A Chico man says he’s fed up with the trash, noise, generally-unruly behavior of some of the people who visit the Jesus Center on Park Avenue.
Kent O’Shea lives behind the Jesus Center. He has started blasting classical music out of speakers mounted to a pole in his front yard, in an effort to get people loitering in front of his home to move along.
O’Shea says, when he moved in to the neighborhood two years ago, he was single. Now he has a wife and a baby, and his priorities have changed. He says some of the people who visit the center are out-of-control, and he says the center is required to provide 24-hour-security to a two-block radius. O’Shea says, “The Jesus Center moved into this neighborhood, they need to protect this neighborhood. They do a lot of great things for a lot of people, but there are a lot of people that just hang out and do drugs and drink alcohol, and just trash the neighborhood. And this Conditional Use Permit says that the Jesus Center needs to take care of that. And also, why isn't the city doing anything about it?”
Leo DePaola is the Community Development Director for the City of Chico. Says DePaola, “Technically they are out of compliance…(in the past) if there was a complaint, we would call them and they would take care of it immediately. Now, I told them I felt they were going to need to ramp up, and have some on-site stuff going on all the time to make sure it didn't occur in the first place.”
Laura Cootsona, Director of the Jesus Center, says this is another reason why the center should be moved to South Chico, where it would not be in close proximity to homes. She says the language of the Conditional Use Permit is vague, and does not say that 24-hour security is required, nor was it ever promised.