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Agricultural Preservation Ordinance

The City of Visalia, together with a consultant, began working in September 2022 on the development of an Agriculture Preservation Ordinance (APO).  This effort was preceded in late 2020 / early 2021 by the development of a Feasibility Study that identifies an APO's impact on the cost of development, potential benefits and challenges, and how the changes in state law would impact APO.

After Public Hearings and community input, City Council passed and adopted the Agricultural Preservation Ordinance on May 15, 2023. 



The City of Visalia has directed staff to implement an Agricultural Mitigation Program, as outlined in General Plan Policy LU-P-34. The Agricultural Mitigation Program would be implemented through adoption of an Agricultural Preservation Ordinance, which would direct how the program would be implemented by City staff. The adoption of the Agricultural Preservation Ordinance (APO) is a necessary step for projects in the Tier II and Tier III growth boundaries to move forward. While the policy language is prescriptive with relation to some of the program requirements, such as ensuring a 1:1 ratio of converted land to conserved land, there are still program parameters that require additional direction to ensure the Agricultural Preservation Ordinance meets the intent of the policy, including the potential to prepare a study to document the calculation of an in-lieu fee for the APO to serve as the basis for the City to adopt an in-lieu fee that can provide projects an alternative to securing and dedicating agricultural conservation easements on their own.

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