Chico recycler's permit denied, will trim operation


CHICO, Calif. - A Chico recycling company which has been at odds with a nearby neighborhood will trim its operation after the use permit they were seeking was denied by the planning commission and their appeal was denied by the city council.

Basik Recycling on Park Avenue has been in violation of a code ordinance since late 2012 after they started processing recycled material outdoors.

Trevor Lalaguna, who bought a home with his wife off 22nd Street in the nearby Barber neighborhood two years ago, said an increase in noise from an excavator and other machinery has become unbearable.

"Loud is a hard thing to describe, but like garbage day--as my wife's described--all day. Totally at unknown hours," Lalaguna said. "You'll be at a moment of concentration and 'kaboom,' your house is shaking."

Lalaguna said he understands Basik's owner, Dylan McFann, is just trying to make is business a success, but that it's just not working for the neighborhood.

"We're not anti-business or we don't wish Dylan McFann any bad comings but the operation is just ran kind of chaotically," said Lalaguna.

Basik operates on an industrial zoning district for light manufacturing, and in order to continue their outdoor operation they recently asked the planning commission for a use permit.

That permit was denied so they came to the Chico City Council to appeal that denial.

15 members of the public addressed the city council, complaining of the noise and saying it made it difficult to have family and friends over and generally interrupted their everyday activities.

The council voted 7-0 to deny Basik's appeal.

Jeff Carter, Basik Recycling's attorney, also spoke to the city council, telling them Basik was already in the process of changing their operation and had as recently as Tuesday night removed the excavator from the site.

Carter's confident they'll now be in compliance with zoning regulations.

"The new operation only involves collection," Carter said. "There's another facility in Chico that operates in the same manner on south Whitman (Avenue) and that does it without a use permit. So we feel that our operations are consistent with a similar operation at that facility."

Carter also said that because Basik has had to trim back its work at their Park Avenue location, they've moved the processing operation to another site and been forced to lay off three full-time employees.

Lalaguna wishes Basik and owner McFann success, just not near his neighborhood.

"Hopefully, for us, they find a location that Dylancan operate to his full potential, but where they're at right now, it's not legal and it's completely not neighborhood friendly."