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Can anyone hear the cry for (housing) help by local businesses?

Our housing crisis is not only having a tremendous impact on many members of the Napa Chamber of Commerce – who I hear from on a regular basis – but on employers of all shapes, sizes and industries up and down the valley ... and we’re only speaking about addressing a workforce variety housing issue.

Despite the pages of beautiful photos and ads shown in the weekly real estate section, there’s clearly not enough inventory to impact the “supply versus demand” theory that dictates the pricing market.

We can’t build fast enough to satisfy the various levels of demand (affordable, workforce, urban, single-family, luxury) for our growing community.

We must have more of every category to maintain any type of balance to that growth.

Kudos to the city and county of Napa for their respective recent announcements in the areas of affordable and single-family units, but there’s plenty more work to be done.

Your collaborative efforts are duly noted and imperative as we continue to move forward.

Members, local businesses and our community in general have lost the ability to attract senior-level management executives, entrepreneurs, physicians and other high-ranking professionals due to the lack of housing options and inventory.

Tech industry leaders are hesitant to relocate to our business community, and other prospects are forced to relocate outside of Napa because of housing.

Many think that Napa remains the “most affordable, most desirable” housing market left in the Bay Area, and purchase from the local middle class housing stock, only to extensively remodel them into multi-million dollar homes.

This not only eliminates a very valuable inventory, it also impacts the local first-time home buying market and further worsens the housing shortage.

The city and county of Napa must remain committed to assisting local business leaders by approving housing developments in every category to impact supply and demand.

In my mind, the two categories of most importance would be establishing downtown urban core housing and the low-density, high-end projects similar to Anderson Ranch by Davidon Homes.

Why would Anderson Ranch be approved by city staff, yet another project by the same builder continues to be rejected 20 years after submitting its first of many development proposals during that period?

The Napa Oaks project is a prime example of a housing development that fulfills Napa’s housing shortage as well as offering extensive public benefits not associated with a typical community development plan.

Road and safety improvements, public trails, bike lanes, parks, affordable housing dollars and increased annual revenue taxes are just a few of the added incentives being included in the plan.

There is also an agreement to complete a city-wide water loop system to the Browns Valley neighborhood — a $15 million to $20 million incentive package with no local taxpayer expense.

I hear plenty of chatter about not wanting to be a community made up of “second home” owners, retirees and affordable housing units. If that’s truly the case, then we need to diversify our housing portfolio.

We should be encouraging projects like Napa Oaks within the city limits, especially a project that commits to improving our community infrastructure – both public and private.

Travis Stanley is the president and CEO of the Napa Chamber of Commerce. Call 226-7455 or visit napachamber.com.

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