What is the Williamson Act:
The Williamson Act of the US state of California (officially, the California Land Conservation Act of 1965) is a California law that provides relief of property tax to owners of farmland and open-space land in exchange for a ten-year agreement that the land will not be developed or otherwise converted to another use.
What does it mean:
The property taxes on land under Williamson Act Contracts are significantly lower than the taxes on similar land not under contract. For those endeavoring in agricultural pursuits, having land under a Williamson Act Contract offers a property tax bill that is a fraction of what it would otherwise be.
Terms and Conditions:
There are specific terms and conditions of Williamson Act Contracts and terms and conditions for the use of the land under those contracts. Some basic tenets of the contact include that it is a ten year contract renewable each year and that to qualify at least 50% of the land parcel must be in agricultural use as further defined by the contract. Grapes are an approved type of crop. A private residence and other structures are permitted with conditions. Building permits, other than for safety and health reasons, will not be issued on parcels under Williamson Act Contract if the parcel are in not in compliance with the provisions of the contract. Each county in the state determines their own policies, administration and enforcement of the State of California Williamson Act.
The property’s disclosure package includes documents, emails, information and references regarding Williamson Act Contracts and the Williamson Act Contract on the two parcels of the subject property. The information was obtained from sources deemed reliable, but we, the broker and agents, have not verified the information and we advise that a potential buyer seek the service of a professional in this field. See the disclosure package as well as sources below.
The Williamson Act Parcels at 15655 Arnold Drive:
In 2016 a permit was obtained to remove and replant vineyards at the subject property. It is estimate that the vines removed were about 50 years old. Of the 40.7 acres of planting, 34.3 acres were removed for replanting and 6.4 acres remain planted. The current owner believed that the type of grape planted and how they are planted should be the decision of the new owner.
The vineyards removed are on the Williamson Act Contract parcels. These vineyards will require replanting for the parcels to continue under Williamson Act Contracts. It is also anticipated that Sonoma Country provisions will also require that the original Williamson Act Contract be rescinded and replaced with separate Williamson Act Contracts on each of the two parcels (the current contract covers both parcels.) Initial review of the sizes of the parcels estimates that each parcel does qualify for a new Williamson Act Contract in terms of size and area of agricultural use. The contracts cannot be completed until the vineyards are replanted (in compliance.)
Information and Resources:
Additional Williamson Act Information is Available in the Property Disclosure Package