One year into sit/lie

City Council gets update on controversial ordinance

Chico police provided a report on the controversial civil-sidewalks ordinance—otherwise known as the sit/lie law—during the Chico City Council meeting on Tuesday (Dec. 16), roughly a year after the law’s implementation.

The ordinance, which makes it illegal to sit or lie in pedestrian paths of travel adjacent to commercial properties between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., came as a response to community outcry over the homeless population downtown and its perceived effects on business patronage.

Lt. Dave Britt reported that police issued 162 warnings and 39 citations related to sit/lie violations in the past year, noting that the number of citations increased substantially once two officers were assigned to the downtown beat in October. Britt also showed a slideshow of notable criminals cited for sit/lie violations—including Joshua Epstein (pictured), who was charged in the stabbing death of Randell Sexton that took place on Aug. 31 in front of the 7-Eleven on Main Street.