An act to amend Sections 10201 10202 10212 10213 10223 10224 10230 10235 10237 10239 10246 10251 10252 10255 and 10262 of to amend the heading of Division 10.2 (commencing with Section 10200) of to amend the heading of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 10230) of Division 10.2 of to add Sections 10213.5 10215.3 10215.5 10221.5 10223.5 and 10231.3 of to repeal Sections 10234 and 10244 of and to repeal Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 10270) of Division 10.2 of the Public Resources Code relating to agricultural land.
This bill modifies the California Farmland Conservancy Program in the following ways:
- Provides additional grants for technical assistance and acquisition assistance to eligible entities for the sole purpose of reducing barriers to land access for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
- Directs that not less than 25% of the program funds must go to applicants that lease or sell to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
- Allows the University of California Cooperative Extension and California Native American tribes to participate in the program.
- Removes the requirement to obtain local government approval of a proposed project and the requirement that the local government have a plan demonstrating long-term commitment to agriculture.
- Removes provisions relating to the termination of an agricultural conservation easement.
- Defines “farmer-purchaser preference” and “option to purchase at agricultural value”. It requires that grants for a fee acquisition include a farmer-purchaser preference in the text of the agricultural conservation easement used to encumber the property. Land in fee acquired using grant funds must either be sold at agricultural value or placed in a long-term affordable lease to a socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher with a productivity provision.
- Removes the requirement that the land be in an area “that possesses the necessary market, infrastructure, and agricultural support services, and the surrounding parcel sizes and land uses will support long-term commercial agricultural production,” and have risk of conversion to non-agricultural uses.
- Revises the selection criteria for an agricultural conservation easement or fee title acquisition to include whether the proposal reduces barriers to land access for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers through ownership or long-term leases.
- Removes the language that prevents easements from prohibiting oil and gas leases and licenses on the property, and instead treats oil and gas like other utility rights-of-way.