Homeless and Downtown Chico Businesses

Sep 10, 2013 7:44 PM

Last night on Action News Now we brought you the story of Katie's Corner relocating from downtown Chico to the Chico Mall. Many questioned whether the homeless population downtown was behind the move.

nats downtown

Few would argue that historic downtown Chico is a special place.

DCBA Executive Director Melanie Bassett says, "we have a quaintness, there's an old feeling, a vintage feeling to the buildings."

But there's another side of downtown that has many concerned.

"Katie's Corner" owner Katie Vaklavic says, "I did have a lot of problems with a lot of stuff left on the sidewalk, including human waste."

Vaclavik acknowledges the homeless issues influenced her move.

Katie says, "I won't say that that didn't play a part in it."

Although she stops short of saying that was the biggest reason she left.

Nats cars

Downtown business leaders agree the homeless "issue"... as they call it... can affect local commerce.

Chico Chamber of Commerce CEO Katie Simmons says, "some businesses are sending letters with concerns and we're forwarding those on to the city council."

But the solution is not a simple one. Laws like the sit and lie ordinance recently rejected by the city sound great, but some property owners say, in reality it would be expensive to implement, nearly impossible to enforce, and would impose fines on people who can't pay them.


That doesn't mean, however, that nothing is being done.

Melanie says, "our job with the DCBA is to insure that our businesses can thrive and are vital and there definitely is an issue that we're working on."

On October 22nd, the Chico City Council is holding a work session to discuss ways to resolve the homeless problems the city faces.


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