Judge to council: ‘Act now’

Chico Scrap Metal feud comes to a head

The 19-month delay in implementing the Chico Scrap Metal referendum petition signed by more than 9,000 Chico residents in December 2016 is almost over.

The referendum targeted an ordinance—No. 2490, adopted in October 2016—that gave the East 20th Street scrap yard an exemption from zoning regulations that otherwise would require it to move to another site.

Last Friday (July 6), Butte County Superior Court Judge Tamara Mosbarger, ruling on a lawsuit brought by the group Move the Junkyard, issued a writ of mandate commanding that the City Council either rescind the ordinance or place it on the Nov. 6 ballot.

She gave the council 10 days to act and 15 days to report back to her. Don’t bother to appeal, Mosbarger added: “[A]n appeal from the issuance of this writ will not stay its execution.”

Or, as Move the Junkyard’s lead attorney, Jim McCabe, put it, “The train has left the station.”