California Land Conservation Act (Williamson Act)

  1. Description
  2. Frequently Asked Questions
  3. Forms & Resources

In 1965, an interim committee of the California Assembly generated Assembly Bill 2117 (authored by John Williamson) - the California Land Conservation Act, better known as the Williamson Act, to preserve agricultural and open space lands by discouraging premature and unnecessary conversion to urban uses. The Act creates an arrangement whereby private landowners contract with counties and cities to voluntarily restrict land to agricultural and open-space uses.

Landowners receive substantially reduced property tax assessments in return for enrollment under Williamson Act contract. Property tax assessments of Williamson Act contracted land are based upon generated income as opposed to potential market value of the property.

For further information regarding the California Land Conservation Act (Williamson Act), please contact the Planning Department at (530) 886-3000.