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Campers receive eviction notices but remain in Bidwell Park

Chico police say they are not actively kicking out campers who received eviction notices and consider it more of an official "warning."

Posted: Jan 10, 2021 7:02 PM
Updated: Jan 11, 2021 8:18 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Police and park rangers who work for the city of Chico started handing out eviction notices to people camping in Lower Bidwell Park on Thursday.

The 72-hour notice provided to homeless campers in the park ended on Sunday, but so far no one has been forced to move out. We had reporters out both Saturday and Sunday checking the park and talking to the people who have been camping there.

Action News Now spoke with Lt. Mike Rodden of the Chico Police Department on Saturday. He said that the notice is actually more of a "warning."

Lt. Rodden described it as more of a "preparation notice."

The Chico City Council voted on December 8, 2020, to begin the process of enforcement and eliminate the campsites in parks within the city limits.

"Obviously we don't want to come in there and just automatically move people out," explained Lt. Rodden.

"We want to give them time to find somewhere to go... and trying to give them plenty of notice to do that. We're not trying to push people out when they've got nowhere else to go," he explained.

The Chico City Council is still looking at other housing options such as opening or expanding shelters and having more affordable housing projects within the city.

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