Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

Government Code Provisions

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

Chapter 7. Agricultural Land*

Article 3. Contracts

Section 51257

51257. Boundary adjustments. [Repealed by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1405, in effect January 1, 1989.]

Effective to January 1, 2013

51257. Lot line adjustments. (a) To facilitate a lot line adjustment, pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 66412, and notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the parties may mutually agree to rescind the contract or contracts and simultaneously enter into a new contract or contracts pursuant to this chapter, provided that the board or council finds all of the following:

(1) The new contract or contracts would enforceably restrict the adjusted boundaries of the parcel for an initial term for at least as long as the unexpired term of the rescinded contract or contracts, but for not less than 10 years.

(2) There is no net decrease in the amount of the acreage restricted. In cases where two parcels involved in a lot line adjustment are both subject to contracts rescinded pursuant to this section, this finding will be satisfied if the aggregate acreage of the land restricted by the new contracts is at least as great as the aggregate acreage restricted by the rescinded contracts.

(3) At least 90 percent of the land under the former contract or contracts remains under the new contract or contracts.

(4) After the lot line adjustment, the parcels of land subject to contract will be large enough to sustain their agricultural use, as defined in Section 51222.

(5) The lot line adjustment would not compromise the long-term agricultural productivity of the parcel or other agricultural lands subject to a contract or contracts.

(6) The lot line adjustment is not likely to result in the removal of adjacent land from agricultural use.

(7) The lot line adjustment does not result in a greater number of developable parcels than existed prior to the adjustment, or an adjusted lot that is inconsistent with the general plan.

(b) Nothing in this section shall limit the authority of the board or council to enact additional conditions or restrictions on lot line adjustments.

(c) Only one new contract may be entered into pursuant to this section with respect to a given parcel, prior to January 1, 2004.

History.—Added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 495 (SB 1240), in effect January 1, 1998. Stats. 1998, Ch. 690 (SB 1835), in effect January 1, 1999, added "or contracts" after "contract" twice and substituted "finds all of the following" for "makes all of the following findings" in the first sentence of subdivision (a), added "or contracts" after "contract" twice, added "for" after "term", added "rescinded" before the second "contract" and substituted ", but for not" for "being rescinded, but in no event for" before "less than" in paragraph (1), added "or contracts" after "contract" twice in paragraph (3), substituted "defined" for "that term is used" after "use, as" in paragraph (4), and substituted "other agricultural lands subject to a contract or contracts" for "of other contracted lands" after "parcel or" in paragraph (5) therein; added "of" after "authority" and deleted "may otherwise have" after "council" in subdivision (b); and substituted "respect" for "regard" after "with" and substituted "2003" for "2000" after "January 1," in subdivision (c). Stats. 1999, Ch. 1018(SB 985), in effect January 1, 2000, added paragraph (7) to subdivision (a). Stats. 2002, Ch. 616 (SB 1864), in effect January 1, 2003, substituted "2004" for "2003" after "January 1," in the first sentence of subdivision (c) and in both places in the first sentence of subdivision (e). Stats. 2003, Ch. 694 (AB 1492), in effect January 1, 2004, substituted "2008" for "2002" after "In the year" in the first sentence of subdivision (d) and substituted "2009" for "2004" after "January 1," twice in the first sentence of subdivision (e). Stats. 2008, Ch. 503 (AB 2921), in effect January 1, 2009, substituted "2010" for "2009" after "January 1," twice in the first sentence of subdivision (e). Stats. 2009, Ch. 148 (AB 1441), in effect January 1, 2010, substituted "2011" for "2010" twice after "January 1," in the first sentence of subdivision (e). Stats. 2010, Ch. 60 (AB 1965), in effect January 1, 2011, deleted former subdivision (d) which provided that "In the year 2008, the department's Williamson Act Status Report, prepared pursuant to Section 51207, shall include a review of the performance of the section.", and relettered former subdivision (e) as (d), deleted "only" after "in effect", substituted "2013" for "2011" after "January 1," twice in the first sentence therein and added the second sentence. Stats. 2012, Ch. 128, (AB 2680), in effect January 1, 2013, deleted former subdivision (d), which provided that, "This section shall remain in effect until January 1, 2013, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted on or before January 1, 2013, deletes or extends that date. An application filed prior to the repeal of this section shall be processed to completion."

Note.—Section 3 of Stats. 2003, Ch. 694 (AB 1492), provided that in enacting these amendments, the Legislature finds and declares that the extension of the sunset provisions of Section 51257 of the Government Code shall not be construed as making any other change in the meaning or interpretation of Section 51257 of the Government Code.

Section 4 thereof provided that notwithstanding Section 17610 of the Government Code, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code. If the statewide cost of the claim for reimbursement does not exceed one million dollars ($1,000,000), reimbursement shall be made from the State Mandates Claims Fund.

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