ESP 179- Winter 2013 Land Use-Ag-Recreation January 29, 2013 Instructor: Trevor Macenski
Assignments ISMND Assignment Who doesn’t have a group? Contact Kevin Fang- Class TA Group Leaders- Contact Kevin Project packets- To be provided once group established Threshold Evaluation Matrix Any questions?
Lecture Outline Review CEQA Checklist Questions Land Use Agriculture Recreation Impact Analysis Approach Sample Discussion and Analysis
Land Use & General Plans General Plan- Each City and County must have a General Plan – Gov’t Code § 65300 et seq. Mandatory elements: Land Use, Circulation (Traffic & Utilities), Housing (state mandated affordable housing program), Conservation (natural resources), Open Space,Noise, Safety Optional Elements: Common optional elements are Air Quality and Historic Resources Preservation All Land Use Actions (and public works decisions) must be consistent with the General Plan
CA GP Resources State maintains a database of General Plans: http://ceres.ca.gov/planning/plans/city_genpla
Land Use & Specific Plans Specific Plans- are authorized by Gov’t Code § 65450 et seq. Must be consistent with General Plan Can be plan-like, ordinance-like, or a blend of the two Commonly used to tailor land use requirements for a particular subdivision or planning area (such as an historic old town or a redevelopment area)
Land Use and Zoning Zoning Ordinances are authorized by Gov’t Code § 65850 et seq. Typically divide city or county into use districts, such as single-family residential, multifamily residential, commercial, industrial, etc. This approach is called “Euclidian zoning” after Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co. (1926) 47 S.Ct. 114. Modern zoning devices: Mixed-use districts, planned unit developments, and specific plans. Allow more flexibility in mixing uses within a site Typically divide uses of land into expressly permitted uses, which require no discretionary approval (although a building permit or other ministerial approval is typically required)
Land Use and Zoning Variances allow exceptions to zoning laws to account for unique circumstances of a property, such as an odd shape. In addition to findings required by ordinance, state law specifies findings to be made. Gov’t Code § 65906. Many other discretionary permits are created by local ordinance and commonly include condition use permits (CUPs), unclassified use permits, use permits, standards modifications, and a hundred other names specified by each local ordinance.
Land Use and Redevelopment Redevelopment is authorized by the Community Redevelopment Law, Health & Safety Code § 33000 et seq. It is intended to eliminate blight by encouraging reuse of property in need of redevelopment. It is mentioned here because property within a redevelopment project area must also comply with the land use requirements of the redevelopment plan. Modern plans cross-reference the General Plan, allowing easy compliance with both. Older plans have stand-alone rules than can conflict with the General Plan and zoning ordinance.
Land Use Subdivision Map Act Subdivision Map Act – Government Code § 66410 et seq. Regulates the division and redivision of land into separate parcels for lease, sale or financing. This is a complex process subject to a host of statutory and case law. Common approvals are: subdivision maps (which create 5 or more parcels) parcel maps (which create four or fewer parcels) lot line adjustments (which affect fewer than 4 parcels)
Policy Consistency Analysis Compare project characteristics to applicable plans and their policies: General Plan Specific Plan Habitat Conservation Plan Regional Transportation Plan Bicycle Plans Bay Plan Sample Analyses: Air Quality Policy Analysis San Francisco Bay Plan General Plan and Specific Plan
Land Use – Checklist Questions Projects that have large cut and fill. Redirecting water. Projects that have increase impervious surfaces.
Farmland Classifications The California Department of Conservation Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program (FMMP) classifies cultivated agricultural land into four categories: Prime Farmland: Land with the best combination of physical and chemical features able to sustain the long-term production of agricultural crops. These lands have the soil quality, growing season, and moisture supply needed to produce sustained high yields. Unique Farmland: Land of lesser-quality soils used for the production of the State’s leading agricultural crops. This land is usually irrigated but may include non-irrigated orchards or vineyards, as found in some climactic zones in California. Farmland of Statewide Importance: Land similar to Prime Farmland but with minor shortcomings, such as greater slopes or less ability to hold and store moisture. Farmland of Local Importance: Land of importance in the local agricultural economy, as determined by each county’s Board of Supervisors and a local advisory committee.
Farmland Data California Prime and Statewide Soils The modern soil surveys that are the basis for FMMPs qualitative soil ratings range in age, scale, and coverage. Each includes a large volume of information on the potential uses and limitations of soils in a given region. Soils Information
FMMP Criteria To qualify as Prime or Farmland of Statewide Importance: Land Use: Irrigated agricultural production at some time during the four years. Soil: Must meet physical and chemical criteria as determined by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS): Water moisture, available water, and developed water supply Soil temperature range Acid-alkali balance Water table Soil sodium content Flooding (uncontrolled runoff from natural precipitation) Erodibility Permeability rate Rock fragment content Soil rooting depth
California Land Conservation Act Williamson Act (1965) Preserve agricultural Preserve open space lands Discourage premature and unnecessary conversion to urban uses. How does it work? Private landowners contract with counties and cities to voluntarily restrict their land to agricultural and compatible open-space uses. The vehicle for these agreements is a rolling term 10- year contract (i.e.unless either party files a "notice of nonrenewal," Contracts are automatically renewed for an additional year. In return, restricted parcels are assessed for property tax purposes at a rate consistent with their actual use, rather then potential market value.
Farmland Security Zones FSZ: is an area created within an agricultural preserve* by a board of supervisors (board) upon request by a landowner or group of landowners. Agricultural preserve: the boundary of an area within which a city or county will enter into Williamson Act contracts with landowners. Benefits to landowners? Farmland security zones offer landowners greater property tax reduction. Land restricted by a FSZ contract is valued for property assessment purposes at 65% of its Williamson Act valuation, or 65% of its Proposition 13 valuation, whichever is lower. It is a contract between a private landowner and a county that enforceably restricts land to agricultural or open space uses. The minimum initial term is 20 years.
To provide methodology to assess Ag. Impacts quantitatively and consistently considered in the environmental reviewLESA Model process. Land Evaluation & Site Assessment Model (LESA): Point- based approach for rating the relative importance of agricultural land resources Evaluates: Soil resource quality A given project’s size Water resource availability Surrounding agricultural lands Surrounding protected resource lands. Factors are rated, weighted, and combined, resulting in a single numeric score. The project score becomes the basis for making a determination of a project’s potential significance. The LESA Manual, produced in 1997, provides detailed instructions on how to utilize the California LESA Model, and includes worksheets for applying the Model to specific projects.
Sample LESA Analysis Agricultural Conversion Study: Tulare Motor Sports Project Ag Conversion and Solar Project David Blackwell
Timber Harvest Plans Section 4621 of the Public Resources Code (PRC) any person who wishes to convert timberland to uses other than growing timber must obtain a conversion permit from CDF. The State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection has passed rules that govern the conditions and procedures under which permits can be granted. “Timberland” is defined by PRC Section 4526. It includes land, other than federal land, which “is available for, and capable of, growing a crop of trees of any commercial species used to produce lumber and other forest products including Christmas trees.”
Timberland Conversion“Conversion” from timber 1. Future timber harvests willgrowing to other land uses be prevented or infeasiblemay occur either on land because of land occupancythat is zoned for timber and activities thereon; orproduction or land that is 2. Stocking requirements ofstill timberland but which is the applicable districtnot zoned for timber forest practice rules willproduction. Within TPZ not be met within fivelands, timberland years after completion of timber operations; orconversion means theimmediate rezoning of TPZ, 3. There is a clear intent to divide timberland intowhether timber operations ownerships of less thanare involved or not. three acres. In these cases, a timberland conversion permit is required.
Quimby Act Quimby Act 1975 (California Government Code §66477) Requires developers to help mitigate the impacts of property improvements. Cities and counties authorized to pass ordinances requiring that developers set aside land, donate conservation easements, or pay fees for park improvements. Special districts must work with cities, and/or counties to receive parkland dedication and/or inlieu fees. The Act provides for a maximum of three acres of park dedication/fee per 1,000 persons unless the amount of existing (at the time of adoption) neighborhood and community parkland exceeds that limit. If a jurisdiction exceeds the three acres per 1,000 persons then the jurisdiction is eligible to adopt the higher five acres per 1,000 persons standards.