The statewide InterRegional Partnership (IRP) planning grants were
concluded on June 30, 2004. The Wine Country IRP has released its
final report on jobs-housing imbalances in Mendocino, Lake, Napa,
and Sonoma Counties. The report presents the case that, even though
a jobs-housing imbalance crisis may not yet be apparent in the Wine
Country, the symptoms have taken hold and may overwhelm us if nothing
This three-year project conducted new, in-depth research on where
the jobs and housing are located in the four-county area and projected
costs through the year 2020. Northern Mendocino County and Lake
County are among the few affordable areas to live in the entire
region, providing much of the housing for workers who commute to
jobs in Santa Rosa and Petaluma metro areas, Napa County, and Ukiah.
Safety and maintenance issues have emerged as a result of increased
traffic on our rural roads.
The project also involved an extensive stakeholder outreach effort.
A diverse group of community leaders were interviewed, and a Leadership
Team was formed of both public and private sectors representatives
to get feedback and direction for the project. A conference was
held for all stakeholders interested in the problems of jobs-housing
The Wine Country IRP Leadership Team’s recommended actions
for implementation have already started. These initial steps will
focus on workforce housing through the Workforce Investment Boards,
coordination of tourism among the four counties, coordination among
the Regional Transportation Planning Agencies, and information sharing
on MCOG’s website.
The program is unfunded at present; however we anticipate that
State funds might eventually become available again to pick up where
the program left off. Until then, we hope that others in the community
will step up and make use of the information that was compiled under
this IRP program.
Currently MCOG is working with the California Department of Transportation
to initiate a followup project to gather more data on origins and
destinations of travelers on Wine Country roads.
The IRP grants were made by the California Housing & Community
Development Department. The Wine Country partnership consisted of
Mendocino Council of Governments as lead agency, Lake County/City
Area Planning Council, and the Association of Bay Area Governments.
MCOG’s Deputy for Long Range Planning, Laurence Wright, P.E.,
now retired, acted as Program Manager.
The report is now available for viewing or downloading at this
website and also by request on compact disc, which includes the
full set of appendices. Contact Janet Orth at email@example.com
to order a copy.