Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones/AB 551

Authored by Assembly Member Phil Ting, Assembly Bill 551 created the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones (UAIZ) Act which promotes small-scale commercial or noncommercial agricultural use on vacant, unimproved or blighted lands in urban areas. Adopted in 2013, AB 551 allows cities and counties to create UAIZs, offering preferential property tax assessment to owners of eligible urban lots who agree to enter into a contract restricting the property use to small-scale production of agricultural crops and animal husbandry for a period of five years

To be eligible to participate in the program, each of the following criteria must be met:

  • The parcel must be at least 0.10 acres (4,356 sq. ft.), and not be larger than three (3) acres (130,680 sq. ft.).
  • The parcel must be located in an urban agriculture incentive zone, which may only be established within an urbanized area, as defined by the US Census, with populations of 250,000 or more.
  • There may not be any dwellings on the parcel while under contract
  • The entire parcel must be utilized for UAIZ program-compatible commercial or noncommercial agricultural use. Structures on the lot shall be limited to those that are directly related to the agricultural activity, including, but not limited to toolsheds, greenhouses, produce stands, fences, and educational facilities/ structures
  • The parcel must be located in a zoning district where agriculture is an allowed use.

Upon receiving a recorded contract from the Division of Agriculture the Assessor’s Office will enroll for the following fiscal year a restricted, reduced assessed value based upon a legislatively mandated calculation detailed below.

The Assessor is required to multiply the size of the parcel by the per-acre value of irrigated cropland as published annually by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. In 2016, for example, the rate per acre is $12,700. Consequently, the calculation of the assessed value for land that is one-tenth of an acre for the 2016 lien date would be: 0.10 acre x $12,700 = $1,270. The calculation of the assessed value for land that is 3 acres for the 2016 lien date would be: 3 acres x $12,700 = $38,100.

More information is available on the Board of Equalization website at:

The annual per acre value is available online at:

To apply for this benefit contact the Division of Agriculture at: