Laws, Regulations & Annotations
Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2015
Additional Government Code Provisions
Provisions Relating to the Open-Space Easement Act of 1974
Chapter 6.6. Open-Space Easements*
Article 4. Termination of an Open-Space Easement
51093. Petition for abandonment; approval subject to conditions precedent. (a) The landowner may petition the governing body of the county or city for abandonment of any open-space easement or in the case of an open-space easement granted to a nonprofit organization pursuant to this chapter, for approval of abandonment by such organization, as to all of the subject land. The governing body may approve the abandonment of an open-space easement only if, by resolution, it finds:
(1) That no public purpose described in Section 51084 will be served by keeping the land as open space; and
(2) That the abandonment is not inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter; and
(3) That the abandonment is consistent with the local general plan; and
(4) That the abandonment is necessary to avoid a substantial financial hardship to the landowner due to involuntary factors unique to him.
No resolution abandoning an open-space easement, or approving the abandonment of an open-space easement granted to a nonprofit organization pursuant to this chapter, shall be finally adopted until the matter has been referred to the county or city planning commission, the commission has held a public hearing thereon and furnished a report on the matter to the governing body stating whether the abandonment is consistent with the local general plan and the governing body has held at least one public hearing thereon after giving 30 days' notice thereof by publication in accordance with Section 6061 of the Government Code, and by posting notice on the land.
(b) Prior to approval of the resolution abandoning or approving the abandonment of an open-space easement, the county assessor of the county in which the land subject to the open-space easement is located shall determine the full cash value of the land as though it were free of the open-space easement. The assessor shall multiply such value by 25 percent, and shall certify the product to the governing body as the abandonment valuation of the land for the purpose of determining the abandonment fee.
(c) Prior to giving approval to the abandonment of any open-space easement, the governing body shall determine and certify to the county auditor the amount of the abandonment fee which the landowner must pay the county treasurer upon abandonment. That fee shall be an amount equal to 50 percent of the abandonment valuation of the property.
(d) Any sum collected pursuant to this section shall be transmitted by the county treasurer to the State Controller and be deposited in the State General Fund.
(e) An abandonment shall not become effective until the abandonment fee has been paid in full.
History.—Stats. 1977, Ch. 1178, in effect January 1, 1978, added "or in the case of an open-space easement granted to a nonprofit organization pursuant to this chapter, for approval of abandonment by such organization," and "or approving the abandonment of an open-space easement granted to a nonprofit organization pursuant to this chapter" in the first and second paragraphs of subdivision (a). Also added "or approving the abandonment of" 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.