Yolo Case Study
The Yolo Case Study project explores rural economic development opportunities within the “West of 505” portion of the county, with analyses examining context-sensitive development strategies for the areas around Winters, Esparto, and Woodland in western Yolo County. SACOG prepared the Yolo Case Study upon request of local elected officials and staff in Yolo County, with the objective of assisting western Yolo County and its communities in devising economic development strategies that leverage their existing assets of land uses, infrastructure, agriculture lands, and natural resources. This included analyzing potential crop scenarios, potential sites for a food hub (for aggregation, processing and distribution), agritourism and ecotourism opportunities, and the usage and condition of the rural transportation network. The methodology and lessons learned through these analyses are transferrable to other rural communities within the SACOG region and throughout the state.
By building out the synergy between rural main street and surrounding agricultural production, the study provides a holistic look at how rural communities can preserve and leverage their unique character for authentic growth that aligns with the existing quality of life. While the data, analyses and tools contained in the study are focused on the rural communities in western Yolo County, the themes of placed-based strategies enhancing established communities are applicable across the full region.