Ethan Varian, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Starting in 2023, the state wants Sonoma County to approve over 14,500 new homes for residents of all income levels over the following eight years.
Though no final target has been approved, officials in some of the county’s largest cities have made ramping up home construction a priority with the goal of alleviating the region’s shortage of affordable housing.
At the same time, though, the state is also mandating water cutbacks across the region during what is shaping up to be the worst local drought in more than four decades.
The two seemingly competing mandates have some questioning the wisdom of continuing to push growth in the face of a water crisis.
“How are we still approving new development in the midst of a two year drought with no idea what’s going to happen next year?” said David Keller, a Petaluma resident and Bay Area director of Friends of Eel River, a Eureka-based environmental advocacy group.