rent prices are increasing at an alarming rate. At first when I saw all the new development, I thought, “Great, here is the additional housing we need to make the supply meet the demand so that prices can be affordable again.” Much to my dismay, none of these new places are affordable. Even the smallest apartments are almost all over $1,000/month.

When I was studying ecology in college, my teacher told us that oak grassland is an extinct ecosystem. I remember seeing the pictures of this “extinct ecosystem” and thinking that it looks just like home. Here in Chico we are blessed to be surrounded by this unique and absolutely beautiful open space. Are we going to allow economic interests take this away from us?

Chico doesn’t need any more expensive homeowner associations badly enough to sacrifice such a precious ecological marvel. This is what it looks like to “pave paradise and put up a parking lot.”

I hope my community will stand against the Valley’s Edge development. If these developers truly care about the “respect and conservation of Chico’s natural landscape” then they would not pick the most beautiful oak grassland to bulldoze.

Pearl DiGenova

The true cost of Valley’s Edge foothill development:

I care deeply about the damage Valley’s Edge will have on the environment and the creatures that live on the land, especially the birds and the blue oaks.

But the damage will also be distinctly economic. Years ago, former Chico City Councilman Dan Nguyen-Tan told me that new developments never pay for themselves. Valley’s Edge’s infrastructure costs will be huge due to the sloping, rocky terrain and the high cost of building materials that will continue to rise. Even if developer Bill Brouhard ends up paying for the initial infrastructure costs via development impact fees, all subsequent long-term costs will be borne by those home buyers who can afford such costs and by the Chico taxpayers who will subsidize Valley’s Edge for years to come. Meanwhile, down here in the flatlands of Chico, we’ll have to make do with our crumbling infrastructure with no hope of mitigation.

Valley’s Edge supporters and local real estate salespeople keep telling us that this development is “just what Chico needs” to help cure our housing crisis. Of course it isn’t. They omit telling us the truth about how the infrastructure costs will price Valley’s Edge homes out of reach of the average Chico family or senior citizen who won’t be able to afford them. But that won’t concern those wealthy homeowners from out of town who will look down on us from above, nor bother Brouhard who stands to make a lot of money from this exclusive, sprawling development.

Karen Laslo

‘Water woes will never end’

Re: “Is California’s drought over?” (by Alastair Bland, chico.newsreview.com)

These “lowest common denominator” headlines about drought have got to stop. There will always be more demand for water in California than there is water available. The idea that water demand/supply is in any way related to a single storm or series of storms is exactly the kind of mentality that keeps Californians dumbed down on water issues in this state and how they really need to think about and respond to those issues. Why not this as a headline: “Despite copious amounts of precipitation, California’s water woes will never end.” Now you have set the table to educate—which you do in the article, but only for those who actually bother to read it.

Peter Hernes

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Tell us what you think in a letter to the editor. Send submissions of 200 or fewer words to cnrletters@newsreview.com. Deadline for March 2 print publication is February 20.

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