On December 9, 2014, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to continue the County's Land Conservation Act (LCA) program for the 2015 cycle. Click here to view the Board letter. You may also view a video of the presentation and Board's discussion by clicking on the "Agendas, Documents, and Broadcasts" link at www.ventura.org/board-of-supervisors.
The California Land Conservation Act (LCA) Program, also known as the “Williamson Act,” is a voluntary land conservation program adopted by the California Legislature in 1965 and administered by the County of Ventura since 1969 for the following purposes:
- To help preserve the limited and diminishing supply of agricultural land in the county through agricultural LCA Contracts
- To encourage production of food, fiber, and ornamental crops and commodities for local, regional, state, national and international markets
- To discourage premature conversion of agricultural land to nonagricultural land uses
- To help sustain and promote the county’s commercial agricultural industry and the direct, indirect, and imputed effect on the countywide and state economy
- To allow compatible uses within agricultural Contracts that do not hinder or compromise the existing or potential agricultural productivity of agricultural land
- To help preserve wildlife habitat areas through open space (wildlife habitat) LCA Contracts
- To allow compatible uses within open space LCA Contracts that do not adversely affect the preservation of wildlife habitat areas
How the Program Works
At the heart of the LCA Program is a contract between the County and qualifying landowners that restricts contracted land to agricultural or open space uses for either 10 years (LCA Contract) or 20 years (Farmland Security Zone Act, “FSZA"). In exchange for the land use restriction, the contracting landowner receives preferential property tax treatment.
The contract renews automatically annually unless the nonrenewal process is initiated by either party to the contract. Under nonrenewal, the contract term is not renewed annually, but “winds down” over the remaining 9 or 19 years of the contract term with taxes incrementally rising to the full, unrestricted, rate. Once the contract expires, the land is no longer restricted to agricultural or open space uses. Cancellation of the contract is also available to the landowner in extremely limited circumstances.
LCA contract application deadlines are as follows:
New LCA or FSZA contracts or Nonrenewal of a Portion of the Contract must be submitted no later than the first Friday in June to be effective the following calendar year.
Ventura County Planning Division
- LCA Guidelines
- LCA Program Information Brochure
- Open Space/Wildlife Habitat LCA Contracts
- Frequently Asked Questions Regarding LCA Program
- Map of Land Currently Under LCA Contract
- Map of Land Currently In An Agricultural Preserve
Ventura County Assessor's Office LCA Contract Property Tax Information
State of California
- California Department of Conservation’s LCA (Williamson Act) Web page
- State Statutes for the Land Conservation Act
Prospective Applicant's Checklists for Determining LCA Contract Eligibility
- New 10-year Agricultural LCA Contract
- New 20-year Agricultural LCA Contract
- Rescission of Existing Contract and Re-entry into New Contract
- LCA Contract Involving a Lot Line Adjustment
- Special Area Contract
- Open Space/Wildlife Habitat LCA Contract
Additional checklists are not yet available online. If you have questions, please consult the LCA Guidelines and additional information on this webpage, or contact the LCA program planner.
Not all LCA application forms and supplemental materials for the different application types are available online at this time. Please contact the LCA Program planner to confirm that you have all the necessary application materials for your proposed contract type, or to obtain LCA application materials for an application type that is not yet posted here. A signed Reimbursement Agreement is required for all LCA application types.