The Santa Barbara County Uniform Rules for Agricultural Preserves and Farmland Security Zones (referred to as "Uniform Rules") are the set of rules the County uses to implement the Agricultural Preserve program, established by the California Land Conservation Act of 1965, also known as the Williamson Act. The Williamson Act, 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 may be lower than normal because they are based upon farming and open space uses as opposed to full market value.
The Uniform Rules define eligibility requirements and qualifying uses that each participating landowner must follow in order to receive a reduced property tax assessment under the Williamson Act. Often the Uniform Rules are more restrictive than the underlying agricultural zoning requirements. The County of Santa Barbara's Agricultural Preserve program has a high level of participation, covering approximately 550,000 acres, representing approximately 75% of all privately held agricultural lands in the County.
2020 Agricultural Preserve Contract Information - Find contract information by Owner, Assessor Parcel Number, or Agricultural Preserve Contract Number
California Department of Conservation - More information on the Williamson Act (Land Conservation Act)