In 2016, the County continued to protect agricultural land from being converted to urban land and consumed by urban sprawl. The County does this through an Agricultural Preserve Program, as required by the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 (AKA, The Williamson Act).
San Luis Obispo County has retained its rural ambiance in part due to the fact that more than one third of the land here is protected by the Williamson Act.
The County can legally restrict the use of land for agricultural and compatible uses for a minimum of 10 years only when a land conservation contract has been signed by both the County and the property owner (or lien holders, if any). Before landowners can enter into a land conservation contract with the County government, they must first establish their land as an agricultural preserve.
For more information or to apply for an agricultural preserve designation, contact the County’s Planning and Building Department.