Legislative Amendments

The Department of Conservation's Division of Land Resource Protection provides a summary of legislative changes affecting the Williamson Act over time. Several of the legislative changes listed below may have been superceded or may no longer be applicable. Always review the adopted Williamson Act Government Code to determine current application of the Act.

Effective January 1, 2023

Senate Bill 1489
Chapter 427 Local Government Omnibus Act of 2022:
This bill re-established the ablility for local governments to create Solar Use Easements from Williamson Act contracts. The provision began with Senate Bill 618 adopted in 2012 that sunset in 2020. ​​

Effective January 1, 2022

Senate Bill 574
(Laird), Chapter 644 Statutes of 2021:
This bill narrows the role of the Department of Conservation in administering the Williamson Act. A summary of amendments has been prepared in a seperate document for a comprehensive reference of these changes.

Effective January 1, 2020

Senate Bill 527
(Caballero), Chapter 273 Statutes of 2019:
Provides that industrial hemp, cultivated in accordance with specified law, is an agricultural commodity for these purposes.

Senate Bill 780
(Senators McGuire (Chair), Beall, Hertzberg, Hurtado, Moorlach, Nielsen, and Wiener)
Chapter 329 Statutes of 2019:
Eliminates the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Agency approval when a Williamson Act contract is rescinded and placed into an agricultural conservation easement.

Effective January 1, 2018

Senate Bill 732
Stern, Chapter 434 Statutes of 2017:
Specifies use of funding to duties of the department related to open-space lands

Senate Bill 854
Stern, Chapter 51 Statutes of 2018 effective immediately:
Increases the amount of funds deposited to the Soil Conservation Fund not to exceed $5,000,000 annually.

Effective January 1, 2017

Assembly Bill 1894
Chapter 260, Statutes of 2016:
Changes the circumstance under which the Department of Conservation is required to provide preliminary valuation of a contract cancellation fee.

Effective January 1, 2016

Assembly Bill 707

(Wood) Chapter 631, Statutes of 2015:
Established a comment period when the Department and a Landowner negotiate a cancellation fee when the contract includes an additional cancellation fee.​

Senate Bill 803
Chapter 454, Statutes of 2015​:
Modified taxation provisions to clarify or correct cross-references relating to the valuation of prime agriculture land and land devoted to open-space uses of statewide significance.

Effective January 1, 2015

Assembly Bill 2241
Chapter 582, Statutes of 2014:
Established a new fee formula for Solar Use easment until January 1, 2020.  The provision for forming Solar Use Easements from Williamson Act contracted land expired in January 2020.

Senate Bill 1353
Chapter 322, Statutes of 2014:
Made permanent the option for participating jurisdictions to recapture portions of foregone tax revenue.

Effective January 1, 2013

Assembly Bill 2680
Chapter 128, Statutes of 2012:
Made permanent the statute requirements for lot line adjustments. No more sunset dates.

Effective January 1, 2012

Assembly Bill 1265
Chapter 90, Statutes of 2011​:
Renewed option for participating jurisdictions to recapture portions of foregone tax revenue.

Senate Bill 618
Chapter 596, Statutes of 2011:
Solar-use easements

Effective January 1, 2011

Assembly Bill 2530 
(Nielson) Chapter 391, Statutes of 2010:
Option for participating jurisdictions to re-capture portions of foregone tax revenue
(Expired 2015)

Assembly Bill 1965
(Yamada), Chapter 60, Statutes of 2010:
Lot line adjustments extension to 2013

Effective January 1, 2010

Senate Bill 671
(Runner), Chapter 358, Statutes of 2009:
Cancellation valuations

Assembly Bill 1441
(Galgiani (Chair), Tom Berryhill (Vice Chair), Arambula, Conway, Fuller, Ma, and Mendoza), Chapter 148, Statutes of 2009:
Lot line adjustments extension to 2011

Assembly Bill 1 Section 541
Chapter 1, Statutes of 2009:
Budget implementation reducing open space subvention funds

Effective January 1, 2009

Assembly Bill 1764
(Blakeslee), Chapter 136, Statutes of 2008:
Agricultural Commodities and Open Space definition

Assembly Bill 1389
Chapter 751, Statutes of 2008:
Budget implementation - reduced the fiscal year 2008-09 Open Space Subvention Act Entitlement Amounts by 10%.

Assembly Bill 2921
(Laird), Chapter 503, Statutes of 2008:
Development definition, Open Space Easements, Material Breach of Contract, Easement Exchanges, Lot Line adjustments

Effective January 1, 2007

Assembly Bill 797
(Wolk), Chapter 547, Statutes of 2006:
Easement exchanges in the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta area

Effective January 1, 2006

Assembly Bill 365
(Salinas), Chapter 605, Statutes of 2005:
Greenhouse Status under Williamson Act

Senate Bill 49
(Machado), Chapter 245, Statutes of 2005:
Assessor Review of Property Valuation


Effective January 1, 2005

Senate Bill 1820
(Machado), Chapter 794, Statutes of 2004:
Current Fair Market Valuation for Cancellation Fee Determination and Review


Effective January 1, 2004

Assembly Bill 1492
(Laird), Chapter 694, Statutes of 2003:
Material Breach; Lot Line Adjustments

Effective January 1, 2003

Assembly Bill 1997
(Thomson), Chapter 613, Statutes of 2002:
Open-Space Conservation and Agricultural Easements
Assembly Bill 137
(Reyes), Chapter 188, Statutes of 2002:
Williamson Act Contract Protest: Record of Filing
Senate Bill 1515
(Machado), Chapter 174, Statutes of 2002:
Mello-Roos Community Facilities District

Senate Bill 1864
(Costa), Chapter 616, Statutes 2002:
Lot Line Adjustments

Assembly Bill 2370
(Thomson), Chapter 614, Statutes of 2002:
Local Agency Formation Commission, Sphere of Influence


Effective January 1, 2002

Senate Bill 497
(Sher), Chapter 873, Statutes of 2000:
Lot Line Adjustments


Effective January 1, 2001

Assembly Bill 1944
(Wayne), Chapter 889, Statutes of 2000:
Williamson Act Contract Cancellation Compatible Uses

Assembly Bill 2838
(Hertzberg), Chapter 761, Statutes of 2000:
Local Agency Formation Commissions

Senate Bill 2204
(Soto), Chapter 431, Statutes of 2000:
Agricultural Conservation Easements in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties

Assembly Bill 2698
(Florez), Chapter 1045, Statutes of 2000:
Proceeding to Contest Certain Contract Cancellations in Kern County

Effective January 1, 2000

Senate Bill 649
(Costa), Chapter 1019, Statutes of 1999:
Open Space Subvention Funds for Farmland Security Zones; Cancellation Provisions for Farmland Security Zones   

Senate Bill 985
(Johnston), Chapter 1018, Statutes of 1999:
“Recreational Use” definition; Agricultural Preserves; Public Acquisitions; General Plan Consistency; Rescind contract for entry into an easement;  Lot line adjustment findings;

Assembly Bill 1505
(Ducheny), Chapter 967, Statutes of 1999:
Subdividing Williamson Act Contracted Land for agricultural labor housing