Bill Text: CA AB551 | 2013-2014 | Regular Session | Amended

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Local government: urban agriculture incentive zones.

Status: (Passed) 2013-09-28 - Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 406, Statutes of 2013. [AB551 Detail]

Download: California-2013-AB551-Amended.html
BILL NUMBER: AB 551	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  MARCH 19, 2013

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Ting

                        FEBRUARY 20, 2013

   An act  to add Chapter 6.3 (commencing with Section 51040) to
Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code, and to amend
Section 402.1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code,   relating to
 land use   local government  .


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 551, as amended, Ting.  Land use: zoning. 
 Local government: urban agriculture incentive zones.  
   (1) Existing law, the Williamson Act, authorizes a city or county
to enter into 10-year contracts with owners of land devoted to
agricultural use, whereby the owners agree to continue using the
property for that purpose, and the city or county agrees to value the
land accordingly for purposes of property taxation. Existing law
authorizes the parties to a Williamson Act contract to mutually agree
to rescind a contract under the act in order to simultaneously enter
into an open-space easement for a certain period of years. 

   This bill would enact the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act
and would authorize a county and a landowner to enter into a contract
to enforceably restrict the use of vacant, unimproved, or otherwise
blighted lands for small-scale commercial production of agricultural
crops. The bill would require a contract entered into pursuant to
these provisions to, among other things, be for a term of no less
than 10 years and to enforceably restrict property that is at least
0.25 acres in size.  
   (2) Existing law requires the county assessor to consider, when
valuing real property for property taxation purposes, the effect of
any enforceable restrictions to which the use of the land may be
subjected. Under existing law these restrictions include, but are not
limited to, zoning, recorded contracts with governmental agencies,
and various other restrictions imposed by governments. 
   This bill would also require the county assessor to consider, when
valuing real property for property taxation purposes, property that
is enforceably restricted by a contract entered into pursuant to the
Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones.  
   The Planning and Zoning Law requires the legislative body of each
county and city to adopt a comprehensive, long-term general plan for
the physical development of the county or city and of any land
outside its boundaries that bears relation to its planning. That law
requires this general plan to include several elements, including
land use, circulation, housing, open-space, and conservation
elements, which are required to meet specified requirements.
 
   This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact
legislation that would create incentives for owners of undeveloped
property in urban residential areas to lease their land for
agricultural use or the creation of urban green space, or both.

   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee:  no
  yes  . State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

   SECTION 1.    Chapter 6.3 (commencing with Section
51040) is added to Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of the  
Government Code   , to read:  
      CHAPTER 6.3.  URBAN AGRICULTURE INCENTIVE ZONES


   51040.  This chapter shall be known, and my be cited, as the Urban
Agriculture Incentive Zones Act.
   51040.1.  The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the
public interest to promote sustainable urban farm enterprises as a
new small business sector in urban centers.
   The Legislature further finds and declares the small-scale, active
production of marketable crops, including, but not limited to,
foods, flowers, and seedlings, in urban centers is consistent with,
and furthers, the purposes of this act.
   51040.3.  For purposes of this chapter, the term "Urban
Agriculture Incentive Zone" means an area within a county that is
comprised of individual properties designated as agriculture
preserves by the county for farming purposes.
   51042.  (a) A county may, after a public hearing, establish by
ordinance an Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone within its boundaries
for the purpose of entering into enforceable contracts with
landowners, on a voluntary basis, for the use of vacant, unimproved,
or otherwise blighted lands for small-scale commercial production of
agricultural crops.
   (b) Following the adoption of the ordinance as required by
subdivision (a), a county may enter into a contract with a landowner
to enforceably restrict the use of the land subject to the contract
to uses consistent with urban agriculture. Any contract entered into
pursuant to this chapter shall include, but is not limited to, all of
the following provisions:
   (1) An initial term of not less than 10 years.
   (2) A restriction on property that is at least 0.25 acres in size.

   (3) A requirement that the entire property subject to the contract
shall be dedicated toward agricultural use.
   (4) A prohibition against commercial uses, except as those uses
comply with the terms of the contract, on the property subject to the
contract.
   (c) A contract entered into pursuant to this chapter shall not
prohibit the use of structures that support agricultural activity,
including, but not limited to toolsheds, greenhouses, produce stands,
and instructional space, are permitted.
   (d) A contract entered into pursuant to this chapter that includes
a prohibition on the use of pesticide or fertilizers on properties
under contract shall permit those pesticides or fertilizers allowed
by the United States Department of Agriculture's National Organic
Program.
   (e) Property subject to a contract entered into pursuant to this
chapter shall be assessed pursuant to Section 402.1 of the Revenue
and Taxation Code during the term of the contract.
   SEC.   2.    Section 402.1 of the  
  Revenue and Taxation Code   is amended to read:

   402.1.  (a) In the assessment of land, the assessor shall consider
the effect upon value of any enforceable restrictions to which the
use of the land may be subjected. These restrictions shall include,
but are not limited to, all of the following:
   (1) Zoning.
   (2) Recorded contracts with governmental agencies other than those
provided in Sections 422 and 422.5.
   (3) Permit authority of, and permits issued by, governmental
agencies exercising land use powers concurrently with local
governments, including the California Coastal Commission and regional
coastal commissions, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and
Development Commission, and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
   (4) Development controls of a local government in accordance with
any local coastal program certified pursuant to Division 20
(commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code.
   (5) Development controls of a local government in accordance with
a local protection program, or any component thereof, certified
pursuant to Division 19 (commencing with Section 29000) of the Public
Resources Code.
   (6) Environmental constraints applied to the use of land pursuant
to provisions of statutes.
   (7) Hazardous waste land use restriction pursuant to Section 25240
of the Health and Safety Code.
   (8) A recorded conservation, trail, or scenic easement, as
described in Section 815.1 of the Civil Code, that is granted in
favor of a public agency, or in favor of a nonprofit corporation
organized pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
that has as its primary purpose the preservation, protection, or
enhancement of land in its natural, scenic, historical, agricultural,
forested, or open-space condition or use.
   (9) A solar-use easement pursuant to Chapter 6.9 (commencing with
Section 51190) of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government
Code. 
   (10) A contract entered into pursuant to the Urban Agriculture
Incentive Zones Act (Chapter 6.3 (commencing with Section 51040) of
Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code). 
   (b) There is a rebuttable presumption that restrictions will not
be removed or substantially modified in the predictable future and
that they will substantially equate the value of the land to the
value attributable to the legally permissible use or uses.
   (c) Grounds for rebutting the presumption may include, but are not
necessarily limited to, the past history of like use restrictions in
the jurisdiction in question and the similarity of sales prices for
restricted and unrestricted land. The possible expiration of a
restriction at a time certain shall not be conclusive evidence of the
future removal or modification of the restriction unless there is no
opportunity or likelihood of the continuation or renewal of the
restriction, or unless a necessary party to the restriction has
indicated an intent to permit its expiration at that time.
   (d) In assessing land with respect to which the presumption is
unrebutted, the assessor shall not consider sales of otherwise
comparable land not similarly restricted as to use as indicative of
value of land under restriction, unless the restrictions have a
demonstrably minimal effect upon value.
   (e) In assessing land under an enforceable use restriction wherein
the presumption of no predictable removal or substantial
modification of the restriction has been rebutted, but where the
restriction nevertheless retains some future life and has some effect
on present value, the assessor may consider, in addition to all
other legally permissible information, representative sales of
comparable lands that are not under restriction but upon which
natural limitations have substantially the same effect as
restrictions.
   (f) For the purposes of this section the following definitions
apply:
   (1) "Comparable lands" are lands that are similar to the land
being valued in respect to legally permissible uses and physical
attributes.
   (2) "Representative sales information" is information from sales
of a sufficient number of comparable lands to give an accurate
indication of the full cash value of the land being valued.
   (g) It is hereby declared that the purpose and intent of the
Legislature in enacting this section is to provide for a method of
determining whether a sufficient amount of representative sales
information is available for land under use restriction in order to
ensure the accurate assessment of that land. It is also hereby
declared that the further purpose and intent of the Legislature in
enacting this section and Section 1630 is to avoid an assessment
policy which, in the absence of special circumstances, considers uses
for land that legally are not available to the owner and not
contemplated by government, and that these sections are necessary to
implement the public policy of encouraging and maintaining effective
land use planning. Nothing in this statute shall be construed as
requiring the assessment of any land at a value less than as required
by Section 401 or as prohibiting the use of representative
comparable sales information on land under similar restrictions when
this information is available. 
  SECTION 1.    It is the intent of the Legislature
to enact legislation that would create incentives for owners of
undeveloped property in urban residential areas to lease their land
for agricultural use or the creation of urban green space, or both.
 
      
       
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