Supervisors: Bring on the business park

The Board of Supervisors gave a preliminary thumbs-up June 12 to the concept of bringing a large campus-like research and business park to Butte County.

The Butte County Economic Development Corporation had prepared an exhaustive report on the proposal, and the supervisors approved it unanimously, although they admitted that their approval wouldn’t necessarily convince a corporation to relocate to Butte County.

Ingram Commercial Real Estate developer Bill Brouhard, who was also at the center of the effort to pass Measure A in Chico, said that the Economic Development Corporation has been working with Supervisor Jane Dolan and a special committee of supervisor appointees to come up with possible locations for the park.

They were looking for a level piece of vacant land with an agreeable owner that’s at least 200 acres with minimal land use restrictions, according to the committee’s report.

The committee came up with six possibilities, which were presented to the supervisors: Cohasset Road at the Chico airport; The Skyway south to Neal Road and east of Highway 99; Neal Road south to Durham-Pentz Road and east to Highway 99; Butte College at Clark Road; east of Highway 70 at Cottonwood Road north of Oroville; and west of Highway 70 at Cottonwood Road north of Oroville. Two additional sites were also identified as “future possible areas” for a business park, the committee noted.

Brouhard noted that if the county Planning Commission eventually selects one of the sites accessed by Highway 70, the freeway would have to be improved before the business park could open.

The supervisors agreed to the concept of the park and directed county staff to further investigate the idea and then present it to the county Planning Commission for its comments.