Butte County Extends Temporary Housing Order for Burn Scars – Chico Enterprise-Record
PARADISE – A Butte County ordinance allowing a one-year extension of temporary housing in the campfire burn scar was unanimously passed by the board of supervisors on November 9 while transitional housing will end in March.
The difference between the two types of accommodation is that the house or shelter is connected to services such as electricity, garbage and water. Transitional accommodation is considered dry camping. The decisions of the supervisors do not extend to those who live within the limits of the city of Paradise.
Butte County Development Services Director Paula Daneluk said the county will work with the North Valley Community Foundation and the Camp Fire Collaborative to help those trying out camping situations with the goal of connecting them to utilities. The push to extend the transitional housing order until March was made by Supervisor and Chairman Bill Connelly.
“I supported the extension until March because I don’t really want to be seen as pushing people off their land in the middle of winter and January looks like winter is going to be wet,” Connelly said. . “Personally, I’m not inclined to expand it beyond that if they don’t have utilities, because it’s been quite a long time and it’s becoming a mess in a lot of places.”
One of the questions posed by supervisor Debra Lucero during the October discussion was about the number of people known to the county to be dry camping. According to Daneluk, the number is somewhat elusive.
“It’s a difficult thing to determine,” Daneluk said. “At present we have 13 administrative permits, that at the beginning of the year in the spring we started requiring those with this amendment to this ordinance so that we know for sure that there are 13 that are engaged in the process and with whom we will work. “
Even though there are 13 people registered in transitional housing, there are more who have not followed the process.
“There is also another group of people who have never made it to this point and are in violation right now for various camping violations and do not meet these requirements, so the scope of this universe could be broader if they were to get out of code violations and into permanent or temporary housing, “Daneluk said.” I’m not sure all of them will, unfortunately. We have a number of bad actors who live in situations which do not respect our codes and which have not progressed in trying to reach this resolution. ”
Daneluk said there were more than 80 reported code violations in 2021 alone that his department was working on.
At a meeting in October, the council discussed the different possibilities for the two types of housing for those looking to rebuild after the camp fire. Supervisor Doug Teeter was in favor of extending the temporary housing portion of the order, but was not as supportive of an extension for temporary housing.
Residents of Paradise and Magalia wards have submitted comments on this and what they would like to see happen.
Susan Copeland raised concerns about questionable activity among those still in transitional housing.
“We have observed illegal activity going on in our neighborhood since we returned to our property a year and a half ago,” Copeland said. “We have filed numerous complaints online and discussed the situation in our neighborhood with the sheriff and the law enforcement. We still have the problem of non-compliance! I think the thing that bothers me the most is that the health situation on these properties is disgusting. They have no place to defecate other than on the ground or buckets, and then they throw it on neighboring properties.
Teeter has asked staff to make a statement regarding the possibility that people living in transitional housing will receive some kind of outside help before the order ends in March.
As Daneluk said, the county is working with both the Camp Fire Collaborative as well as the North Valley Community Foundation to find solutions for those who are dry camping.
Assistant administrative agent Casey Hatcher said the collaboration offered some service options.
“The Camp Fire Collaborative has two things that are already in place that can help,” Hatcher said. “They have disaster managers and they work with a variety of community organizations to provide assistance. They do not currently have a wait for disaster management.
Hatcher said people living in transitional housing who have received administrative permits could use those services to work on connecting to utilities.
“They will use the Simple Unmet Needs Roundtable and the Complex Unmet Needs Roundtable to provide financial resources to meet those needs,” Hatcher said. “These are currently in place and the North Valley Community Foundation has asked us to go through these existing channels instead of funding another for the county or to help residents. “
The Camp Fire Collaborative can be contacted at 413-8396. More information can be found at www.campfire-collaborative.org. The Simple Unmet Needs Committee meets every Wednesday at 2 p.m. via Zoom. A request form is available on the organization’s website to be part of the Zoom meeting.
The Butte County Supervisory Board meets at 9 a.m. most often on the second and third Tuesday of each month at its premises located at 25 County Center Drive, Suite 205 in Oroville. Meetings are free and open to the public. Those who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask in the building.