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AB-1997 Land conservation.(2001-2002)

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AB1997:v91#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 1997
CHAPTER 613

An act to amend Section 66474.4 of the Government Code, relating to land use.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  September 17, 2002. Approved by Governor  September 16, 2002. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1997, Thomson. Land conservation.
The existing Subdivision Map Act requires the legislative body of a city or county to deny, except under specified circumstances, approval of a tentative map, or a parcel map for which a tentative map was not required, if it finds that the land is subject to a contract entered into pursuant to the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 and that either the resulting parcels following a subdivision of that land would be too small to sustain their agricultural use or the subdivision will result in residential development not incidental to the commercial agricultural use of the land.
This bill would also apply these provisions to land that is subject to an open-space easement, agricultural conservation easement, or conservation easement, but would make these provisions inapplicable during the 3-year period preceding the termination of contracts entered into pursuant to the California Land Conservation Act of 1965.
The bill would also provide that where an easement contains language addressing allowable land divisions, the terms of the easement shall prevail, and would specify that its provisions would apply only to contracts or easements entered into on or after January 1, 2003.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 66474.4 of the Government Code is amended to read:

66474.4.
 (a) The legislative body of a city or county shall deny approval of a tentative map, or a parcel map for which a tentative map was not required, if it finds that either the resulting parcels following a subdivision of that land would be too small to sustain their agricultural use or the subdivision will result in residential development not incidental to the commercial agricultural use of the land, and if the legislative body finds that the land is subject to any of the following:
(1) A contract entered into pursuant to the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 51200) of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5), including an easement entered into pursuant to Section 51256.
(2) An open-space easement entered into pursuant to the Open-Space Easement Act of 1974 (Chapter 6.6 (commencing with Section 51074) of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5).
(3) An agricultural conservation easement entered into pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 10260) of Division 10.2 of the Public Resources Code.
(4) A conservation easement entered into pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 815) of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code.
(b) (1) For purposes of this section, land shall be conclusively presumed to be in parcels too small to sustain their agricultural use if the land is (A) less than 10 acres in size in the case of prime agricultural land, or (B) less than 40 acres in size in the case of land that is not prime agricultural land.
(2) For purposes of this section, agricultural land shall be presumed to be in parcels large enough to sustain their agricultural use if the land is (A) at least 10 acres in size in the case of prime agricultural land, or (B) at least 40 acres in size in the case of land that is not prime agricultural land.
(c) A legislative body may approve a subdivision with parcels smaller than those specified in this section if the legislative body makes either of the following findings:
(1) The parcels can nevertheless sustain an agricultural use permitted under the contract or easement, or are subject to a written agreement for joint management pursuant to Section 51230.1 and the parcels that are jointly managed total at least 10 acres in size in the case of prime agricultural land or 40 acres in size in the case of land that is not prime agricultural land.
(2) One of the parcels contains a residence and is subject to Section 428 of the Revenue and Taxation Code; the residence has existed on the property for at least five years; the landowner has owned the parcels for at least 10 years; and the remaining parcels shown on the map are at least 10 acres in size if the land is prime agricultural land, or at least 40 acres in size if the land is not prime agricultural land.
(d) No other homesite parcels as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) may be created on any remaining parcels under contract entered into pursuant to the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 51200) of Division 1 of Title 5) for at least 10 years following the creation of a homesite parcel pursuant to this section.
(e) This section shall not apply to land that is subject to a contract entered into pursuant to the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 51200) of Division 1 of Title 5) when any of the following has occurred:
(1) A local agency formation commission has approved the annexation of the land to a city and the city will not succeed to the contract as provided in Sections 51243 and 51243.5.
(2) Written notice of nonrenewal of the contract has been served, as provided in Section 51245, and, as a result of that notice, there are no more than three years remaining in the term of the contract.
(3) The board or council has granted tentative approval for cancellation of the contract as provided in Section 51282.
(f) This section shall not apply during the three-year period preceding the termination of a contract described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a).
(g) This section shall not be construed as limiting the power of legislative bodies to establish minimum parcel sizes larger than those specified in subdivision (a).
(h) This section does not limit the authority of a city or county to approve a tentative or parcel map with respect to land subject to an easement described in this section for which agriculture is the primary purpose if the resulting parcels can sustain uses consistent with the intent of the easement.
(i) This section does not limit the authority of a city or county to approve a tentative or parcel map with respect to land subject to an easement described in this section for which agriculture is not the primary purpose if the resulting parcels can sustain uses consistent with the purposes of the easement.
(j) Where an easement described in this section contains language addressing allowable land divisions, the terms of the easement shall prevail.
(k) The amendments to this section made in the 2002 portion of the 2001–02 Regular Session of the Legislature shall apply only with respect to contracts or easements entered into on or after January 1, 2003.