​​​​​​Land Conservation (Williamson) Act

Legislative Amendments

​effective January 1, 2010 through January 1, 2012


Assembly Bill 1265 (Statutes of 2011, Chapter 90)

AB 1265 reinstated the relevant Williamson Act, Revenue & Tax Code, and Open Space Subvention Act provisions found in SB 863. Similar to SB 863, AB 1265 allowed eligible counties to re-capture a portion of the property tax benefits provided to their owners of Williamson Act lands. However, AB 1265 did not reinstate the $10 million subvention to counties that participated in the Williamson Act.

AB 1265 - Advisory Statement (PDF)

Senate Bill 618 (Statutes of 2011, Chapter 596)

SB 618 authorized the parties to a Williamson Act contract (city or county and landowners), after approval by the Department of Conservation, in consultation with the Department of Food and Agriculture, to mutually agree to rescind the contract in order to simultaneously enter into a solar-use easement that would require that the land be used for solar photovoltaic facilities for a term no less than 20 years, except as specified.  One of the key circumstances is the siting of solar photovoltaic facilities on agricultural lands that are marginally productive or that have become contaminated by natural or other causes. 

Senate Bill 863 (Statutes of 2010, Chapter 722, and Budget Impletmentation)

SB 863 was a budget trailer bill that replaced Assembly Bill 2530 (Chapter 391, Statutes of 2010).  The goal of both SB 863 and AB 2530 was to provide counties an alternative to exiting the Williamson Act by allowing them to re-capture a portion of their foregone property tax revenues due to their participation in the Williamson Act program. Additionally, SB 863 provided a one-time, $10 million subvention to counties that participated in the Williamson Act.

Senate Bill 80 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review): Existing law (SB 863) appropriated $10 million from the General Fund to the Controller to make subvention payments to counties under the Williamson Act, as specified, for FY 2010.  SB 80 reduced this appropriation to zero.

Senate Bill 671 (Statutes of 2009, Chapter 358)

Existing law required the county assessor to assess current fair market valuations to determine the cancellation fee for removing land from a Williamson Act contract.  Existing law permitted the Department of Conservation or the landowner, if either believed that the current fair market valuations were inaccurate, to request formal review from the county assessor in the county considering the cancellation petition, and authorized the assessor to recover his or her reasonable costs of the formal review from the party requesting the review, as specified.

This bill authorized the assessor to require a deposit from the landowner to cover the contingency that payment of a cancellation fee would not necessarily result from the completion of a formal review, as specified.

Assembly Bill 1441 (Statutes of 2009, Chapter 148)

Existing law authorized a city or county and a landowner to agree to rescind a contract or contracts and simultaneously enter into a new contract or contracts to facilitate lot line adjustments.  This bill extended this authorization to January 1, 2011.

Assembly Bill X-4 (Statutes of 2009, Chapter 1)

Total fiscal year 2009-10 Open Space Subvention Act Entitlement Amounts were limited to a combined total of $1,000 for all participating counties.