What is an Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone?
An Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone Contract (“UAIZ agreement”) is a voluntary contract between the county and a property owner of vacant, unimproved, or blighted property whereby the property owner agrees to keep the property in active agricultural use for a period of five years in exchange for a property tax benefit.
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors passed the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Ordinance on September 29, 2015.
Property owners may apply for a UAIZ agreement with Santa Clara County if their property meets all of the following criteria:
- Location: The parcel must be located in an urban agriculture incentive zone, which may only be established within “urban areas,” as defined by the US Census, with populations of 250,000 or more. To be eligible for this program through the County the property must also be located in an unincorporated area of Santa Clara County. An unincorporated area is one that is not also governed by a local municipal government, such as a city government.
- Size: The parcel must be at least 0.10 acres (4,356 sq. ft.), and not be larger than three (3) acres.
- Permissible Structures: There may not be any dwellings on the parcel.
- Ag/Gardening Use Only: The entire parcel must be utilized for UAIZ program-compatible agricultural activity. 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.
- Zoning: The parcel must be located in a zoning district where agriculture is an allowed use.
Please note that urban agriculture activity must start on the property within 30 days of execution of a UAIZ agreement or it will be terminated.
How Can I Apply?
UAIZ Application Process
Application denials may be appealed to the Board of Supervisors.
Lucy O. Diekmann
Urban Agriculture Program Manager
University of California Cooperative Extension of Santa Clara County