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Policy: Agricultural Lands

In addition to considering the policies and priorities set forth in Government Code Section 56377 the Commission shall conform to the following policies in reviewing and approving or disapproving proposals that may result in the conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural uses:

  1. Agricultural significance of the subject territory and adjacent areas relative to other agricultural lands in the region.
  2. Use of the subject territory and adjacent areas
  3. Whether public facilities for proposed development would be a) sized or situated so as to facilitate conversion of adjacent or nearby agricultural land, or b) extended through agricultural lands that lie between the project site and existing facilities
  4. Whether uses incompatible with adjacent agricultural uses are expected to result from the proposal and whether natural or man-made barriers would buffer adjacent or nearby agricultural lands from the effects of proposed development or other incompatible uses
  5. Whether the subject territory is located within the sphere of influence of a city or district providing sewer and/or water service or within an “Urban Service Boundary” designation of the Sonoma County General Plan.
  6. Provisions of applicable general plan open space and land use elements, growth management policies, or other statutory provisions designed to protect agriculture.

The Commission shall discourage proposals which would likely convert to urban uses those lands identified by the County General Plan as suitable for long-term agricultural or open space use or identified by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District Acquisition Plan as a priority for acquisition or protection in cooperation with willing landowners.

Legal Authority

The Legislature provided each LAFCO with the authority to “establish written policies and procedures and exercise its a manner consistent with those policies and procedures and that encourages and provides planned, well-ordered, efficient urban development patterns with appropriate consideration of preserving open-space and agricultural lands within those patterns.” (Government Code Section §56300) This policy implements the intended goal of well-ordered growth.

Adopted: 2006
Amended: June 5, 2013