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 6.7. Timberland [51100 - 51155]

  ( Chapter 6.7 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 176. )

ARTICLE 2. Timberland Production Zones [51110 - 51119.5]
  ( Heading of Article 2 amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1489, Sec. 5.5. )

51110.
  

(a) On or before September 1, 1976, the assessor shall assemble a list of all parcels, regardless of size, which as of the lien date in 1976, were assessed for growing and harvesting timber as the highest and best use of the land, including all such parcels or portions thereof under agricultural preserve contracts.

(b) On or before September 1, 1976, the assessor shall notify by mail, which is certified and with return receipt requested, owners of parcels listed under subdivision (a) that their land has been included in such a list. This notice shall be substantially in the following form:
To: (name of taxpayer)

Pursuant to the Z’berg-Warren-Keene-Collier Forest Taxation Reform Act of 1976, ____ County must provide for the zoning of land used for growing and harvesting timber as timberland preserve zone (TPZ).

A TPZ is a 10-year restriction on the use of land, and will replace the use of agricultural preserves (Williamson Act contracts) on timberland. Land use under a TPZ will be restricted to growing and harvesting timber, and to compatible uses approved by the county (or city). In return, taxation of timberland under a TPZ will be based only on such restrictions in use.

To initiate this zoning procedure, the assessor has assembled a list (list “A”) of all those parcels assessed for property tax purposes for growing and harvesting timber as the highest and best use of the land as of March 1, 1976. The following parcels of your land have been included in this list “A”:

(legal description or assessor’s parcel no.)

If you have one or more parcels listed above which you believe have a highest and best use other than growing and harvesting timber, you must submit to the assessor a written affidavit describing the intended use you have for this parcel(s), and do so before October 1, 1976. The assessor will then designate such parcel(s) as “contested” on the final list of these parcels which is submitted to the county board of supervisors (or city council) on October 15, 1976.

A public hearing will be held prior to March 1, 1977, for the consideration of zoning your parcel(s) as TPZ. You will be given at least 20 days’ notice of such hearing.

Under the Timber Yield Tax Law, all noncontested parcels included in the final list “A” will be zoned as TPZ unless the owner can demonstrate to the satisfaction of a majority of the full board (or council) that at least one of the following conditions exists:

(i) That the parcel or parcels are not capable of growing an average annual volume of wood fiber of at least 15 cubic feet per acre; or

(ii) That the current use of the parcel has changed subsequent to March 1, 1976, and that such use is no longer the growing and harvesting of timber, and is not compatible with the growing and harvesting of timber.

Parcels designated as “contested” which appear on list “A” will be zoned as TPZ unless the owner can demonstrate to the satisfaction of a majority of the full board (or council) that it would not be in the public interest for such parcels(s) to be zoned as TPZ. Parcels in list “A” not zoned as TPZ will receive an alternate zone, if no appropriate zone currently exists. “Contested” parcels not zoned as TPZ will be valued in the future on a higher and better use of the land.

Detailed information on the TPZ zoning process and the Z’berg-Warren-Keene-Collier Forest Taxation Reform Act in general may be obtained from your county assessor’s office.

(c) Upon notification pursuant to subdivision (b) owners of parcels listed pursuant to subdivision (a) may have one or more such parcels designated as “contested” in the following manner:

On or before October 1, 1976, the owner must notify the assessor in a written affidavit that such a parcel has the highest and best use which is not a compatible use for timberland, as determined by the board or council pursuant to Section 51111, and the owner shall state the intended use for such parcel.

Upon receipt of such affidavit, the assessor shall designate such parcels on the list to be submitted to the board or council pursuant to subdivision (d) as “contested”. In preparing the assessment roll for the 1977–78 fiscal year and each fiscal year thereafter, the assessor shall take into account the owner’s notice of higher and better use in determining the fair market value for such parcels, if such parcels are not zoned as timberland preserve.

(d) On or before October 15, 1976, the assessor shall submit to the board or council a list of all parcels, regardless of size, which as of the lien date in 1976, are assessed for growing and harvesting timber as the highest and best use of the land, including such parcels designated as “contested” pursuant to subdivision (c). This list shall be known as “list A”.

(e) On or before August 19, 1976, the State Board of Equalization shall submit to the county assessor for inclusion in list A those parcels on the board roll which are located in the county and which, as of the lien date in 1976, were assessed by the State Board of Equalization for growing and harvesting timber as the highest and best use of the land.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 176.)

51110.1.
  

(a) On or before September 1, 1977, the assessor shall assemble a list of all parcels, which, as of the lien date in 1976, appeared in the judgment of the assessor to constitute timberland, but which were not assessed for growing and harvesting timber as the highest and best use of the land.

(b) On or before September 1, 1977, the assessor shall notify by mail, which is certified and with return receipt requested, owners of parcels listed under subdivision (a) that their land has been included in such a list. This notice shall be substantially in the following form:
To: (name of taxpayer)

Pursuant to the Z’berg-Warren-Keene-Collier Forest Taxation Reform Act of 1976, ____ County must provide for the zoning of land used for growing and harvesting timber as timberland preserve zone (TPZ).

A TPZ is a 10-year restriction on the use of land, and will replace the use of agricultural preserves (Williamson Act contracts) on timberland. Land use under a TPZ will be restricted to growing and harvesting timber, and to compatible uses approved by the county (or city). In return, taxation of timberland under a TPZ will be based only on such restrictions in use.

As part of this zoning procedure, the assessor has assembled a list (list “B”) of all those parcels which appear to be land used for growing and harvesting timber, but which are not assessed for property tax purposes as this being the highest and best use of the land. The following parcels of your land have been included in this list “B”:

(Legal description or assessor’s parcel no.)

A public hearing will be held prior to March 1, 1978, for the consideration of zoning your parcel(s) as TPZ. You will be given at least 20 days’ notice of such hearing.

Under the Z’berg-Warren-Keene-Collier Forest Taxation Reform Act, all parcels included in this list “B” will be zoned as TPZ unless the owner can demonstrate to the satisfaction of a majority of the full board (or council) that it would not be in the public interest for such parcel(s) to be zoned as TPZ. Parcels on list “B” not zoned as TPZ will receive an alternate zone, if no appropriate zone currently exists.

Detailed information on the TPZ zoning process and the Z’berg-Warren-Keene-Collier Forest Taxation Reform Act in general may be obtained from your county assessors office.

(c) On or before October 15, 1977, the assessor shall submit to the board or council a list of all parcels, which as of the lien date in 1976, appear to constitute timberland, but which are not assessed for growing and harvesting timber as the highest and best use of the land. This list shall be known as “list B”.

(d) On or before August 19, 1977, the State Board of Equalization shall submit to the county assessor, for inclusion in list B, those parcels on the board roll which are located in the county and which as of the lien date in 1976, appear to constitute timberland, but which were not assessed by the State Board of Equalization for growing and harvesting timber as the highest and best use of the land.

(Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 853.)

51110.2.
  

The county or city planning commission shall hold a public hearing on parcels referred to it for review by the board or council pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 51110 and subdivision (c) of Section 51110.1 according to Section 65854, and shall render its decision in the form of a written recommendation to the board or council according to Section 65855. The planning commission shall include in its recommendation to the board or council considerations as to the exact zoning boundaries to be drawn within each assessors parcel contained in list A or list B.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 142, Sec. 61.)

51110.3.
  

In the event that a landowner does not receive notice pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 51110.1, such owner may prior to January 1, 1978, petition directly to the board or council to have a parcel owned by such person included on list “B.” Such owner must be able to demonstrate that on each such parcel a plan for forest management has been prepared, or approved as to content, by a registered professional forester prior to October 15, 1977. Such plan shall provide for the harvest of timber within a reasonable period of time, as determined by the preparer of the plan.

In the event that the board or council finds that the parcel does in fact have plans for forest management signed by a registered professional forester prior to October 15, 1977, the board or council shall include the parcel listed in the petition on list “B” without respect to acreage or size and shall consider these parcels under subdivision (c) of Section 51112.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 853.)

51111.
  

On or before October 1, 1976, the board or council shall adopt a list and a detailed description of additional compatible uses for parcels zoned as timberland production.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 678, Sec. 2.)

51112.
  

(a) On or before March 1, 1977, the board or council by ordinance, after the advice of the planning commission pursuant to Section 51110.2, and after public hearing, shall zone as timberland production all parcels appearing on list A submitted by the assessor pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 51110 which are not designated as “contest,” unless it finds by a majority vote of the full body that a parcel or parcels are not devoted to and used for growing and harvesting timber or for growing and harvesting timber and compatible uses.

The basis for such a finding is limited to either of the following:

(1) The parcel is not in fact capable of growing an average annual volume of wood fiber of at least 15 cubic feet per acre;

(2) The use of the parcel has changed subsequent to the lien date in 1976, and that such use no longer meets the definition of timberland, or of compatible uses as defined and as adopted by the board or council pursuant to Section 51111.

(b) On or before March 1, 1977, the board or council by ordinance, after the advice of the planning commission pursuant to Section 51110.2, and after public hearing, shall zone as timberland production all parcels appearing on list A which are designated as “contested” pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 51110, except those parcels which it finds by a majority vote of the full body to be in the public interest to exclude from such a zone.

(c) On or before March 1, 1978, the board or council by ordinance, after the advice of the planning commission pursuant to Section 51110.2, and after public hearing, shall zone as timberland production all parcels appearing on list B submitted by the assessor pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 51110.1, except those parcels which it finds by a majority vote of the full body to be in the public interest to exclude from such a zone.

(d) On parcels excluded from the timberland production zone under this section, the board or council shall apply an alternate zone which is in conformance with the county general plan and whose primary use is other than timberland, if no such appropriate zone currently applies to such parcels.

(e) The owner of the land shall be given written notice at least 20 days prior to the hearing of the board or council, and notice of hearing shall be published pursuant to Section 6061 of this code, and shall include a legal description, or the assessor’s parcel number, of the land which is proposed to be included within the timberland production zone.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 678, Sec. 3.)

51113.
  

(a) (1) An owner may petition the board or council to zone his or her land as timberland production. The board or council by ordinance, after the advice of the planning commission pursuant to Section 51110.2, and after public hearing, shall zone as timberland production all parcels submitted to it by petition pursuant to this section, which meet all of the criteria adopted pursuant to subdivision (c). Any owner who has so petitioned and whose land is not zoned as timberland production may petition the board or council for a rehearing on the zoning.

(2) This section shall not be construed as limiting the ability of the board or council to zone as timberland production any parcel submitted upon petition that is timberland, defined pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 51104, and which is in compliance with the compatible use ordinance adopted by the board or council pursuant to Section 51111.

(b) The board or council, on or before March 1, 1977, by resolution, shall adopt procedures for initiating, filing, and processing petitions for timberland production zoning and for rezoning. The rules shall be applied uniformly throughout the county or city.

(c) On or before March 1, 1977, the board or council by ordinance shall adopt a list of criteria required to be met by parcels being considered for zoning as timberland production under this section. The criteria shall not impose any requirements in addition to those listed in this subdivision and in subdivision (d). The following shall be included in the criteria:

(1) A map shall be prepared showing the legal description or the assessor’s parcel number of the property desired to be zoned.

(2) A plan for forest management shall be prepared or approved as to content, for the property by a registered professional forester. The plan shall provide for the eventual harvest of timber within a reasonable period of time, as determined by the preparer of the plan.

(3) (A) The parcel shall currently meet the timber stocking standards as set forth in Section 4561 of the Public Resources Code and the forest practice rules adopted by the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection for the district in which the parcel is located, or the owner shall sign an agreement with the board or council to meet those stocking standards and forest practice rules by the fifth anniversary of the signing of the agreement. If the parcel is subsequently zoned as timberland production under subdivision (a), failure to meet the stocking standards and forest practice rules within this time period provides the board or council with a ground for rezoning of the parcel pursuant to Section 51121.

(B) Upon the fifth anniversary of the signing of an agreement, the board shall determine whether the parcel meets the timber stocking standards in effect on the date that the agreement was signed. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 4 (commencing with Section 51130), if the parcel fails to meet the timber stocking standards, the board or council shall immediately rezone the parcel and specify a new zone for the parcel, which is in conformance with the county general plan and whose primary use is other than timberland.

(4) The parcel shall be timberland, as defined in subdivision (f) of Section 51104.

(5) The parcel shall be in compliance with the compatible use ordinance adopted by the board or council pursuant to Section 51111.

(d) The criteria required by subdivision (c) may also include any or all of the following:

(1) The land area concerned shall be in the ownership of one person, as defined in Section 38106 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, and shall be comprised of single or contiguous parcels of a certain number of acres, not to exceed 80 acres.

(2) The land shall be a certain site quality class or higher under Section 434 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, except that the parcel shall not be required to be of the two highest site quality classes.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 972, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 1999.)

51113.5.
  

(a) After March 1, 1977, an owner with timberlands in a timberland production zone pursuant to Section 51112 or 51113 may petition the board or council to add to his or her timberland production lands that meet the criteria of subdivisions (f) and (g) of Section 51104 and that are contiguous to the timberland already zoned as timberland production. Section 51113 shall not apply to these lands.

(b) In the event of land exchanges with, or acquisitions from, a public agency in which the size of an owner’s parcel or parcels zoned as timberland production pursuant to Section 51112 or 51113 is reduced, the timberland production shall not be removed from the parcel except pursuant to Section 51121 and except for a cause other than the smaller parcel size.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1489, Sec. 7.)

51114.
  

Parcels zoned as timberland production shall be zoned as such for an initial term of 10 years. On the first and each subsequent anniversary date of the initial zoning, a year shall be added to the initial term of 10 years, unless a notice of rezoning is given as provided in Section 51120.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1489, Sec. 8.)

51115.
  

Parcels zoned as timberland production shall be zoned so as to restrict their use to growing and harvesting timber and to compatible uses. The growing and harvesting of timber on those parcels shall be regulated solely pursuant to state statutes and regulations.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1009, Sec. 1.3.)

51115.1.
  

(a) The zoning of a parcel pursuant to this chapter shall give rise to a presumption that timber operations, as defined in Section 4527 of the Public Resources Code, may reasonably be expected to and will occur on that parcel.

(b) The Legislature hereby declares that the enactment of this section is intended to make clear that the zoning of a parcel pursuant to this chapter is an indication that timber operations are expected to occur on that parcel at a future date. The Legislature further declares that this section is not intended and shall not be construed as altering any substantive or procedural requirement of Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 4511) of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1418, Sec. 1.)

51115.2.
  

(a) Changes or additions to any nonconforming use shall be limited to ordinary maintenance and repair, except that no change or addition which enlarges or tends to make more permanent any nonconforming use shall be permitted.

(b) If any nonconforming use ceases for a period of one year or more, use subsequent to the cessation shall comply with this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1489, Sec. 10.)

51115.5.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, timber operations conducted within a timber production zone pursuant to the provisions of the Z’berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973 (Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 4511) of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code) shall not constitute a nuisance, private or public.

(b) This section is not applicable with respect to any timber operation which (1) endangers public health or public safety or (2) prohibits the free passage or use of any navigable lake, river, bay, stream, canal, or basin, or any public park, street, or highway.

(c) For purposes of this section, the term “timber operation” means the cutting, removal, or both, of timber or other wood forest products, including Christmas trees, from timberlands for commercial purposes, together with all the work incidental thereto, including, but not limited to, construction and maintenance of roads, fuel breaks, fire breaks, stream crossings, landings, skid trails, beds for falling trees, fire hazard abatement, and preparation, transportation, and delivery of timber and other wood products to market.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1489, Sec. 11.)

51116.
  

The county or city may bring any action in court necessary to prohibit a use not permitted with respect to land zoned as timberland production, including, but not limited to, an action to enforce the zoning restrictions by specific performance or injunction.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1489, Sec. 12.)

51117.
  

When land is zoned as timberland production or subsequently rezoned from a timberland production zone and after exhaustion of appeals, a notice of timberland production zone status, together with a map and assessor’s parcel numbers describing such land, shall be filed for record by the city or county in the recorder’s office. The notice and map shall become a part of the official records of the county recorder upon its acceptance by him for filing. The filing for record of a notice of timberland production, together with a map and assessor’s parcel numbers describing the land, shall impart constructive notice thereof.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1489, Sec. 13.)

51118.
  

Land zoned as timberland production under this chapter shall be enforceably restricted within the meaning of Section 3(j) of Article XIII of the Constitution and the restriction shall be enforced and administered by the city or county in a manner to accomplish the purposes of that section and this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1489, Sec. 14.)

51119.
  

Any action of the board or council undertaken to zone a parcel as timberland production pursuant to Section 51112 or 51113 is exempt from the requirements of Section 21151 of the Public Resources Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1489, Sec. 15.)

51119.5.
  

Parcels zoned as timberland production under this chapter may not be divided into parcels containing less than 160 acres unless the original owner prepares a joint timber management plan prepared or approved as to content by a registered professional forester for the parcels to be created. The joint timber management plan shall provide for the management and harvesting of timber by the original and any subsequent owners, and shall be recorded with the county recorder as a deed restriction on all newly created parcels. The deed restriction shall run with the land rather than with the owners, and shall remain in force for a period of not less than 10 years from the date division is approved by the board or council. The division shall be approved only by a four-fifths vote of the full board or council, and only after recording of the deed restriction.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1489, Sec. 16.)

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