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Around the County: Community colleges seek student housing

Student housing gets go-ahead for community college campuses: Through an approved second phase in a predevelopment agreement, Napa Valley College is poised to be one of 12 community colleges of 114 in the state to offer campus housing. Santa Rosa Junior College is in the development process and a southern California college's student housing project is under construction.

Tourism dip

Hotel occupancy dips in Sonoma County: Sonoma County's lodging industry reported a slight dip in revenues in 2019 from 2018, a hospitality industry data and analytics firm reported last week.

Sonoma County finished the year at $326 million, down 2 percent while Napa County drew in $446 million, up 5.1 percent; Marin County garnered $141 million, up 1.9 percent; and Solano County saw the greatest percentage increase at 6.3 percent for $113 million.

Winery regulations

Sonoma and Napa counties continue to work on winery regulations: Sonoma County's Permit Sonoma plans to bring the winery events policy before supervisors early this year while Napa County takes a second look at new ordinances for small winery producers.

Three local advisory groups in Sonoma County formed to represent their areas – Sonoma Valley Dry Creek Valley, and Westside Road – and to establish criteria for winery event applications.

Permit Sonoma is in the process of updating technical studies related to noise and traffic in the those areas, and county-wide definitions of winery events, separate from the three local area of concentration guidelines.

County supervisors have been working on zoning adjustments and ordinances for the past few years, but work was interrupted by the October 2017 wildfires.

Increased traffic related to winery events is a main concern in both Sonoma and Napa counties, and the definition of what is a winery event compared to an activity is in question, too.

SSU economic outlook conference

The forecast for the economy in 2020 and the industries that will drive growth in the new decade will be the focus at the 27th Annual Sonoma State University Economic Outlook Conference on Feb. 20

Local economist Robert Eyler will deliver a keynote address on his 2020 forecast and the roles of the three main industries in the region – health care, hospitality and tourism and technology.

The conference will also feature leaders in the “future industries” and include Todd O'Leary, vice president of marketing and communications for Sonoma County Tourism; Karissa Kruse, president, Sonoma County Winegrowers and executive director, Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation; Sheba Person-Whitley, executive director of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board; Hamish Gray, senior vice president, Keysight Technologies, Inc.; and Carolyn Stark, executive director of the Food Industry Group.

The conference will be held from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Tickets for the event are $79 per person or $815 for a table of 10, with parking at Sonoma State included. Register at nbbj.news/outlook20.

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