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News

A city waiting to grow: Orland’s housing crisis

Posted by Nicole Powers | July 23, 2019


By NATALIE HANSON | nhanson@chicoer.com | Chico Enterprise-Record
PUBLISHED: July 21, 2019 at 4:53 am | UPDATED: July 22, 2019 at 1:29 pm
 

ORLAND — Peter Carr is well acquainted with the housing crisis currently facing Butte County.

The city he manages, Orland, has waited years to add thousands of new homes. After the Camp Fire, those homes are needed more than ever in Orland and in other rural towns near Chico.

As the city manager of Orland since 2012, Carr has seen many new developments since the easing of 2008’s Great Recession. He speaks with pride about the town’s history and work toward growth, including the recent rebranding of the city as the Queen Bee Capital, inspiring new landmarks like The Hive and celebrations like the Queen Bee Harvest this year.

He’s also tired of seeing the city passed over, as he sees it, in many ways, by builders and business chains alike. Over 200 acres of land stand ready for development and possible housing around the city, with some parcels purchased and subsequently abandoned since the recession.

The problem often lies in high land prices, which often concern potential builders, Carr said.

Meanwhile, availability suffers with no solutions in sight. Orland’s vacancy rate hovered around 3 percent to 4 percent before the Camp Fire, Carr said. Afterward, it became “virtually none.” (FULL STORY)