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Council Votes to Repeal Chico Scrap Metal Ordinance

Chico Scrap Metal will be moving locations. In a special session Monday night, the Chico City Council voted to repeal the controversial 2016 ordinance allowing the business to stay at its East 20th Street location.

Posted: Jul 17, 2018 6:18 PM

CHICO, Calif. -- Chico Scrap Metal will be moving locations.   

In a special session Monday night, the Chico City Council voted to repeal the controversial 2016 ordinance allowing the business to stay at its East 20th Street location.

The special session was essentially forced upon the city council by a judge's ruling and lawsuit.

The choices council members faced were either repeal the ordinance, which would ultimately require Chico Scrap Metal to move or, put the issue before voters. The council chose to repeal.

The Chico City Council voted 5 to 1 Monday evening to repeal an ordinance that allowed Chico Scrap Metal to stay on East 20th Street.

"You wouldn't want a junkyard next to you, you wouldn't want a junkyard next to your kid's school," said Karl Ory.

Ory is a Chico City Council member and one of the leaders of citizen-group 'Move the Junkyard.'

"We've been at this two years now, we collected 9,000 signatures in the dead of winter, we've fought through legal battles," said Ory.

This issue goes back to 2006 when the city adopted the Chapman-Mulberry neighborhood plan which intended to replace industrial businesses such as Chico Scrap Metal with Habitat for Humanity homes and a small commercial strip.

But the owners of Chico Scrap Metal successfully persuaded the City Council to give them more time.

"These people asked the Chico City Council twice for a three-year extension and the council gave them the benefit of the doubt," said Bob Mulholland, a Chico resident, known more as a local and state leader of the democratic party.

Opponents became disheartened and disgusted.

"They asked for an extension to move, unfortunately, they stabbed us in the back and made it a ten year deal," said Mulholland.

Mulholland filed a lawsuit against the City of Chico.

"We filed yesterday on Monday to make sure that the council did the right thing on Monday night, and the council did do the right thing," said Mulholland.

A lawyer representing Chico Scrap Metal filed an appeal hours after the City Council vote on Monday.

"We're gonna do what we think we need to do, one to maintain a valuable service to the community and to protect our constitutional rights," said Kim Scott, Co-Owner of Chico Scrap Metal.

Chico Mayor Sean Morgan was the only council member to vote against repealing the ordinance.

"Every business owner in Chico that owns property should be terrified because if they can do it to Chico Scrap, they can do it to Golden Valley Bank, Chico Collision Center, Sierra Nevada Brewery, Target, K-Mart, they can do it to Costco," said Morgan.

Morgan also expressed concern about Chico Scrap Metal suing the city for millions of dollars as a result of Monday night's vote.

Here's what's next for Chico Scrap Metal. The city attorney will return August 7th with an ordinance repealing the ordinance that allowed the scrap metal yard to stay.

There will be a second reading in September.

It will take approximately 30 to 45 days before the ordinance can become law, according to Morgan.

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