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 5. Cancellation

Section 51280

51280. Purpose of cancellation provision. It is hereby declared that the purpose of this article is to provide relief from the provisions of contracts entered into pursuant to this chapter under the circumstances and conditions provided herein.

History.—Stats. 1981, Ch. 1095, in effect January 1, 1982, substituted "under the circumstances and conditions provided herein" for "only when the continued dedication of land under such contracts to agricultural use is neither necessary nor desirable for the purposes of this chapter".

Note.—Section 7 of Stats. 1981, Ch. 1095, provided that an application for cancellation filed prior to the effective date of this act shall be reviewed and decided upon pursuant to the provisions of law applicable prior to the effective date, unless the applicant elects in writing to proceed under Section 51282 or 51282.1 of this act. Sec. 8 thereof provided that the Legislature finds and declares that the purpose of this act is not to weaken or strengthen the Williamson Act but simply to clarify and make the law workable in light of problems and ambiguities created by the California Supreme Court decision in the case of Sierra Club v. City of Hayward, 28 Cal.3d 840. Sec. 10 thereof provided that notwithstanding Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution and Section 2231 or 2234 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, no appropriation is made by this act for the purpose of making reimbursement pursuant to these sections. It is recognized, however, that a local agency or school district may pursue any remedies to obtain reimbursement available to it under Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 2201) of Part 4 of Division 1 of that code.

Construction.—The unconstitutional and inconsistent window period cancellation provision temporarily permitting cancellation for a one-year period under former Section 51282.1 of the Government Code, as added by Stats. 1981,Ch. 1095, was severable from the rest of the Williamson Act. Thus, the surviving provisions of Stats. 1981, Ch. 1095 served to codify and explain the findings necessary for cancellation and were still complete and valid as to permanent cancellation rules. Lewis v. City of Hayward, 177 Cal.App.3d 103.

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