The Williamson Act (California Land Conservation Act of 1965: Government Code Section 51200 et. seq.) is a state agricultural land protection program in which local governments elect to participate. The intent of the program is to preserve agricultural lands by discouraging their premature and unnecessary conversion to urban uses.
Landowners may apply to contract with the County to voluntarily restrict their land to agricultural and compatible uses. Restrictions are enforced through a rolling 10 year term contract. Unless the landowner or the County files a notice of nonrenewal, the 10-year contract is automatically renewed at the beginning of each year. In return for the voluntary restriction, contracted parcels are assessed for property tax purposes at a rate consistent with their actual (agricultural) use, rather than potential market value.
To obtain an application for a new Williamson Act contract, or to obtain a copy of an existing contract, contact the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Williamson Act program, (408) 299-5001. (Please note, the County of Santa Clara only has jurisdiction over Williamson Act contracts for properties located within unincorporated Santa Clara County.)
More information on Williamson Act property valuation is available from the Office of the Assessor.
View an interactive Map of Williamson Act properties.
View the Guide To Using Interactive Maps