Williamson Conservation Act

Frequently Asked Questions:

These questions and answers are offered to provide basic information about the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 (also known as the Williamson Act or Ag Preserve), as amended, and certain Revenue & Taxation Code provisions that relate to the valuation of land subject to contracts under the Act.
Because the requirements of the program may be altered at any time by actions of the Board of Supervisors or the State Legislature, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided in this document. As a result, you should do your own research to make sound business decisions.
If you are considering contracting with the county, you should consult with your attorney, tax consultant or legal advisor prior to executing any contract.
  • Are there any zoning requirements?
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  • Can land under a contract be transferred or sold?
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  • Can the property owner cancel the contract?
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  • How many acres are required for an agricultural preserve?
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  • If an owner enters into a contract, how will the Assessor then value the property under contract?
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  • Must lien holders and mortgagors sign the contract?
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  • On a property under contract, are home sites, residences and farm improvements such as barns, pumps and fences, valued using the same method as the land?
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  • Once an agreement is signed, does the landowner have to continually maintain agricultural use in order to keep the agreement valid?
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  • Once I enter into an LCA contract with the county, when will its new restricted value first be reflected in my property tax assessments?
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  • What are the land uses permitted within an agricultural preserve?
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  • What happens in the event that the owner fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the contract?
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  • What happens to the agreement in the event of an eminent domain action for condemnation?
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  • What is a land conservation contract?
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  • What is an agricultural preserve?
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  • What is nonrenewal?
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  • What is the effect of nonrenewal?
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  • What is the minimum term of a land conservation contract?
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  • What is the Williamson Land Conservation Act?
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  • What limitations on land use are imposed by the agreement?
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  • Where can I get more information about the Williamson Land Conservation Act and Williamson contracts?
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