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Chico City Council to consider law that cracks down on underage drinking - Oroville Mercury Register - 0 views

  • Also Tuesday, the City Council will hold a public hearing on the Draft Housing Element Update and consider authorization to submit it to the state for review and comment. The Housing element is one of seven required elements in a general plan, and must be updated every five to eight years.
  • The element has six basic components: a housing needs assessment, a site inventory, a constraints analysis, housing programs, quantified objectives and public participation. The proposed actions are designed to meet various housing needs, including affordability for low-income residents, production of affordable housing for all income groups, and improvement and investment in existing residential neighborhoods.
  • Also Tuesday, the council will consider a resolution approving a one-year license to the Butte Environmental Council to operate a temporary community garden at West Eighth Avenue and Highway 32. The vacant, one-acre city-owned site is eventually planned for development as a fire station, but an interim use of a garden with no permanent structures would not interfere with that plan, according to city staff.
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  • All costs associated with the garden will be sustained by the Butte Environmental Council. The lease would be eligible for renewal.

Butte County Planning Commission backs smaller setbacks between houses and orchards - 0 views

  • Oroville >> The Butte County Planning Commission has recommended changes to how close new houses may get to orchards and vineyards within residentially zoned areas.
  • The commission voted 4-1 last week to approve clarifying that a 300-foot buffer between agriculture and houses applies to agriculturally zoned lands. In residential areas, the commission backed a minimum 25-foot setback between houses and orchards or vineyards, although the policy calls for houses to located as far away as practicable.
  • Robin DiFalco of the Butte Environmental Council said she generally supported the final revisions. She backed having public hearings and making setbacks be as great as is practicable, which may reduce land use conflicts and was good land use policy.

Housing and Climate Change forum brings community together - 0 views

    The forum on Housing and Climate Change, hosted by BEC, brought together a variety of community members with the goal to talk about Housing with a focus on climate change and to brainstorm more creative solutions for Housing after the Camp Fire.

Forum explores relationship of local housing, climate change - 0 views

    On Wednesday, Butte Environmental Council hosted a listening session designed to educate the community about the role housing plays in climate change, while allowing discussion to examine the possible solutions.

Open house garden festival planned Feb. 19 in Chico - 0 views

  • A free open house and garden festival is planned noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Humboldt Community Garden, corner of Humboldt and El Monte avenues in Chico, hosted by the Butte Environmental Council.

Butte County Planning Commission discusses buffers between houses, land used for agriculture - 1 views

  • Oroville >> The Butte County Planning Commission has delayed making a recommendation on altering how a 300-foot agricultural buffer applies in residential areas.
  • The county’s current rules call for the agricultural buffer to apply next to properties with agricultural use, which may include properties zoned as residential. The proposal would limit this buffer to development next to agriculturally zoned properties, although an amendment would allow people to use their residential, commercial and industrial properties an acre or larger for farming and grazing.
  • John Scott said the proposal was a violation of the public’s trust as eliminating the buffer could expose residents to sprayed pesticides that drift onto their properties. He said the Development Services Department was working to bring in money from development at the risk of others. “Inappropriate development should not drive this ordinance,” Scott said.
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  • Robin DiFalco of the Butte Environmental Council said the changes don’t alter the green line, but increases the potential of development on the farming side. “It is in fact directly contrary to the goals of the General Plan and the green line,” DiFalco said.

Chico News & Review - Cinderella and other holiday goodness - The GreenHouse - Green - December 19, 2013 - 0 views

  • Along the thank-you lines, Butte Environmental Council board chairman Mark Stemen offers these words, in reference to BEC’s recently dropping its appeal to save the historic valley oak tree and other trees at the corner of West Eighth and Salem streets. The trees are slated for removal to make way for the building of Salvation Army transitional housing (as covered in this column and in a recent CN&R Downstroke news brief). “I want to thank the folks at the Salvation Army and the Blitz Build program at the university. They have worked with us at BEC, and they are fully committed to doing the right thing,” Stemen wrote in a recent email to me. “They have agreed to plant three times the number of trees they are required to plant by code.
  • “The tree species will be of the valley oak mixed-riparian vegetation type, as identified in the [city of Chico’s draft of the] Urban Forest Management Plan, and they have agreed to put the fallen trees to a use that is ‘as beneficial to the City and planet as possible,’ also called for in the Urban Forest Plan.” Thanks, Mark!

Chico News & Review - Climate on the front burner - Sustainability - Green - May 22, 2014 - 0 views

  • When the White House recently released its third National Climate Assessment, the basic findings didn’t surprise anyone who’s stepped outside on a regular basis. The Southwest portion of the U.S., including California, has been decreed in the report as “the hottest and driest region.” What isn’t so obvious, of course, is exactly what the future will bring. But the outlook is not positive.
  • Ironically, as officials grapple with storage and shortage issues, they also have to deal with flooding. As Robyn DiFalco, executive director of the Butte Environmental Council, explains, shifts in precipitation patterns throughout the country, but even in California, can mean more intense rain and snow in places not accustomed to such levels, and warmer winters mean greater—and earlier—ice melts in California mountain areas.
  • Water may be a prime concern, but it’s not the only concern. BEC has a three-pronged approach to environmental advocacy: land, air and water, and the interrelationship between the three. As explained by Chico City Councilwoman Tami Ritter, a member of the county’s Air Quality Management District, dry land breeds a greater risk of wildfires, which breeds greater air pollution. As a result, DiFalco says her organization is pushing all three elements as Chico and Butte County implement climate action plans, and the recent reports haven’t shifted BEC’s priorities.
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  • “We do have a problem that’s human-caused that we need to respond to,” she said. “The question is whether or not we can modify our human behaviors and reduce our carbon emissions—as the [IPCC] report puts it, mitigate—effectively, in time, enough to make a difference.
  • “The studies continue to show: probably we can, [at least] some of what’s needed.”
  • Mitigation has been a longstanding local priority. The city started climate action planning a decade ago, while Butte County and Chico State CAPs have been years in the making.

Chico News & Review - Map quest - Sustainability - Green - September 3, 2015 - 0 views

  • In spots around Butte County, particularly in south Chico and south Oroville, ecological hazards threaten health and safety. Some residents know; some don’t. Polluters tend not to advertise when they’re breaking the law, and residual toxins from decades past represent some of the biggest risks.
  • According to Robyn DiFalco, executive director of the Butte Environmental Council, “a clean and healthy environment versus dirty, unhealthy, polluted environments really have a lot connected with geography.” Wealthy neighborhoods don’t have to deal with these problems because residents there tend to “squawk very loud if dirty industrial sites were in their backyard—and they would prevent them from going in, and choose not to live near those sites.” Lower-income individuals don’t always “have those opportunities to speak out and prevent those sites from going in,” she continued, and neighborhoods with less expensive housing often are located “near these sites that are visually less attractive and have these health problems that their families may be affected by. “So, to be able to see a geographic dispersion of contamination sites, environmental and public health issues, is very telling,” DiFalco continued. “That’s why it’s so important to give visibility to that—that’s why it’s so important to have the EJSCREEN tool and the one that California does … otherwise, a lot of these communities are out of sight, out of mind.”

Chico News & Review - Ohm sweet ohm - Editorial - Opinions - May 25, 2017 - 0 views

  • The city has scheduled home energy-efficiency workshops in three neighborhoods composed predominantly of older houses: Barber, Chapman and the Avenues. Speakers from the Butte Environmental Council and North Valley Energy Watch will describe quick retrofits, upgrade options and rebate programs. The workshops will take place on successive Wednesday evenings starting May 31 (see “Power to the people,” Greenways, page 16). You can’t beat the price: free. Organizers hope to boost attendance by serving ice cream—also free—and handing out prizes.

Chico News & Review - Power to the people - Sustainability - Green - May 25, 2017 - 0 views

  • In partnership with the Butte Environmental Council and North Valley Energy Watch, Goldstein and Brendan Vieg of the city’s Planning Services Department have arranged three neighborhood home energy efficiency workshops.
  • There’s no charge—in fact, organizers are giving things away: ice cream, LED light bulbs, ChicoBags, Klean Kanteens and prizes.
  • The idea is to introduce residents, particularly those in older houses, to the spectrum of low-cost, cost-saving options available.

Chico News & Review - Development division - News - Local Stories - August 30, 2018 - 0 views

  • Research indicates that California has lost more than 90 percent of its wetlands due to impacts from population growth and agricultural development. This is concerning to Carter, executive director of the Butte Environmental Council. “We have so little wild habitat left that every little bit matters,” she said. “The loss of habitat at all is a step in the wrong direction.”
  • Stonegate would lie east and west of Bruce Road, between East 20th Street and the Skyway. The 313-acre project would bring just over 600 new housing units to Chico, ranging in size from apartments to 3,000-square-foot homes. Other elements include 3.5 acres of parks and 36.6 acres for commercial businesses.

Environmental challenges huge for south Chico project - Chico Enterprise-Record - 0 views

  • Stating opposition to the project or the EIR’s adequacy were representatives of Butte Environmental Council, AltaCal Audubon Society and recognized environmental advocates such as Stemen and John Merz, the latter of whom suggested lower-income housing be brought into the mix. Many, such as Natalie Carter of BEC, encouraged the city to delay the project and require more studies on the project’s impact, including the protected species and property hydrology.

Students and community rally for the Chico Green New Deal - 0 views

    The Chico Green New Deal was release: to make sure the city of Chico's grid is 100% clean, electricity-run by 2030 and to be climate neutral by the year 2045, with the intentions of reaching both of those goals earlier…actions will be taken to achieve these efforts by the end of 2026. While the New Deal doesn't do everything that Brown wants it to do for tenants specifically, a listening session making the connection between housing and climate change on Wednesday at the Butte County Oak center hosted by the Butte Environmental Council.
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