The Williamson Act -- also known as the California Land Conservation Act of 1965--enables local governments to enter into contracts with private landowners for the purpose of restricting specific parcels of land to agricultural or related open space use. In return, landowners receive property tax assessments which are much lower than normal because they are based upon farming and open space uses as opposed to full market value.
State funding was provided in 1971 by the Open Space Subvention Act, which created a formula for allocating annual payments to local governments based on acreage enrolled in the Williamson Act Program. Subvention payments were made through FY 2009, but have been suspended in more recent years due to revenue shortfalls.
Open Space Subvention Act Survey
- Now Available
The 2018 Survey of Participation in the Land Conservation Act and Open Space Subvention Act (OSSA) is now available. Please go to the
Open Space Subvention Act page to obtain the survey forms and for further information on the reporting requirements.