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File #: 18-1425    Version: 1
Type: Agenda Item Status: Approved
File created: 9/10/2018 In control: Board of Supervisors
On agenda: 11/20/2018 Final action: 11/20/2018
Title: Agriculture Department recommending the Board consider providing direction to staff, pursuant to Board Policy A-3, to proceed with establishing an ordinance that supports an Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. (Est. Time: 15 Min.) Continued from 12/12/18 FUNDING: Voluntary easement donations by property owners requesting General Plan amendments or rezones from agricultural to non-agricultural zones, voluntary donations, grants.
Attachments: 1. A - 18-1425 A GENERAL PLAN, 2. B - 18-1425 B Power Point
Related files: 21-1514
Title
Agriculture Department recommending the Board consider providing direction to staff, pursuant to Board Policy A-3, to proceed with establishing an ordinance that supports an Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. (Est. Time: 15 Min.) Continued from 12/12/18

FUNDING: Voluntary easement donations by property owners requesting General Plan amendments or rezones from agricultural to non-agricultural zones, voluntary donations, grants.
Body
DISCUSSION / BACKGROUND
The General Plan lists multiple objectives for the conservation and protection of grazing lands and other agricultural lands. Policy 8.2.4.1 states “Programs shall be developed that provide tax benefits and enhance competitive capabilities of farms and ranches thereby ensuring long-term conservation, enhancement, and expansion of viable agricultural lands. Examples of programs include but are not limited to, the following”:
A. Support and allow private organizations to utilize conservation easements or other appropriate techniques to voluntarily restrict land to agricultural uses only.
B. Continued use of Williamson Act Contracts (agricultural preserves).
C. Formation of land trusts to preserve agricultural lands.
D. Make available voluntary purchase or transfer of development rights from agricultural areas to appropriate non-agricultural areas.
El Dorado County has established various protections for agricultural lands such as; the General Plan Agricultural District overlay with minimum parcel sizes, the Agricultural Zones, Right to Farm, Ranch Marketing, Wineries, and Agricultural Preserves (Williamson Act) sections of the Zoning Ordinance. Even with these protections the California Department of Conservation’s Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program continues to show conversions of farm and grazing lands to urban uses in the county.
Urban development next to agricultural lands indirectly reduces the agricul...

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