Good buy Comanche Creek

Kudos to the Chico City Council for moving to purchase the 14 acres that straddle Comanche Creek in a currently unincorporated area of southwest Chico for $1.25 million.

Four years ago the property was the center of a Chico controversy over the building of a bridge to serve the Hegan Lane Business Park. The 4-3 vote by the then-conservative-controlled council to build the $2.9 million structure sparked a successful petition drive that led to Measure A, a referendum that was defeated overwhelmingly by voters. A week or so after that election, the council minority broached the subject of buying the property as creekside greenway. The council majority, still stinging from the Measure A loss, shut down all discussion, and the matter was closed.

But if the city intended to purchase the property then, why not buy it now? Let’s clean it up and make it a creekside greenway. The property can provide valuable recreation access for both those who live north of the creek and those who work to the south, in the business park.

Though the original opponents of Measure A might cry foul, the purchase of the property also opens up options to improve traffic circulation in that area as the old Diamond Match property is developed.

Bringing the creekside into city jurisdiction will also mean cleaning up the property and getting some help to the homeless squatters who live there. We urge the council to move forward with the purchase.