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7.2 Economic Development


Goal: Improve Quality of Life


Quality of life factors control the initial screening as well as final selection for business locations. 


Quality of life factors are used as "tie breakers" in cases where potential sites have similar cost profiles. 


General Plan must promote long term development in the following areas to improve quality of life aspects which are vital to economic development:


  • Transportation - Efficient transportation systems for moving people and goods are a primary requirement for business planners, as well as avoidance of long commutes by employees.


  • Cost of living and housing affordability - Affordable housing and adequate housing supply near employment opportunities are an important part of the quality of life equation. Adequate wage scales are also an important component of this concern. This issue is often associated with the idea of job-housing balance.


  • Education - A well educated working population and quality K-12 education systems and schools are critical to maintaining the community's vitality. The increasing focus of education dollars towards special education programs, at the expense of other efforts, may hinder ultimate success in this area, as well as to increase per capita education costs.


  • Physical environment - Maintenance of environmental quality and an attractive physical environment is often an important economic development concern. Declining air quality or poorly designed urban and suburban development are examples that detract from quality of life advantages.


  • Two career family economic opportunities - This issue is gaining more importance because more women are in the workforce, because of declining housing affordability, and the fact that wages are not keeping up with the cost of living


Economic Development Planning Tools: “The County's chief role is to provide incentives and development guidelines that lead to improving quality of life”


Existing institutional incentives in place in Shasta County to enhance quality of life include the following: 


  • Enterprise Zone - The Shasta Metro Enterprise Zone comprises 31,953 acres or nearly 50-square miles and includes four separate jurisdictions, each with its own incentive capabilities (see Figure ED-2). The Enterprise Zone extends through portions of the City of Redding, Shasta County, the City of Shasta Lake, and the City of Anderson. Some of the Enterprise Zone's special incentives include sales and use tax credits, hiring assistance tax credits, special business expense deductions, and location midway on the Interstate 5 corridor. 


  • Redevelopment Agency - There are two joint redevelopment plans which are being utilized to reduce blight and provide economic revitalization through public infrastructure improvements, building rehabilitation, land assembly, provision of affordable housing, elimination of unsafe and incompatible conditions and land use, and other neighborhood improvement and commercial revitalization measures. These plans involve the areas surrounding the Redding Municipal Airport and the Buckeye area. The Airport area plan involves the Cities of Redding and Anderson, and Shasta County. The Buckeye Redevelopment Plan is a joint effort between the City of Redding and Shasta County. Eventually, the County may wish to consider proposing redevelopment plans for other urban fringe areas or town centers


  • Community Development Block Grants - Community Development Block Grants are provided on a statewide competitive basis for infrastructure development which promotes economic development and for low and moderate income housing rehabilitation and self-help construction. Shasta County's Community Action Agency has traditionally worked with this grant program. 


  • Continued support of Economic Development Corporation - The Shasta County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) provides economic development promotion and direct assistance through a variety of means. The EDC was originally formed in 1957 with the objective to promote and encourage a balanced economic growth of Shasta County. Today, Directors of the EDC are named by its permanent members, the County of Shasta, the City of Redding, the City of Anderson, the City of Shasta Lake, and the Chamber of Commerce for Redding, Anderson, Cottonwood, Burney, and Fall River. Operating under its Shasta 2006 program, this project focuses its efforts in five main areas: 

    • Business Development •

    • Expansion and Retention of Existing Industry •

    • External Media Relations • 

    • Special Projects • 

    • Workforce Development 


  • The County can also work to promote the tourism and resource based economy by supporting vitalization of key natural resources, such as its timberlands, viewsheds, lakes, and waterways. Some specific tools available to the County which can act to promote quality economic development include


    • Developing, supporting, and enhancing a design review program for countywide and town center needs. A Design Review Element is included in the General Plan to guide such an effort.


    • Strongly support the County's resource based economy by not allowing residential development to encroach into these areas. 


    • Develop and expand efforts to strengthen the vitality of urban and town commercial centers. Supporting infill development and discouraging residential development proposals located outside of planned town centers are examples of such efforts


    • Assure that large development projects provide long-term net benefits to local government and the local economy, in general.


    • Provide support for vitalization of cottage industries, particularly those based on specialized use of local natural resources, including home occupations and direct marketing of agricultural products


Creating comparative advantages in order to improve quality of life


  • local communities are able to create comparative advantages based on the targeting of industry clusters.

    • Industry clusters are defined as concentrations of complementary and interdependent firms across several industries, including suppliers, service providers, and final product manufacturers. They derive their advantage from specialized workforce pools, management expertise, readily available suppliers and support services, economies of scale and scope, ease of communication, and efficiency of transportation. 


  • The advantage of viewing economic development issues from the perspective of an industrial cluster is that such a view suggests that the type of firm, and the associated jobs which it provides, determine the potential capacity and ability to attract firms and industries in the future.

    •  In doing so, the County can take a proactive and strategic route in helping to fashion its future through use of assorted economic development concepts and tools.


  • In Shasta County, Teleservices, Manufacturing of Industrial Machinery, & Manufacturing of Medical Devices are the three types of business most conductive to locating in Shasta due to the presence of these factors:

    • Close proximity to markets 

    • Availability of labor at reasonable prices

    • Ability to attract/retain qualified personnel

    • Efficient transportation facilities 

    • Favorable business climate 

    • Suitable industrial building space and land 

    • Favorable construction costs  

    • Adequate utility services and costs  

    • Reasonable taxes 

    • Supporting business services  

    • Quality of life 

    • Recreational opportunities 

    • Affordable housing  

    • Quality education 

  • Do any of these same factors exist in Trinity County? 



7.2.3 Listed objectives to improve quality of life


ED-1 Economic development plans, programs, and policies shall contribute to a stable and healthy economy in Shasta County, which includes provision of a land development pattern, planning process, and regulatory atmosphere conducive to maintaining employment opportunities for County residents and fostering new economic development. 


ED-2 Seek economic diversity that increases the variety, type and scale of business, industrial, and manufacturing activities


7.2.4 Policies


ED-a Economic growth and activity in accordance with adopted plans shall be encouraged in areas that have existing under-utilized public service capacities. The County shall work with other agencies and economic development groups in developing programs where basic services needed for development can be provided to attract businesses and manufacturers with strong employment to capital investment ratios. 


ED-b Encourage utilization of all available tools such as redevelopment, enterprise zones, housing and employment development grants, design review programs, and timing of capital improvements to achieve economic development objectives.


ED-c It is a basic economic development principle to provide for the revitalization of deteriorated areas in the County. First priority shall be given to commercial and residential areas in town centers. Revitalization strategies shall include education programs and low interest loans or grants for the upkeep and rehabilitation of structures, marketing and development attractions, and the use of California Redevelopment Law to promote such revitalization.


ED-d Support economic development programs which encourage the maintenance and/or strengthening of existing communities by promoting job diversity and security, pay scales consistent with housing affordability, geographic location consistent with community design and identity and which promote enrichment of community centers. 

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