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(A) An application for cancellation of a land conservation contract, consisting of the city's form entitled "petition for cancellation of land conservation contracts" and the accompanying "environmental information form" are to be filed with the city planning department.
(B) The petition shall be accompanied by a proposal for a specified alternative use of the land.
(C) Tentative approval of the petition for cancellation shall be withheld if the proposed alternative land use is not approved by the city council. The proposed alternate land uses are also contingent upon approval of the cancellation of the contract. Approval of the petition for cancellation, with proposed alternative land uses shall be considered by the city council at a noticed public hearing.
(D) Final approval of cancellation of a contract shall be conditioned upon finalization of the alternative land use (such as recordation of a tentative tract map) and the payment of a penalty fee. The penalty fee shall be twelve and one-half percent (121/2%) for a Williamson act contract and twenty five percent (25%) for a farmland security zone of the cancellation value of the property (assessment value of the land as though it were free of the contractual restriction). An additional penalty fee may be levied pursuant to the provisions of Government Code section 51283.1 by resolution of the city council.
(E) No contract shall be canceled until after the city council has given notice and has held a public hearing on the matter. Notice of the hearing shall be published pursuant to section 6061 of the Government Code and shall be mailed to every owner under contract, any portion of which is situated within one mile of the exterior boundary of the land upon which the contract is proposed to be canceled.
1. Within thirty (30) days of tentative cancellation, the city, as required by Government Code section 51284, shall comply with the following:
(a) Deliver a copy of the public notice of the decision (including findings made pursuant to Government Code section 51282) to the director of the department of conservation.
(b) Advertise in at least one newspaper of general circulation within the city, in a minimum display size of one-eighth (1/8) of a newspaper page.
(F) The city council may grant tentative approval for cancellation of a contract only after making one of the following findings:
1. That the cancellation is consistent with the purposes of the Williamson act or the farmland security zone. Consistency with the Williamson act and the farmland security zone is found only if the city council makes all of the following findings:
(a) That the cancellation is for land on which a notice of nonrenewal has been served.
(b) That cancellation is not likely to result in the removal of adjacent lands from agricultural use.
(c) That cancellation is for an alternative use which is consistent with the applicable provisions of the city's general plan.
(d) That cancellation will not result in discontinuous patterns of urban development.
(e) That there is no proximate noncontracted land which is available and suitable for proposed uses of the contracted land, or that development of the contracted land would provide more contiguous patterns of urban development than development of proximate noncontracted lands.
2. Cancellation is in the public interest. The cancellation is determined to be in the public interest only if the city council makes the following findings:
(a) That other public concerns substantially outweigh the objectives of the Williamson act or the farmland security zone; and
(b) That there is no proximate contracted land which is both available and suitable for the use to which it is proposed in contracted land to be put, or that development of the contracted land would provide more contiguous patterns of urban development than development of proximate noncontracted land.
(G) Unless the penalty fee is paid, or a final certificate of cancellation is issued within one year from the date of the recording of the certificate of tentative cancellation, the penalty fee will be recomputed as of the date of the applicant's notice to the city council that all the conditions of the certificate of tentative cancellation have been satisfied.
(H) The land conservation contract will stay in effect until all conditions of the certificate of tentative cancellation have been met and a final certificate of cancellation has been adopted by the city council and has been recorded with the Kern County recorder's office. (Ord. 769-08, 10-7-2008)