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(a) Agricultural Commissioner Review. The Agricultural Commissioner shall review the Contract application within 30 days of the application deadline. The Agricultural Commissioner shall determine whether the application includes either plans for or proof of existing activities that demonstrate:
(1) conformance with the definition of urban agriculture as detailed in the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act (California Government Code Section 51040.3(c);
(2) that the entire property is dedicated to agricultural use. The Agricultural Commissioner shall consider whether certain site features support agricultural use of the site, including but not limited to: educational space; preparation, washing, and harvest areas; storage space; and vehicle access areas. These types of site features shall not preclude approval of a Contract as long as the features are accessory to the agricultural use and permitted under the Planning Code on the property proposed for Contract; and
(3) the site is periodically open to members of the public through any of the following:
(A) agricultural education or outreach on site such as classes, workshops, or visits by school groups;
(B) periodic distribution of agricultural products (such as, for example, produce, flowers, eggs, or honey) from the site, via donation or sales; or
(C) the site is managed as a community garden that has hours when the site is open to the general public.
In determining that the plans or existing activities conform with the intent of the law, the Agricultural Commissioner is to be guided by the City's intent that a Contract shall be used to incentivize farming and gardening that has a public benefit, either through the distribution of food grown on the site to members of the public other than the property owner or operator and their immediate families; economic activity through the sale of the food produced on site; or education that occurs from people learning from the agriculture on site. Benefits such as providing food solely for the property owner or operator and their immediate families; site beautification; or provision of green space for the public, shall not constitute sufficient agricultural use to be considered in conformance with the intent of this ordinance.
(b) Assessor-Recorder Review. If the Agricultural Commissioner recommends initial approval of the application, he or she shall forward the application to the Assessor-Recorder for review. Within 30 days of receipt, the Assessor-Recorder shall provide the Agricultural Commissioner with a report estimating the yearly property tax revenue to the City under both the urban agriculture incentive zones contract valuation method and under the standard valuation method and estimating the difference in property tax assessments under the two valuation methods for the term of the proposed Contract. In making this estimate, the Assessor-Recorder shall use the current-year Board of Equalization published tax rate.
(c) Agricultural Commissioner Approval. A Contract may be approved by the Agricultural Commissioner at his or her sole discretion if approval of the proposed Contract would not result in: (1) a tax revenue loss of more than $25,000 per year or more than $125,000 for the term of the contract, as calculated based on the Assessor-Recorder's estimate; (2) contiguous parcels totaling five acres or more under contract at the same time; or (3) an estimated combined tax revenue loss for all properties under Contract greater than $250,000 per year. If the Agricultural Commissioner disapproves an application, such decision shall be final unless the property owner files an appeal with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors within 10 business days of the denial by the Agricultural Commissioner. If the Agricultural Commissioner approves an application, he or she shall provide written notice of the approval to the Clerk of the Board within five business days of the approval, and the Clerk of the Board shall forward such notice to all members of the Board of Supervisors. In addition to information regarding the specific Contract approved, such notice shall include the estimated combined tax revenue loss to the City for all properties under Contract. Within 10 business days of receipt of such notice, any member of the Board of Supervisors may introduce a resolution requesting Board review of the approval. Approval of a Contract shall not be final until either: the time has passed for a member of the Board to introduce a resolution requesting Board review without any member doing so; or, if a Board member has introduced a resolution requesting review, the Board has held a hearing and affirmed the Agricultural Commissioner's approval of the Contract.
(d) Board of Supervisors Approval. Any proposed Contract not meeting the conditions set forth in subsection (c) above for approval by the Agricultural Commission shall be forwarded by the Agricultural Commissioner to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation. The Board of Supervisors shall conduct a public hearing to review the Agricultural Commissioner's recommendation, the Assessor-Recorder's report, and any other information the Board requires in order to determine whether the City should execute the proposed Contract. The Board of Supervisors may approve, disapprove, or modify and approve the Contract and shall have full discretion to determine whether it is in the public interest to enter into the proposed Contract.
(e) Following final approval of the Contract by the Agricultural Commissioner or the Board of Supervisors, the Agricultural Commissioner shall send written notification to the Assessor-Recorder and to the property owner. The Agricultural Commissioner shall execute the approved Contract upon his or her determination that the property owner has obtained all other required approvals tor the proposed agricultural use, including but not limited to any required change of use or conditional use permit. Once executed, the property owner shall record the Contract against the property. Once the Contract is recorded against the property, the Assessor-Recorder shall apply the reduced property tax valuation methodology to the property at the next property tax lien date.
(Added by Ord. 184-14, File No. 140702, App. 8/7/2014, Eff. 9/6/2014)