Escondido, CA
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Urban Ag Incentive Zone draft ordinance available for public review

The Count of San Diego’s Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones (UAIZ) Draft Ordinance is available for public review December 20, 2019 to January 31, 2020. 

The draft ordinance can be found at:

On November 14, 2018, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to establish an Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone ordinance within the unincorporated areas of the County. 

California Assembly Bill No. 551 (AB 551), the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act (UAIZ,) authorizes counties and/or cities to establish Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones whereby the county or city and a landowner can enter into a contract for small-scale production of agricultural crops in exchange for a potential property tax benefit.

UAIZ is intended to promote small-scale urban agriculture by providing a financial incentive for property owners of unimproved, underutilized, and vacant properties in census designated urban areas to use their properties for agricultural uses.

The property owner voluntarily enters into a contract with the county for a minimum of five years . While under contract, the property owner pays property taxes based on the assessed agricultural value of the property, which can offer substantial savings. 

To be eligible for the program, the property shall be located within an urbanized census area; be between 0.1 and 3.0 acres in size; vacant, unimproved, or have only non-residential structures; and the be fully dedicated to agriculture.

Lands that are not eligible include (1) property that is currently subject to, or has been subject to within the previous three years, a Williamson Act Contract (current Government Code section 51200 et seq.); or (2) property in the unincorporated County, within the sphere of influence of a city, unless the legislative body of the city consents to inclusion of the property within the County UAIZ Establishment Area.

This enabling legislation promotes and protects agricultural uses and recognizes the public benefit of agriculture for ecological, public health, sociological and community benefits.

The UAIZ program does not change the Zoning, nor the General Plan designation. 

The County plans to have a number of public meetings on this ordinance, at times and places to be determined. 

For more information contact:Timothy Vertino at or call 858-495-5468

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