Issues and Projects
I have continuously supported various programs and initiatives that aim to address the current housing crisis that our County is facing. While a complex issue, I am certain that through advocacy, legislation, and persistence we will make positive progress towards a better state of housing in our community. The County with its City partners will work towards practical solutions for increasing housing opportunities, while keeping Napa County’s unique voter-protected agricultural preserve in mind. This section on Housing focuses on various efforts and projects I have been involved with since I have been in office.
TOT Increase & Measure I
This is a 1% TOT increase approved by voters in 2018, which will generate $1.2M in new money annually in the County and $5M annually countywide. This money is dedicated to funding new housing and other local housing programs.
Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit Program
Launched in June of 2018 as a pilot program, this new program allows homeowners to receive financial assistance in the form of a forgivable loan up to $40,000 to convert an unused bedroom into a separate rentable unit. This program not only results in more affordable housing, but it also provides the opportunity of financial freedom for struggling homeowners as well.
Worker Proximity Down Payment Assistance Program
This long-standing program seeks to help our workers buy a home close to where they work. This program provides down payment assistance for Napa County workers to purchase a home within a 20-mile radius of their workplace. For perspective, a previous report shows that between January 2014 and December 2018 this program led to 57,100 commute miles saved per year and $38.4M in homes purchased! The Board has shown a commitment to this program by continually funding it when the wait list gets too long.
New Housing Projects Funded by the County
Since I have been in office, the County has contributed $12+ million towards housing, resulting in hundreds of new housing units. The following is a list of various projects that are either completed or in the pipeline:
- Valley View – 69 units in American Canyon
- Turley Flats – 8 units in St. Helena
- Habitat for Humanity – 1 unit in Napa
- Stoddard West – 49 units in Napa
- Napa Courtyards – 20 units in Napa
- Redwood Grove – 34 units in Napa
- Manzanita Apartments – 50 units in Napa
In the Pipeline
- Heritage House – 66 units in Napa
- Valle Verde – 24 units in Napa
- Napa Pipe - 140 units in Napa
Community Benefits Overview
Napa County has so much more to offer than food and wine, and we want more of it. My plan is to expand the wonderful benefits that already exist within our County. I want to see more hiking and biking trails built in our open spaces, and I want to see more things for locals to enjoy in our wonderful valley. Since I have been in office, I have consistently supported legislation and negotiations for projects and funding that positively contribute to enriching our County. This section on Community Benefits highlights various efforts and projects that I have been involved with since I have been in office.
More Trails and Open Space
I have volunteered for years helping the Open Space District and others build new trails and other amenities in our open spaces. I have seen first-hand how far a little bit of money can go. I have consistently supported funding for these projects as well as legislation to make sure County government is supporting and incentivizing the expansion of our trail systems.
We are working on buying the park from the State in order to put it under local control as an open space park for everyone to enjoy. This involved the County sponsoring and working to pass legislation (SB 20) that would enable us to negotiate this purchase. The bill passed and now we are working with the State on negotiating terms for purchase.
Skyline Park Pump Track
This project is currently being planned and fundraising is underway. It is a privately funded effort to bring a pump track to Napa, a bicycle skills course consisting of a compact circuit of banked turns and low rollers. This will be a draw for all ages.
Napa Valley Vine Trail
I am a devout user and supporter of the Vine Trail, having been a professional and volunteer engineer for the project before being elected. The County has a role in making the vision of a bike-and-walking path that will link Vallejo and Calistoga a reality. Since I have been in office, I have consistently supported any efforts that work towards the completion of this project.
The Lake is an area of our County that holds immense potential for recreation and open space. Negotiations with our federal partners have been successful and we now have local control over Lake Berryessa to bring it back to life as the asset that it should be for locals. I want to make sure that we are taking positive steps to not only improve the economy of the lake, but the quality of life for all who enjoy it.
Traffic and Transportation Overview
The issue of traffic and transportation is something that I have been focused on since I have been in office. Our County faces the issue of regional and workforce traffic as well as tourist traffic. But, as the smallest county amongst the eight other Bay Area counties, we have less access to funds to build transportation infrastructure. The County and regional partners have been working on turning this around through various efforts and projects highlighted in this section about traffic and transportation.
A recent voter-approved toll increase (RM3) will bring $4.45B to help fund major transportation improvements and address congestion on the Bay Area’s highways, including $20M for the Soscol Junction project at Highway 29 and Soscol Avenue. RM3 revenues will also contribute to other Highway 29 projects currently in development like the American Canyon SR-29 Multi-Modal and Operational Improvements and SR-29 intersection improvements at Airport/SR-12 and Carneros/SR-12.
Another new source of money is SB1 – the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. Over the next decade, this act plans to invest $54B towards our roads, freeways, and bridges across California. Napa County plans on receiving approximately $3 million per year from SB1.
Measure T is a local self-help measure that went into effect on July 1, 2018. It is a voter-approved half-cent sales tax that goes towards supporting maintenance, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of streets, roads, and transportation infrastructure over a 25-year period. Napa County plans on receiving approximately $8 million per year from Measure T.