General Plans, Ordinances & Policies
Williamson Act Program
The California Land Conservation Act of 1965--commonly referred to as the Williamson Act--enables local governments to enter into contracts with private landowners for the purpose of preserving land for agricultural use. In return, landowners receive reduced property tax assessments because the assessments are based on agricultural and open space uses instead of the full market value.
In July of 2006, the California Department of Conservation (DOC) completed an audit of Alameda County's Williamson Act program. The audit analyzed the County's Williamson Act Uniform Rules and Procedures for conformance with State law and current interpretations of the Williamson Act. The State determined that several areas of the County's current program needed to be revised. On October 11, 2011, after many public meetings before the County Agricultural Advisory Committee and the Planning Commission, the Board of Supervisors adopted revised Uniform Rules and Procedures. These new documents identify specific steps for processing new and modified Williamson Act contracts and establish standards for development on Williamson Act lands. The goal of the revised documents is to balance state statutory requirements with the needs and interests of the County's agricultural community.
The following documents are provided in Portable Document Format (PDF) and require the free Adobe Reader.
- Uniform Rules Cover (PDF - 180 KB)
- Uniform Rules Table of Contents (PDF - 136 KB)
- Uniform Rules Introduction (PDF - 95 KB)
- Uniform Rule 1 Agriculture (PDF - 175 KB)
- Uniform Rule 2 Compatible Uses (PDF - 249 KB)
- Uniform Rule 2 Compatible Use Table 1 - "A" District (PDF - 123 KB)
- Uniform Rule 2 Compatible Use Table 2 - "CA" District (PDF - 122 KB)
- Uniform Rule 3 Open Space (PDF - 123 KB)
- Uniform Rule 4 Recreation (PDF - 116 KB)
- Uniform Rule 5 Administration (PDF - 138 KB)
- Uniform Rules Appendices (PDF - 3778 KB)
Liz McElligott, Assistant Planning Director, Planning Department
Phone: (510) 670-5400
To obtain forms to apply for a Williamson Act contract or to non-renew a contract please go to: http://www.acgov.org/clerk/forms.htm.
For more information about the Williamson Act Program please go to the California Department of Conservation website at: http://www.conservation.ca.gov/dlrp/lca/Pages/Index.aspx.