Chico property manager fences out transients

Mar 19, 2014 7:05 PM

Measuring in at eight feet tall and nearly 60 feet long, a black chain link fence was recently put up to help keep unwanted people out.

Located near 4th and Main Streets in downtown Chico, and sandwiched between Duffy's Tavern and Lost on Main, the property was once home to a bar and a retail store. But when those closed down, transients quickly set up in the vacated store front.

“On the right hand side, which used to be the Town Lounge--and that's a very small entrance way--one evening we shooed away 13 people out of there,” said property manager Alan Tochterman. “And it wasn't even a rainy or stormy night.”

Tochterman said it was a constant struggle to keep the area clean.

“Some mornings you would come to work and you would see white bags from fast food and you might see empty bottles,” he said. “Occasionally we'd have problems just trying to clean up feces and urine.”

Fed up, Tochterman decided to put up a fence. And while he admits it's a bit of an eyesore, he says it’s much better than alternative.

Talia Kemp works across the street from the site at Campus Bicycles. And while she's seen the area clean up since this fence was installed, she believes it's just pushing the problem somewhere else.

“Putting that there doesn’t instantly remove that issue,” she said. "There’s still going to have to find somewhere else to stay.”

The City of Chico Building Department and they haven't given the fence a permit but they have given it the okay,

As for Tochterman, he plans on keeping the fence up until he finds new tenants.


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