A fair compromise

If local scrap metal operator makes substantive changes, it should stay put

Can Chico Scrap Metal be a good neighbor? That was one of the questions the City Council considered Tuesday evening during its regular meeting as it weighed whether or not to evict the business from its longtime home on East 20th Street. At least one neighbor said the business already is one. Yet another said that she’s worried about its operations harming the public’s health.

There’s also a question of fairness. That’s because the business was under the threat of a forced move for the second time, yet this time around had received no aid from the city to do so. The four conservative members of the council thought this seemed unreasonable and voted to allow Chico Scrap Metal’s owners and the city to come up with a plan that would allow the business to remain at that site.

Moving forward, the question is whether that plan will be sufficient to mitigate the concerns about its operations, as well as its unattractive aesthetics in this prominent part of south Chico.

We do think there is a potential for a compromise here. If the business no longer conducts processing—that is, if it becomes a collection-only site—and puts up an attractive fence and shrubbery, as was described during the meeting by Kim Scott, one of the owners of Chico Scrap Metal, we think the business should be able to stay put. If, on the other hand, they are unwilling to make those substantive changes, they need to go.