Enterprise-Record (Chico)

Some better ways for Chico to grow


Brandon Slater's guest commentary on Valley's Edge is misguided on many fronts.

Yes. Chico needs more housing. Every community is different, and careful planning, in the context of the broader Chico community, is a necessary component of smart growth.

The city's data on housing, in the draft housing element plan, points to the need for affordable and low-income housing. Valley's Edge doesn't address that need.

Name calling, as always, is counter-productive. “NIMBY's, environmen­talists, no growthers…” Folks opposed to Valley's Edge are of all stripes, can't and shouldn't be placed in “categories” for the sake of argument.

To suggest that there are only two ways to “get out of this housing crisis” has the effect of limiting our options. There are other ways to grow to include “opportunit­y sites” identified by the city, rezoning and redevelopm­ent.

Smart growth considers the broader context to include quality of life, impact on the natural resources that sustain us, and the health and well-being of our citizens. Sprawl developmen­t, like Valley's Edge, will result in intensifyi­ng traffic congestion and impact already dwindling water supply.

To suggest that building Valley's Edge will benefit the homeless is a stretch beyond imaginatio­n. If Mr. Slater wants to “advocate” for the homeless, he might consider working with the city and others to promote rezoning and redevelopm­ent for his “tiny houses.”

Smart growth envisions a vibrant and sustainabl­e Chico with a focus on clean transporta­tion, clean air and water and where housing developmen­t is integrated to support a healthy environmen­t.

— Eric Nilsson, Chico

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