Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 10.2. AGRICULTURAL LAND STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM OF 1995 [10200 - 10277]

  ( Division 10.2 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 931, Sec. 1. )

CHAPTER 2. Agricultural Land Stewardship Program [10230 - 10246]
  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 931, Sec. 1. )

10230.
  

(a) (1) The California Farmland Conservancy Program Fund is hereby created.

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the moneys in the fund shall, upon appropriation by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act, be used for the purposes of the program, which include the purchase of agricultural conservation easements, fee title acquisition grants, land improvement and planning grants, technical assistance provided by the department, technology transfer activities of the department, and administrative costs incurred by the department in administering the program.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), moneys may be deposited into the fund from federal grants, and gifts and donations that are designated and required by the donor to be used exclusively for the purposes of the program, and notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, those moneys are hereby continuously appropriated to the department for expenditure for the purposes of this program.

(b) Not to exceed 10 percent of all grants made by the department pursuant to this division may be made for land improvement purposes and policy planning purposes. Not less than 90 percent of funds available for grants pursuant to this division shall be expended for the acquisition of interests in land.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 616, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2003.)

10230.5.
  

Policy planning grants may be awarded pursuant to criteria established by the department for purposes including, but not limited to, the development and evaluation of local or regional land conservation strategies and potential agricultural conservation easement or fee title acquisition projects.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 616, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2003.)

10231.
  

Money available from the fund shall be utilized in accordance with the expenditures and distribution authorized, required, or otherwise provided in the program for grants for the acquisition of agricultural conservation easements or fee title. This includes direct costs incidental to the acquisition, as determined by the department, including costs associated with a loss in property tax revenues resulting from the acquisition of those agricultural conservation easements. Direct costs paid to the applicant shall have been incurred after the complete application was submitted to the department and no more than 180 days before the execution of the grant agreement or during the grant term, and shall not exceed 10 percent of the value of the easements for which the costs were incurred.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 254, Sec. 5. Effective September 26, 2007.)

10231.5.
  

The department may accept donations of funds if the department is the designated beneficiary of the donation and it agrees to use the funds for purposes of the program in a county specified by the donor. Any donation made to the department pursuant to this section is subject to the requirements of Sections 11005 and 16302 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 503, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2000.)

10232.
  

The director shall not approve a grant if the local government requesting a grant has acquired, or proposes to acquire, the agricultural conservation easement through the use of eminent domain, unless requested by the owner of the land.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 931, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1996.)

10233.
  

Each application for a grant pursuant to this division shall contain a matching funding component, as specified in this section, and may be provided in the form of cash or in-kind services, or any combination thereof, as determined by the department.

(a) Each application for a grant for the purchase of an agricultural conservation easement shall contain a matching component of not less than 5 percent of the value of the grant or a landowner donation of not less than 10 percent of the appraised fair market value of the agricultural conservation easement. In situations where both matching funds and donations of easement value are being combined, the combined match shall be not less than 10 percent of the appraised fair market value of the agricultural conservation easement. Up to 50 percent of contributions to an agricultural conservation easement monitoring endowment for the subject property may be provided as a component of a qualified grant match under this division, as determined by the department.

(b) Each application for a planning or land improvement grant pursuant to Section 10230 shall contain a matching funding component of not less than 10 percent of the proposal’s total cost.

(c) Each application for a fee title acquisition grant shall contain a matching component of not less than 5 percent of the value of the grant.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 616, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 2003.)

10234.
  

Every applicant for a grant for the acquisition of fee title or an agricultural conservation easement shall provide by a resolution from the governing body of the local government in which the proposed project is located, and shall certify both of the following:

(a) The proposal meets the eligibility criteria set forth in Section 10251.

(b) The proposal has been approved by the appropriate local governmental governing body.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 616, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2003.)

10235.
  

(a) The director shall not disburse any grant funds until the applicant agrees that any agricultural conservation easement acquired shall be used by the applicant only for the purpose for which the funds were requested and that no other use, sale, or other disposition of the easement shall be permitted unless approved by the director, or where the easement may be transferred to a public agency or nonprofit organization, for management purposes.

(b) If a local government or nonprofit organization holding the easement is dissolved, it shall be transferred to an appropriate public agency or nonprofit organization, as provided in this division.

(c) The easement, or any of its terms, may only be amended with the consent of all of the necessary parties to the easement, including the landowner, the easement holder, and the director. The director shall determine that the amendment is not inconsistent with this section before it may be amended.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 616, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 2003.)

10235.5.
  

The department may establish a payment system for the purchase of an agricultural conservation easement that is mutually satisfactory to the department and the seller of the easement, provided that full payment for the easement is secured.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 503, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2000.)

10236.
  

If the funds are used for the acquisition of an agricultural conservation easement pursuant to a local transfer of development rights program, upon the sale of the easement and its attendant development rights, the entity that holds the easement shall reimburse the fund by an amount equal to the fair market value of the easement, as determined by an appraisal approved by the department.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 616, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2003.)

10237.
  

The director shall not disburse any grant funds for easement or fee title acquisitions unless the applicant, and in the case of an easement acquisition grant, the seller, agrees to restrict the use of the land in perpetuity, subject to review after 25 years.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 616, Sec. 11. Effective January 1, 2003.)

10238.
  

The director shall not disburse any grant funds to acquire agricultural conservation easements which restrict husbandry practices.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 931, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1996.)

10239.
  

The director shall disburse funds to an applicant for a grant for the acquisition of fee title to agricultural land only if the applicant agrees to all of the following conditions:

(a) Upon acquisition of the property, treat the property as encumbered by an agricultural conservation easement subject to this division and approved by the department.

(b) Sell the fee title subject to an agricultural conservation easement approved by the department to a private landowner within three years of the acquisition of the fee title.

(c) Reimburse the fund directly from escrow within 30 days after the sale of the restricted fee title by an amount equal to the department’s proportional share of the net proceeds of the sale.

(1) The “net proceeds of the sale” is defined as the fair market value of the land less the value of the easement and associated transaction costs.

(2) The department’s proportional share of the net proceeds of the sale shall be calculated using a factor reflecting the department’s proportional share of the purchase price paid by the applicant in the original acquisition of fee title, taking into account contributions from all sources toward that original purchase price.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 254, Sec. 6. Effective September 26, 2007.)

10240.
  

(a) The department shall adopt rules and regulations for the implementation of this division.

(b) Rules or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to this section shall be adopted in accordance with the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 616, Sec. 13. Effective January 1, 2003.)

10241.
  

The department shall adopt the criteria necessary for its approval of grant applications.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 616, Sec. 14. Effective January 1, 2003.)

10242.
  

The director shall review, and approve or disapprove, grant applications from applicants for the acquisition of agricultural conservation easements on agricultural land or the acquisition of fee title to agricultural land pursuant to Section 10239.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 503, Sec. 15. Effective January 1, 2000.)

10243.
  

The department shall allocate available state funds to applicants for the acquisition of agricultural conservation easements. However, no governmental agency shall condition the issuance of an entitlement to use on a landowner’s granting of a fee interest or less than a fee interest in property pursuant to this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 503, Sec. 16. Effective January 1, 2000.)

10244.
  

To be eligible to receive funds pursuant to this division for the acquisition of either agricultural conservation easements or fee title interests, qualified applicants shall submit to the department documentation of the applicable local government’s adopted general plan that demonstrates a long-term commitment to agriculture and agricultural land conservation, including a summary of goals, objectives, and policies and implementation measures that support that commitment.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 616, Sec. 15. Effective January 1, 2003.)

10245.
  

The program shall reimburse any school district which requests reimbursement for any net loss of property tax revenues occurring as a result of the program.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 931, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1996.)

10246.
  

Grants may be made for land improvements. Use of these grants shall be limited to the improvement of lands protected by agricultural conservation easements under the program, or of lands protected by other qualified conservation easement programs, if the improvement will directly benefit the lands protected by agricultural conservation easements under the program. An application for a land improvement grant shall be evaluated with respect to the extent to which it satisfies one or more of the following criteria:

(a) The improvement will enhance the agricultural value of the land protected by the easement, and promote its long-term sustainable agricultural use such as water supply development and revegetation of eroding streambanks.

(b) The improvement will increase the compatibility of agricultural operations with sensitive natural areas.

(c) The improvement will demonstrate new and innovative best management practices which have the potential for wide application.

(d) The proposed improvement includes the financial and technical involvement of other agencies, such as resource conservation districts, the Wildlife Conservation Board, the United States Farm Services Agency, and the United States Natural Resources Conservation Service.

(e) The improvement is part of a coordinated watershed management plan or the equivalent.

(f) The application satisfies other relevant criteria established by the department.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 616, Sec. 16. Effective January 1, 2003.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC