Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone Program
The Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone (UAIZ) is a new state program (AB 551) adopted by the California State Legislature in 2013. This program aims to incentivize urban agriculture in urbanized areas in California by offering reduced property tax assessments in exchange for converting vacant or unimproved property to an agricultural use through a contract agreement for an initial period of five years.
On September 12, 2015, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion directing that a local UAIZ program be implemented Countywide in accordance with AB 551. The Board approved an Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone Program ordinance, with a requested change to include redevelopment areas to the program eligibility, at its public hearing on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. The revised ordinance was adopted on consent at the Board on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Three million dollars in unrealized tax revenue loss is set aside to cover this program Countywide.
For unincorporated properties, we will start accepting UAIZ applications beginning May 12, 2016. Applicants submit an application to Regional Planning, which checks to see if the property meets prequalifying criteria for a contract agreement. If all criteria are met, Regional Planning will then refer the application to the County Assessor which then will give an estimate of a tax reduction and check if it is within the allotment limit set aside for the program and for the property. If meets the allotment limit, the application will go to the County Treasurer-Tax Collector to verify current status on payment of property taxes. Once all requirements are met, the applicant is issued an UAIZ agreement which will then be recorded with the Registrar-Recorder. The property tax will then be reassessed, and the Agricultural Commissioner will conduct site inspections within 90 days and annually thereafter. A flow chart is provided below to guide applicants of unincorporated properties through the process.
Incorporated cities wishing to participate in the County’s UAIZ program must first adopt a resolution or ordinance. If you are an applicant owning parcels located within an incorporated city, please first verify that your city has entered into the UAIZ program, and contact the city agency or department that is administering the city’s UAIZ program for application procedures. All applications, after clearing with the city, must then go to the County for verification of tax status, tax reassessments, contract recordation and site inspections. A flow chart is provided below that will guide the applicants of incorporated properties through the process.
Application can be found on the Applications & Forms page, under Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone Program (UAIZ).
UAIZ Ordinance Package
- Board Motion - September 22, 2015
- AB 551
- Memo to the Board of Supervisors dated March 22, 2016
- Ordinance dated April 5, 2016
- Board Motion of April 5, 2016
- Revised Ordinance dated April 12, 2016
General Information on UAIZ and Community Gardens
- UAIZ Frequently Asked Questions
- Flow Chart for Unincorporated UAIZ Applications
- State Statutes and Programs Concerning Community Gardens by National Conference of State Legislatures
- 2010 Census – Urbanized Area Reference Map: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
- Board Report on UAIZ – June 29, 2015
For Incorporated Cities
- Letter to the City Mayors
- University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Guide to Implementing AB 551
- Sample Resolutions from County of Santa Clara (Los Angeles County did not adopt resolutions)
- Flow Chart for Incorporated UAIZ Applications
If you own vacant property or want to start an urban agriculture enterprise, and you would like to participate in this Program and needs some help getting started, the Los Angeles Food Policy Council has resources to guide you through the UAIZ process:
- Los Angeles Food Policy Council
LAFPC UAIZ Brochure
LAFPC UAIZ Program - Help Desk
Disclaimer: Links are provided here for informational purposes only, and are not an official endorsement by Los Angeles County.