Enterprise-Record (Chico)

No more sprawl — let's see smart growth


Re: Brandon Slater's support of Valley's Edge

Yes, yes, yes. Chico needs more housing. But . . .

The sprawl days are over. In the 1950s, after the US had won a war and the world was America's oyster, people believed resources were unlimited. Americans built suburbs. The country had space, and people had the means. And Henry Ford made it all possible. Fifty years ago, it made some sense to move out. Those days are over.

Now, resources are dwindling. Our region has less available land and water, and rich ecosystems are disappeari­ng. It's no longer feasible, healthy, or wise to keep moving out, out, out. The time has come for us to conserve. The time has come for us to create compact, walkable, bikeable, transitfri­endly, community-oriented neighborho­ods.

Some people see dreary dystopian cities when they envision greater density. However, the New Urbanism movement demonstrat­es quite the opposite. Its principles promote mixed use housing (including fancy condos for the wealthy), common open spaces, easily accessible transit (electric, small, and frequent), services (stores, clinics, schools) within walking distance.

Valley's Edge is the antithesis of a model plan. Chico can create smart growth by tapping potential within the city through redevelopm­ent, rezoning, and urban renewal. We need imaginativ­e city planners to enact this new paradigm.

Five council members should not make such a consequent­ial decision without the will of the people. Sign the petition for a referendum to put Valley's Edge to a vote. You can do that at 313 Walnut Street, #140, seven days a week, noon to 6 p.m.

— Susan Tchudi, Yankee Hill

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