CC LAFCO Finalizes Ag Policy
After a nearly two-year debate, the Contra Costa Local Agency Formation Commission in late December finalized its new agricultural and open space policy. The final version reflects BIA|Bay Area’s successful efforts to thwart a sustained push from anti-housing forces to mandate unreasonable open space and farmland mitigation ratios. Instead, the policy recognizes the need to balance agricultural and open space protections against the county’s need for adequate and affordable housing. In addition, applicants and developers seeking annexations or other boundary changes will have the flexibility to propose their own mitigations when agricultural and open space lands are proposed to be converted to other uses. Environmental organizations sought to prioritize agricultural and open space protections and override local jurisdictions’ land-use authority through mandatory minimum 3-to-1 preservation ratios for prime agricultural land, required 300-foot buffer zones and ceding of open space protection levels to state and federal regulators. Click here for a copy of the new policy. For questions, contact BIA’s Lisa Vorderbrueggen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 925-348-1956.