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Agricultural Advisory Committee Final Report

City Administration
Meeting Minutes
Brentwood Agricultural Advisory Committee
Meeting #7

May 15, 2000
6:30 PM – 9:10 PM
American Legion Hall

Jack Adams, John Chapman, Mark Dwelley, Nancy Holloman, Councilman McPoland, Edward Meyer, Ron Nunn, Laine Lawrence, Glenn Stonebarger, Richard Vrmeer and Peter Wolfe.

Some of the Committee members inquired about whether alternates could be selected to replace absent Committee members.

Community Development staff stated that alternates are normally selected by the City Council at the beginning of the committee process prior to the first meeting rather than during the series of meetings.

Some Committee members felt that the process was being rushed and requested more meetings to be scheduled to enable them to thoroughly review the draft report document. It was indicated that more meetings would be conducted as necessary to complete the study.

A majority of the Committee members felt that public comments portion of the Action Notes from the last meeting were too distilled and requested more detail. Community Development staff offered to revise the Action Notes with more detail based on the tapes from the meeting.

The committee continued the item until the revised Action Notes can be reviewed at the next meeting.

Jeff Loux, of MIG, said they needed to revisit Items 1.6 and 1.9; then finish 1.10 to 1.17; then review the Item 2 Agricultural Enterprise recommendations.

Leonard Gerry said that there has been a change in agriculture in the area over the years. He felt the program didn’t address that. Agriculture’s viability depends on the value of the product being sold at the time. The program needs to recognize the market, along with the effect of the County Agricultural Core Area and Urban Limit Line, which reduce the value of the land.

Leo Carroll asked what was the purpose of the program if the farmers don’t want it. It seemed the committee was making the decisions. Where was the freedom of enterprise? 

The committee discussed the following recommendation item numbers and came up with the following changes, questions, and agreements:

1.1 This item was tabled for the General Plan process.

1.6 The committee agreed with the criteria listed. The committee was split on the issue of easement size. Some members favored having a minimum easement size while others did not want to set a minimum size. The committee was also undecided on what minimum parcel size would be appropriate. Some committee members suggested a minimum size of 15 to 20 acre parcels and others suggested 40 acre parcels. Some of the committee felt the Land Trust should decide. The committee did agree that if there was a minimum easement size it could be on land owned by multiple property owners.

Community Development staff suggested that the consultant bring forward wording at the next meeting on the issue of priority for selecting the lands to be protected.

1.9 Several of the committee felt that term, as well as permanent easements needed to be an option to encourage farmers to participate. The item was discussed and was continued for further information regarding various easements and further discussion of lending feasibility.

1.11 The committee was satisfied with this item as written.

1.12 The committee was satisfied with this item as written.

1.13 The committee was satisfied with this item as written.

1.14  The committee agreed that only a small portion of the mitigation fees could be used for easement administration and management which needs to be as self-supporting as possible. The committee thought administrative costs needed to be kept low and that grants needed to be obtained.

1.15 The committee was satisfied with this item as written. They favored the creation of a new East County Land Trust.

1.16 The committee was satisfied with this item as written.

1.17 The committee was satisfied with this item as written as long as the Land Trust would take care of itself.

2.14 Concern was expressed over the creation of a farmer’s market since it might be competitive with existing u-pick operations .

The next meeting date would be scheduled by the Community Development staff as soon as possible.

Karen Rogge asked if the funds could be used to pay for property taxes or be added to the mitigation fee.

A person from the audience felt that this program wasn’t going to help because it wasn’t going to provide sufficient incentives to keep land in agriculture.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Lynn Reichard
Recording Secretary

City of Brentwood Agricultural Advisory
730 Third Street
Brentwood, CA 94513
(925) 516-5444
Fax (925)516-5445