BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 551
                                                                  Page  1

          AB 551 (Ting)
          As Amended  May 24, 2013
          Majority vote 

           AGRICULTURE             7-0     LOCAL GOVERNMENT          7-0   
          |Ayes:|Eggman, Olsen, Atkins,    |Ayes:|Achadjian, Levine, Alejo, |
          |     |Dahle, Pan, Quirk, Yamada |     |Bradford, Mullin,         |
          |     |                          |     |Waldron, Stone            |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           APPROPRIATIONS         17-0                                     
          |Ayes:|Gatto, Harkey, Bigelow,   |     |                          |
          |     |Bocanegra, Bradford, Ian  |     |                          |
          |     |Calderon, Campos,         |     |                          |
          |     |Donnelly, Eggman, Gomez,  |     |                          |
          |     |Hall, Ammiano, Linder,    |     |                          |
          |     |Pan, Quirk, Wagner, Weber |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           SUMMARY  :  Allows a county or a city and county (county) to  
          establish by ordinance an Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone for  
          the purpose of supporting urban agriculture.  Specifically,  this  
          bill  :  

          1)Defines Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones (UAIZ) as an area  
            within a county that is comprised of individual properties  
            designated by the county as an agricultural preserve for  

          2)Allows a county, after a public meeting, to establish a UAIZ  
            by ordinance to enter into voluntary enforceable agreements  
            with landowners for the use of specified lands for small scale  
            commercial agriculture production. 

          3)Allows a county, after adopting a UAIZ ordnance, to enter into  
            contracts with landowners to enforceably restrict the contract  
            lands to uses consistent with urban agriculture, as specified.


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          4)Requires that in a tax assessment of UAIZ contracts  
            properties, assessors must consider the enforceable  
            restrictions that affect land valuation.

          5) Adds UAIZ contracted lands as an enforceable restriction that  
            affects land valuation, which assessors are required to  

          6)Prohibits a county's UAIZ within a city's limits or zone of  
            influence, unless the city has adopted an ordinance allowing a  
            UAIZ within the city's jurisdiction.

           EXISTING LAW  :  

          1)Authorizes cities and counties to enter into agricultural land  
            preservation contracts with landowners who agree to restrict  
            the use of their land for a minimum of 10 years in exchange  
            for lower-assessed valuations for property tax purposes.

          2)Requires a county assessor to consider, when valuing real  
            property for property taxation purposes, the effect of any  
            enforceable restrictions upon the property.  These  
            restrictions include, but are not limited to, zoning,  
            contracts with governmental agencies, and various other  
            restrictions imposed by governments.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, the loss of revenue to the General Fund could be  
          anywhere from several hundred thousand dollars to millions of  
          dollars per year.

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, many properties in urban  
          areas lie undeveloped for many years due to various reasons.   
          These properties can blight the surrounding neighborhood.  This  
          bill seeks to create an incentive for the owners of these  
          properties to use their properties for urban agriculture in  
          order to create a green space and a local food source for the  

          Supporters state that this bill, by reducing the landowner's  
          property tax rate, property owners may be encouraged to convert  
          the land to an urban agricultural use.  The reduced tax rate  
          could serve as an incentive to lease the land for urban  


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          agriculture rather than leaving the property unused.

          A recent report by Policy Link identified a growth in urban  
          communities across America in which urban agriculture is taking  
          root as an inventive solution to increase access to healthy  
          food. The report also stated that urban agriculture is helping  
          to revitalize the economic and social health of communities.  
          This bill will further aid that growth.

          Supporters state that the opt-in approach taken by this bill  
          offers a conservative way to help expand urban agriculture  
          across the state.  This bill will act as another tool in the box  
          for counties who are looking to create open space and small  
          scale economic opportunities in their jurisdiction.  

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Victor Francovich / AGRI. / (916)  

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