California Land Conservation "Williamson Act" and Farmland Security Zone
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.
In general, each Land Conservation Contract (Williamson Act Contract) or Farmland Security Zone Contract provides that property in an Agricultural Preserve or Farmland Security Zone may only be used by the owner, or their successors, for the production of agricultural products for commercial purposes and those related uses established in the Uniform Rules of the Preserves in Kings County found in Appendix A of this Procedure Manual. In addition, the life term of a Land Conservation Contract cannot be less than ten (10) years (Section 51244). Farmland Security Zone Contracts cannot be less than twenty (20) years (Section 51296.1(d)). Both types of contracts automatically renew for one additional year on the 1st of January of each year. The automatic renewal will continue indefinitely unless a notice of non-renewal is filed.
Ag Preserve Links:
- Implementation Procedures
- Williamson Act / Farmland Security Zone Map
- Landowner's Statement of Compliance
- Non-Renewal Application Form
For information about the property tax assessments and potential tax savings, please contact the Kings County Assessor’s Office at (559) 852-2486. The Kings County Community Development Agency – Planning Division administers the Land Conservation and Farmland Security Zone program but does not assess property.