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The fastest growing county in California is … Yolo?

Townhomes in the Heirloom community start from the mid $400,000s at the Cannery in Davis, that is being called the first farm-to-table new home community in California, Wednesday, August 12, 2015. The 547 unit mixed-use neighborhood features farmland, a packing barn, a farmhouse that is currently used as a sales office, energy efficient homes, apartments and condominiums, a recreational center and retail shops.
Townhomes in the Heirloom community start from the mid $400,000s at the Cannery in Davis, that is being called the first farm-to-table new home community in California, Wednesday, August 12, 2015. The 547 unit mixed-use neighborhood features farmland, a packing barn, a farmhouse that is currently used as a sales office, energy efficient homes, apartments and condominiums, a recreational center and retail shops. lsterling@sacbee.com

Yolo County is not known for rapid population growth. During the housing boom, its growth rate was substantial – but far slower than the growth rate in Placer County, on the other side of Sacramento.

During another year of historically slow growth across the state, it doesn’t take much to stand out.

Earlier this week, the state Department of Finance reported that Yolo County’s population grew faster than in any other county in California. Yolo added about 4,000 people, for a growth rate of about 2 percent, between July 2015 and July 2016.

Population growth statewide was 0.75 percent.

Several Yolo County officials expressed surprise, even disbelief, that they grew faster than anyone else. But they also noted that, yes, a few large housing projects are underway in the county.

In Davis, The Cannery, “California’s first farm-to-table new home community,” as developers put it, is drawing new residents to a town known for opposition to growth.

“It’s a residential subdivision – a mix of single-family attached and detached homes and apartment complexes,” said Katherine Hess, community development director for the city of Davis. The development, which also features space for stores, will eventually contain more than 500 homes, Hess said.

In West Sacramento, developers are gearing up to build about 4,000 housing units in the Bridge District across the river from downtown Sacramento. While some of those homes have already been built, most are still slated for construction over several years, said Charline Hamilton, West Sacramento’s community development director.

Hamilton said what is happening in West Sacramento “is not like a boom ... Our current general plan is only projecting a growth of a little over 1 percent” each year for the next several years.

Still, a large chunk of the county’s growth came from new residents moving to the area, according to the Department of Finance. Domestic migration, people moving from one part of the United States to another, rose from about 400 in 2014-15 to over 1,700 in 2015-16. Births in Yolo County remained essentially flat compared to the prior year, as did international migration.

The Sacramento region as a whole also grew faster than the rest of the state – but still didn’t grow much. The four-county area added about 27,000 people between July 2015 and July 2016, a growth rate of about 1.2 percent.

Phillip Reese: 916-321-1137, @PhillipHReese

Population growth in the Sacramento region

County

Jul-15

Jul-16

Change

Difference

El Dorado

183,140

184,180

1,040

0.6%

Placer

370,738

376,092

5,354

1.4%

Sacramento

1,489,952

1,506,677

16,725

1.1%

Yolo

212,686

216,866

4,180

2.0%

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