Ceres Park a no-go

There will be no park in the Ceres neighborhood, even though a majority of the property owners—by a count of 455 to 320—voted in recent weeks to pay $36 annually to maintain one, Interim Assistant City Manager Dennis Beardsley told the Chico City Council Tuesday (May 20).

That’s because what really counts is the “weighted” vote—that is, the amount of funding the properties would generate. Those in favor of the park would have generated $16,192.80 annually, while those opposed to it would have generated $19,471.68.

Turns out there are four large apartment complexes in the neighborhood, Linda Cameron, an administrative analyst in the City Clerk’s Office, explained in a phone interview Wednesday. A single complex could be worth as much as $2,000, and with the owners of all four voting “no,” residents of the neighborhood who wanted the park, though clearly in the majority, were out of luck.

The city of Chico was prepared to spend nearly $1 million on the park. Now the land set aside for it will remain barren, as it’s been for two decades.