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California Bill Number: AB 551 – ‘Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act’

bill551

The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the public interest to promote sustainable urban farm enterprise sectors in urban centers.

The Legislature further finds and declares the small-scale, active production of marketable crops and animal husbandry, including, but not limited to, foods, flowers, and seedlings, in urban centers is consistent with, and furthers, the purposes of this act.

Excerpts:

This bill would enact the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act and would authorize, under specified conditions and until January 1, 2019, a city, county, or city and county and a landowner to enter into a contract to enforceably restrict the use of vacant, unimproved, or otherwise blighted lands for small-scale production of agricultural crops and animal husbandry.

The bill would require a contract entered into pursuant to these provisions to, among other things, be for a term of no less than 5 years and to enforceably restrict property that is at least 0.10 acres in size.

This bill would require the county assessor to value property that is enforceably restricted by a contract entered into pursuant to the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act at the rate based on the average per-acre value of irrigated cropland in California, adjusted proportionally to reflect the acreage of the property under contract, as most recently published by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. The bill would also require the State Board of Equalization to post the per-acre land value as published by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the United States Department of Agriculture on its Internet Web site within 30 days of publication, and to provide the rate to county assessors no later than January 1 of each assessment year.

Read the complete document here.