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File #: 19-1782    Version: 1
Type: Agenda Item Status: Approved
File created: 11/25/2019 In control: Board of Supervisors
On agenda: 6/23/2020 Final action: 6/23/2020
Title: Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures recommending the Board adopt and authorize the Chair to sign Resolution 104-2020 establishing protocol for a Conservation Easement Program for El Dorado County.
Attachments: 1. A - Counsel Approval, 2. B - CONSERVATION EASEMENT PLAN, 3. C - RESOLUTION FOR CONSERVATION EASEMENT PLAN, 4. D - DRAFT PROPOSAL EDC FOUNDATION, 5. Executed Resolution 104-2020
Title
Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures recommending the Board adopt and authorize the Chair to sign Resolution 104-2020 establishing protocol for a Conservation Easement Program for El Dorado County.
Body
DISCUSSION / BACKGROUND
An Agricultural Conservation Easement program is another tool that can protect farm and grazing lands. The program involves the voluntary purchase or donation of development rights from willing landowners to public agencies or nonprofit organizations such as a land trust. The easement can be tailored to meet conservation objectives and allows farming/ranching to continue. It is a deed restriction that runs with the land in perpetuity. Easement prices are established by an appraiser with the expertise to segregate the value of the development rights. Voluntary funds collected from property owners or developers requesting General Plan Amendments can be held in a trust by the public agency or transferred to a nonprofit like the Community Foundation. A draft of such an agreement is attached to the item. Should the Board approve the Resolution, staff will bring forward a finalized agreement for Board consideration.
The funds would be held until a willing seller with property that meets the County’s conservation objectives (number of acres, adequate water supply, soils, etc.) is available. The public agency or land trust would monitor and enforce the restrictions set forth in the easement agreement.
Agricultural Conservation Easement benefits include:
? Keeping families on their farms by easing the intergenerational transfer of property
? Keeping land in farming or ranching uses
? Increased access to capital for agricultural uses by property owners
? Undeveloped grazing lands cost less in public services
? Can contribute to watershed or oak woodland protections

El Dorado County has established various protections...

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