County of Santa Barbara Long Range Planning Division

Agricultural Preserves Uniform Rules Update

agriculture photoThe Santa Barbara County Uniform Rules for Agricultural Preserves and Farmland Security Zones (referred to as “Uniform Rules”) is the set of rules the County uses to implement the Agricultural Preserve tax credit program, established by the California Land Conservation Act of 1965, also known as the Williamson Act

The Uniform Rules define eligibility requirements and qualifying uses that each participating landowner must follow in order to receive a reduced property tax assessment under the Williamson Act.  Often the Uniform Rules are more restrictive than the underlying agricultural zoning requirements.  The County of Santa Barbara’s Agricultural Preserve program has a high level of participation, covering approximately 550,000 acres, representing approximately 75% of all privately held agricultural lands in the County.

David Lackie, Supervising Planner:


Projects and Documents

The Board of Supervisors adopted updated Uniform Rules on July 8, 2014. The update incorporates new rule 2-2.1.C, Small Scale Processing Beyond the Raw State. The Uniform Rules have also been republished in a new standardized format, Click the title below to view and download the updated document. Hardcopies of the updated document may be purchased at the Santa Barbara (805-568-2090) and Santa Maria (805-934-6250) offices.

New Uniform Rules for Agricultural Preserves and Farmland Security Zones - 2018 (PDF)



Public Participation

Join our mailing list and be notified about the Uniform Rules Update process.


California Department of Conservation - More information on the Williamson Act (Land Conservation Act)
Williamson Act
- Info about the California statutes governing the Williamson Act (Land Conservation Act)
Agricultural Preserve Advisory Committee (APAC)
Farmland Security Zones