It is the policy of Humboldt County that all lands within an agricultural preserve and subject to a Williamson Act contract be managed for the commercial production of agricultural commodities as required by state Williamson Act law and county guidelines and that pursuant to the law and guidelines, residential uses on these lands be limited to those that are necessary for the commercial production of the agricultural commodities occurring on the contracted land.
The county has encountered property owners who by either inadvertence, ignorance or intent have failed to maintain their contracted land in agricultural production and who have developed the contracted property in a manner that is incompatible with the rules governing the Williamson Act. In order to avoid the cost of future enforcement proceedings and to encourage a well-informed population of Williamson Act contract holders it is the policy of the county to make attempts to ensure that successors in interest to land restricted under the Williamson Act learn at the earliest opportunity of the existence of the Williamson Act contract. If prospective purchasers are notified early in the process of the presence of a Williamson Act contract, they will be better informed and better able to comply with the requirements of the Act and county guidelines. The earliest opportunity to provide notice of the existence of a Williamson Act contract is at the time of sale or transfer. Since sales and transfers are not reviewed by the County, this ordinance will place the burden of notice on the landowner to ensure that prospective purchasers are made aware that the subject property is in the Williamson Act.
It is the intent of the county in enacting this ordinance that prospective purchasers receive notice about the applicability of the Williamson Act and also be provided with a name and place to obtain more information, thereby eliminating the need for enforcement actions at a later date. (Ord. 2367 §§ 1 & 2, 2006; Ord. 2356 § 1, 2006.)