Senate Bill 574 (2021), effective January 1, 2022, impacts several administrative processes involving the Williamson Act. This page has been updated to reflect changes to the public acquisition process. For a general overview of all changes to the Williamson Act, see the SB 574 Summary Sheet.
The Williamson Act's requirements for public acquisitions are covered in sections 51290 - 51295 of the California Government Code.
SB 574 eliminates the Department's role in receiving notice and providing comments on intended public acquisitions involving Williamson Act land. The public agency exercising eminent domain must still make the findings required by Government Code Section 51292 and notify the city or county of the public acquisition.
The Department recommends all public agencies work closely with the local county or city to ensure appropriate action is taken to either remove or comply with the existing Williamson Act contract(s). The Department further recommends the public agency work with their own legal counsel to ensure appropriate eminent domain/in lieu of eminent domain procedures are followed. If appropriate eminent domain action is not taken, the contract will remain and the public agency will be required to comply with the contract unless removed through other means such as nonrenewal, cancellation, or easement exchange.
For additional information on the Williamson Act public acquisitions notification process, please refer to: Public Acquisition Notification Procedures - A Step by Step Guide (PDF).
If you have any inquiries, please contact us for assistance.