Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2010
 

Government Code Provisions

Provisions Relating to the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 (The Williamson Act)

Chapter 7. Agricultural Land*

Article 5. Cancellation

Section 51282

51282. Cancellation as to all or part of land; conditions for approval.(a) The landowner may petition the board or council for cancellation of any contract as to all or any part of the subject land. The board or council may grant tentative approval for cancellation of a contract only if it makes one of the following findings:

(1) That the cancellation is consistent with the purposes of this chapter.

(2) That cancellation is in the public interest.

(b) For purposes of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) cancellation of a contract shall be consistent with the purposes of this chapter only if the board or council makes all of the following findings:

(1) That the cancellation is for land on which a notice of nonrenewal has been served pursuant to Section 51245.

(2) That cancellation is not likely to result in the removal of adjacent lands from agricultural use.

(3) That cancellation is for an alternative use which is consistent with the applicable provisions of the city or county general plan.

(4) That cancellation will not result in discontiguous patterns of urban development.

(5) That there is no proximate noncontracted land which is both available and suitable for the use to which it is proposed the contracted land be put, or, that development of the contracted land would provide more contiguous patterns of urban development than development of proximate noncontracted land.

As used in this subdivision "proximate, noncontracted land" means land not restricted by contract pursuant to this chapter, which is sufficiently close to land which is so restricted that it can serve as a practical alternative for the use which is proposed for the restricted land.

As used in this subdivision "suitable" for the proposed use means that the salient features of the proposed use can be served by land not restricted by contract pursuant to this chapter. Such nonrestricted land may be a single parcel or may be a combination of contiguous or discontiguous parcels.

(c) For purposes of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) cancellation of a contract shall be in the public interest only if the council or board makes the following findings: (1) that other public concerns substantially outweigh the objectives of this chapter; and (2) that there is no proximate noncontracted land which is both available and suitable for the use to which it is proposed the contracted land be put, or that development of the contracted land would provide more contiguous patterns of urban development than development of proximate noncontracted land.

As used in this subdivision "proximate, noncontracted land" means land not restricted by contract pursuant to this chapter, which is sufficiently close to land which is so restricted that it can serve as a practical alternative for the use which is proposed for the restricted land.

As used in this subdivision "suitable" for the proposed use means that the salient features of the proposed use can be served by land not restricted by contract pursuant to this chapter. Such nonrestricted land may be a single parcel or may be a combination of contiguous or discontiguous parcels.

(d) For purposes of subdivision (a), the uneconomic character of an existing agricultural use shall not by itself be sufficient reason for cancellation of the contract. The uneconomic character of the existing use may be considered only if there is no other reasonable or comparable agricultural use to which the land may be put.

(e) The landowner's petition shall be accompanied by a proposal for a specified alternative use of the land. The proposal for the alternative use shall list those governmental agencies known by the landowner to have permit authority related to the proposed alternative use, and the provisions and requirements of Section 51283.4 shall be fully applicable thereto. The level of specificity required in a proposal for a specified alternate use shall be determined by the board or council as that necessary to permit them to make the findings required.

(f) In approving a cancellation pursuant to this section, the board or council shall not be required to make any findings other than or in addition to those expressly set forth in this section, and, where applicable, in Section 21081 of the Public Resources Code.

(g) A board or council shall not accept or approve a petition for cancellation if the land for which the cancellation is sought is currently subject to the process specified in Section 51250, unless the cancellation is a part of the process specified in Section 51250.

History.—Added by Stats. 1969, p. 2813, in effect November 10, 1969. Stats. 1978, Ch. 1120, in effect January 1, 1979, added the fourth paragraph. Stats. 1981, Ch. 1095, in effect January 1, 1982, added the subdivision letters; substituted "grant tentative approval for cancellation of a contract only if it makes one of the following findings" for "approve the cancellation of a contract only if they find" in the second sentence of subdivision (a), and substituted "is consistent" for "is not inconsistent" and "; or" for "; and" in subdivision (a)(1); deleted the former second paragraph; added subdivisions (b), (c), and (f); lettered the former third paragraph as subdivision (d), added "For purposes of subdivision (a)," at the beginning of the first sentence thereof, and substituted "not by itself" for "likewise not" in the first sentence thereof; and lettered the former fourth paragraph as subdivision (e), substituted "shall be accompanied by" for "may be accompanied with" in the first sentence thereof, added the balance of the second sentence after "alternative use,", and added the third sentence. Stats. 2008, Ch. 503 (AB 2921), in effect January 1, 2009, substituted a period for "; or" after "of this chapter" in the first sentence of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a); deleted a comma after "be put, or" in the first sentence of the first paragraph of subdivision (c), and added subdivision (g).

Construction.—A county's cancellation of a Williamson Act contract requires only that the county make the necessary findings under this Section and that the findings are supported by substantial evidence. Under the existing Section, a county is not required to find that an emergency situation existed or that the proposed project for the land was contiguous to existing development. Friends of East Willits Valley v. Mendocino County, 101 Cal.App.4th 191.

* Unless otherwise noted Chapter 7 was added by Stats. 1965, p. 3377, in effect September 17, 1965.