Laws, Regulations & Annotations
Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2016
Additional Government Code Provisions
Provisions Relating to the Open-Space Easement Act of 1974
Chapter 6.6. Open-Space Easements*
Article 3. General Provisions
51084. Finding of consistency with general plan and public interest; conditions; conclusiveness of resolution. A grant of an open-space easement shall be accepted or approved by a county or city, unless the governing body, by resolution, finds:
(a) That the preservation of the land as open space is consistent with the general plan of the county or city; and
(b) That the preservation of the land as open space is in the best interest of the state, county, city, or city and county and is important to the public for the enjoyment of scenic beauty, for the use of natural resources, for recreation, or for the production of food and fiber specifically because one or more of the following reasons exist:
(1) That the land is essentially unimproved and if retained in its natural state has either scenic value to the public, or is valuable as a watershed or as a wildlife preserve, and the instrument contains appropriate covenants to that end.
(2) It is in the public interest that the land be retained as open space because such land either will add to the amenities of living in neighboring urbanized areas or will help preserve the rural character of the area in which the land is located.
(3) The land lies in an area that in the public interest should remain rural in character and the retention of the land as open space will preserve the rural character of the area.
(4) It is in the public interest that the land remain in its natural state, including the trees and other natural growth, as a means of preventing floods or because of its value as watershed.
(5) The land lies within an established scenic highway corridor.
(6) The land is valuable to the public as a wildlife preserve or sanctuary and the instrument contains appropriate covenants to that end.
(7) The public interest will otherwise be served in a manner recited in the resolution and consistent with the purposes of this subdivision and Section 8 of Article XIII of the Constitution of the State of California.
The resolution of the governing body shall establish a conclusive presumption that the conditions set forth in subdivisions (a) and (b) have been satisfied.
History.—Stats. 1975, Ch. 224, p. 600, in effect January 1, 1976, substituted "Section 8 of Article XIII" for "Article XXVIII" in the first sentence of subdivision (b)(3). Stats. 1977, Ch. 1178, in effect January 1, 1978, added "or approved" after "accepted" in first paragraph. Stats. 2012, Ch. 875 (SB 1501), in effect January 1, 2013, substituted "A" for "No" before "grant of" in the first sentence of the first paragraph; substituted "state, county, city, or city and county and is important to the public for the enjoyment of scenic beauty, for the use of natural resources, for recreation, or for the production of food and fiber" for "county or city and" after "interest of the" in the first sentence of the first paragraph, added paragraphs (3). (4), (5) and (6), and renumbered former paragraph (3) as paragraph (7) in subdivision (b).
* Chapter 6.6 was added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1003, p. 2154, in effect January 1, 1975. Sec. 10 thereof provided no payment by state to local governments because of this act.
Note.—Section 11 of Stats. 1974, Ch. 1003, p. 2161, provided that the provisions of this act shall be given prospective application only and shall not be construed in a manner which would impair the obligation of any existing open-space easement or scenic restriction entered into prior to January 1, 1975. Land subject to any such easement or restriction on such date shall continue to be assessed under Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 421) of Chapter 3 of Part 2 of Division 1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code so long as such land otherwise qualifies for assessment under such article and qualifies under Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 51050) of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of, or under Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 6950) of Division 7 of Title 1 of, the Government Code.