Policy Summary

Establishes the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone and allows the city and owners of vacant, unimproved, or blighted property parcels of not more than one acre in size within the urban agriculture incentive zone to enter into an enforceable contract with initial terms of at least 5 years, to restrict use to urban agricultural uses, such as chicken keeping, beekeeping, and horticultural crops to be sold or donated.

Background Information

State California
Jurisdiction Name San Jose
Jurisdiction Type City,
Population Size 800,000+
Legal Strategies
  • Creates an incentive for a change
Reach Limited scope
The law creates eligibility for a tax break, which is a voluntary incentive. "The city and owners of vacant, unimproved, or blighted property parcels within the urban agriculture incentive zone may enter into an enforceable contract to restrict use to urban agricultural use." 4.88.030
Food System Category Grow; Get;
Evidence for Health

This policy may correspond to diet-related strategies identified by the County Health Rankings’ What Works for Health tool, including:

For research on the potential effectiveness, please review the category links above.

We understand that this information is not comprehensive. It also does not include other important forms of evidence such as community members’ lived experiences and practice-based evidence.

Policy Details

Refers to priority populations?

Health-related goal?

Environmental goal?

Economic goal?

Purpose is to make use of blighted and unimproved property. Sec. 4.88.010

Includes findings?

Has a stated intent or purpose?

"This chapter is adopted in accordance with the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act (California Government Code Section 51040 et seq.), including all amendments thereto to promote urban agricultural use of otherwise vacant, unimproved, and blighted property parcels by providing a tax incentive for properties that produce eggs from chickens or honey from bees and agricultural products." 4.88.010

Includes definitions?

Sec. 4.88.020

Addresses implementation?

The director of planning, building and code enforcement is responsible for reviewing applications and determining if a property is eligible for an urban agriculture incentive contract. The city manager is required to conduct site inspections of eligible properties, and execute the approved urban ag incentive contract once the property owner has obtained all required approvals. And the Santa Clara County Tax Assessor will apply the reduced property tax valuation methodology to the property at the next property tax lien date. Sec. 4.88.070.

Enforcement provisions?

"The city manager may cancel the urban agriculture incentive contract upon finding that a property owner is in breach of its terms. " Sec. 4.88.090A. "If the contract is cancelled by the city or property owner prior to the expiration of its term, the property owner must pay to the county a cancellation fee equal to the cumulative value of the tax benefit received during the duration of the contract, as determined by the Santa Clara County Tax Assessor." Sec. 4.88.090 D.

Evaluation component?

Requires extra investment?

Code context and ordinance history

Title 4-Revenue, Finance, and Business Taxes, Chapter 4.88 Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone. History: Ord. 29820.


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