Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 5. LOCAL AGENCIES [50001 - 57607]

  ( Title 5 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 81. )

DIVISION 1. CITIES AND COUNTIES [50001 - 52203]

  ( Division 1 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 81. )

PART 1. POWERS AND DUTIES COMMON TO CITIES AND COUNTIES [50001 - 51298.5]

  ( Part 1 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 81. )

CHAPTER 7. Agricultural Land [51200 - 51297.4]

  ( Chapter 7 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1443. )

ARTICLE 2. Declaration [51220 - 51223]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1443. )

51220.
  

The Legislature finds:

(a) That the preservation of a maximum amount of the limited supply of agricultural land is necessary to the conservation of the state’s economic resources, and is necessary not only to the maintenance of the agricultural economy of the state, but also for the assurance of adequate, healthful and nutritious food for future residents of this state and nation.

(b) That the agricultural work force is vital to sustaining agricultural productivity; that this work force has the lowest average income of any occupational group in this state; that there exists a need to house this work force of crisis proportions which requires including among agricultural uses the housing of agricultural laborers; and that such use of agricultural land is in the public interest and in conformity with the state’s Farmworker Housing Assistance Plan.

(c) That the discouragement of premature and unnecessary conversion of agricultural land to urban uses is a matter of public interest and will be of benefit to urban dwellers themselves in that it will discourage discontiguous urban development patterns which unnecessarily increase the costs of community services to community residents.

(d) That in a rapidly urbanizing society agricultural lands have a definite public value as open space, and the preservation in agricultural production of such lands, the use of which may be limited under the provisions of this chapter, constitutes an important physical, social, esthetic and economic asset to existing or pending urban or metropolitan developments.

(e) That land within a scenic highway corridor or wildlife habitat area as defined in this chapter has a value to the state because of its scenic beauty and its location adjacent to or within view of a state scenic highway or because it is of great importance as habitat for wildlife and contributes to the preservation or enhancement thereof.

(f) For these reasons, this chapter is necessary for the promotion of the general welfare and the protection of the public interest in agricultural land.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 1219.)

51220.5.
  

The Legislature finds and declares that agricultural operations are often hindered or impaired by uses which increase the density of the permanent or temporary human population of the agricultural area. For this reason, cities and counties shall determine the types of uses to be deemed “compatible uses” in a manner which recognizes that a permanent or temporary population increase often hinders or impairs agricultural operations.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 607, Sec. 3.)

51221.
  

The Legislature further declares that the expenditure of public funds under the provisions of this chapter is in the public interest and is necessary to the accomplishment of the purposes herein set forth.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1443.)

51222.
  

The Legislature further declares that it is in the public interest for local officials and landowners to retain agricultural lands which are subject to contracts entered into pursuant to this act in parcels large enough to sustain agricultural uses permitted under the contracts. 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 (1) at least 10 acres in size in the case of prime agricultural land, or (2) at least 40 acres in size in the case of land which is not prime agricultural land.

(Amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 841, Sec. 3.)

51223.
  

(a) A city council or board of supervisors, as the case may be, shall, prior to rescinding a contract for the purpose of restricting the same land by an open-space contract pursuant to Section 51254 or by entering to an open-space agreement pursuant to Section 51255, determine that the parcel or parcels are large enough to provide open-space benefits, by providing habitat for wildlife, or preserving its natural characteristics, beauty, or openness for the benefit and enjoyment of the public.

(b) Uses or development permitted on land subject to an open-space contract, or subject to an open-space easement agreement pursuant to Section 51255, shall satisfy one or both of the following:

(1) Comply with the provisions of Section 51238.1 or 51238.2.

(2) Consist of, cause, facilitate, or benefit one or more open-space uses on the land.

(c)  If an open-space contract is executed pursuant to Section 51205, or if a contract is rescinded for the purpose of restricting the same land by an open-space contract pursuant to Section 51254, or an open-space easement agreement pursuant to Section 51255, either of the following shall apply:

(1) The resulting open-space contract shall not permit new development during the period the contract is in effect, except that uses compatible with or related to the open-space uses would be permitted.

(2) The resulting open-space easement agreement shall not permit new development during the time equal to the time remaining on the contract at the time of its rescission, except that uses compatible with, or related to, the open-space uses would be permitted.

(d) For the purposes of this section, agriculture and uses compatible with agriculture are compatible with open-space uses, unless otherwise provided by local rules or ordinances.

(e) A board or council shall not accept or approve a petition for rescission pursuant to Sections 51254 or 51255 if the city or county, within which the land for which the rescission is sought is located, has discovered or received notice of a likely material breach on the land pursuant to the process specified in Section 51250, unless the rescission is a part of the process specified in Section 51250.

(Added by Stats. 2008, Ch. 503, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2009.)

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