Speaking of booze

City Council adopts two new laws on local alcohol establishments

The Chico City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday (April 21) to adopt two ordinances aimed at increasing local control of alcohol sales and curbing Chico’s drinking culture.

In response to a string of alcohol-related student deaths and Chico State’s Call for Community Action in 2013, the city has been crafting two amendments to Title 19, the city’s land use and development regulations—a conditional use permit and a deemed approved ordinance. The conditional use permit imposes a series of requirements on new businesses that sell alcohol, while the deemed approved ordinance establishes operational requirements for existing businesses and standard penalties for noncompliance.

On Tuesday, however, Councilwoman Tami Ritter (pictured) argued that the amendments fail to address the over-concentration of alcohol establishments in certain areas of town, such as downtown and the south campus neighborhood. After much debate, the council agreed to kick the density issue to the Internal Affairs Committee for further review.