Farmers enter into an agreement with the County of Placer to restrict the use of their land to the production of agricultural commodities for commercial purposes. This restriction would eliminate the potential subdivision uses of the land, which would reserve this land for future production of food and fiber.
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The purpose, as set forth in state law, is an effort to preserve agricultural land despite increasing conversion of such land to urban uses.
An Agricultural Preserve is a specifically described area, or areas, of the County devoted to agriculture and other compatible uses. It is established by a Resolution of the Board of Supervisors prior to, or at the time the agreement is signed with the landowner.
Any landowner actually using their land for the production of agricultural commodities for commercial purposes, and which meet the minimum qualifications established by the Board of Supervisors, has the potential to be in the program. The basic minimum needed to qualify is 20 acres in size and the production of $4,500.00 in gross income annually. The County Agricultural Commissioner can provide more specific information regarding whether a property is likely to qualify for the program.
In most cases, yes, but each case must be considered individually by the Assessor. You should contact the Assessor’s Office at (530) 889-4300 for further information regarding tax reductions.
No, any reduction would apply only to the next year’s and future taxes, provided the agreement is signed by the landowner and the Board of Supervisors prior to the lien date, January 1st.
They agree to use their land only for agricultural and related compatible uses. All residences on property covered by Williamson Act contracts are limited to residences for people who labor full time on the agricultural preserve. This limitation is irrespective of how many parcels of land may exist in the preserve.
The agreement runs for an initial period of ten (10) years and is automatically renewed at the end of each year for an additional year so that the agreement always has ten years to run.
The agreement can be terminated by either the County or the landowner serving the other party with a Notice of Non-Renewal. The agreement will be terminated nine (9) calendar years after serving of this notice with that nine (9) year period beginning on the renewal date of the contract, which is January 1. The penalty clause in the agreement does not apply to a Notice of Non-Renewal.
Yes, if they are contemplating selling a portion of it in the near future, or if they are contemplating giving a portion of it to their children who are not connected with the farming operation in any way. Withholding land does not divide the property as required by the Subdivision Map Act. That is through a separate subdivision process. They should consider the zoning’s minimum parcel size requirements when withholding land.
Yes, but the land will remain subject to the agreement and the new owner is bound by it. The same is true of heirs, in the case of inheritance.
The first step is to submit an application to the Planning Department along with the appropriate filing fee. The County’s Agricultural Commission will review the application and make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, based upon the agricultural operation. The application will also be reviewed by the Planning Commission; their comments will address potential land use conflicts. The Board of Supervisors will then hold a formal public hearing and decide whether to enter into a Land Conservation Agreement with the property owner. If the Board approves the application, an Agricultural Preserve will be established, and the agreement will then be entered into with the landowner.
For further information regarding the Land Conservation Act, please contact the Planning Department at (530) 886-3000.