| ACTION NOTES
Brentwood Agricultural Advisory Committee
September 21, 2000
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Brentwood City Council Chambers
734 Third Street
John Chapman, Mark Dwelley, Nancy Holloman, Mayor Kidd, Laine Lawrence,
Marty Maggiore, Councilman McPoland, Edward Meyer, Evelyn Stivers, and
REVIEW OF ACTION NOTES OF JULY 31, 2000
The Committee unanimously approved the July 31, 2000 Action Notes.
REVIEW TONIGHT’S AGENDA
Jeff Loux, from MIG, reviewed the items that were on the agenda for the
PUBLIC COMMENTS (ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA)
There were no public comments.
REVIEW OF THE REVISED DRAFT AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISE REPORT
Mr. Loux stated that this was the second full draft of the City of Brentwood
Agricultural Enterprise Program Committee Report. He said that the Executive
Summary is really the heart of the draft. He was hoping that the Committee
could reach agreement on the Summary. Then anything in the body of report
could be corrected to reflect the changes to the Summary. He asked the
Committee Members for specific items they wish to discuss further. They
were as follows:
FARMLAND MITIGATION PROGRAM RECOMMENDATIONS
1.1 Basic Mitigation Program
1.6 Site Selection
1.7 Mitigation Ratio
1.9 Permanent Easement Term
1.12 Land Trust
1.14 Percentage of Mitigation Funds for Administration Purposes
TRANSFERABLE AGRICULTURAL CREDITS PROGRAM RECOMMENDATIONS
2.1 Transferable Agricultural Credits
2.2 Discussions with the County
2.3 Contra Costa County Assessor and the Board of Supervisors
FARMLAND MITIGATION PROGRAM
The Committee Members felt the wording regarding the public vote should
be stronger. Mr. Loux suggested the sentence to read:
The vote of the citizens of Brentwood would be used to determine:
¨ if the citizens support the program; and
¨ if they will approve a mechanism to help fund agricultural and open
It was the consensus of the Committee to change the sentence to read as
Mr. Loux had suggested.
A Committee Member felt that what was agreed on was that the mitigation
fee provided by the City would be subject to the rules. But other income
such as grants, etc. would not necessarily be subject to these restrictions.
In other words, the priority for the Brentwood mitigation fee is correctly
stated. Something to address the other funding needs to be added. Mr.
Loux suggested adding the following:
Other funds not originating in the Brentwood program of the Land Trust
are not subject to the criteria.
It was the consensus of the Committee to keep wording as is for the mitigation
fee but add Mr. Loux’s additional language for other funding.
A Committee Member suggested striking “within one mile of City limits”.
It was the consensus of the Committee to strike “within one mile of City
A Committee member felt that something should be added that stated larger
parcels were preferred. It was the consensus of the Committee that the
intended priority is to larger parcels but smaller parcels that were contiguous
or within the context of a larger parcel would be considered as well.
A Committee Member suggested that the word “approximately” be replaced
with the word “recommends”. It was the consensus of the Committee to agree
with the word change.
Some Committee Members suggested that there should be a cap on the fees
and also the 1-acre for 1-acre mitigation ratio. After some discussion,
Mr. Loux said a sentence could be added that states, “This fee shall be
capped based on the actual cost”. He said the feeling he was getting from
the Committee is that they were looking for something to safeguard against
the fee going up too high. He suggested an annual review be specified
with an increase of no more than 5% in any given year. Or, he suggested
capping the fee at $5,000 for three to five years initially, then reviewing
the mitigation fee at a later date. Those were the two choices from their
discussion and he asked the Committee for their recommendation. The two
1. $5,000 fee for Three to Five Years with No Change
2. 1.5 to 5% no more than but no less than 1%
A Public Speaker felt the developers were obtaining their own development
rights in 1.7 and asked for more consideration. Mr. Loux said that 1.7
deals with a fee to partially fund easement purchases only, not what would
be paid for development rights, and explained the difference.
Public Speaker felt that it was unfair to the business owners in the Ag
It was the consensus of the committee to keep the fee at $5,000 for an
interim ordinance. If there is to be a long-term ordinance then the fee
is to be reviewed annually, reflecting the East County Land Trust recommendations.
The City Council would cap the maximum rate of increase to insure that
the developer fee would not increase too dramatically.
Mr. Loux said his recollection of the Committee’s decision on this item
was that the revenue from the mitigation fees in the interim ordinance
would go for the purchase of permanent conservation easements. Other funding
sources such as grants could be used for purchasing term easements. The
Transferable Agricultural Credits Program was the alternative program
to take care of some of the concerns about the term easements. Mr. Loux
suggested adding a sentence stating:
“If additional funds are available they can be used for term easements”
A member of the public requested another vote on 1.9 when a quorum was
present. Committee disagreed because this Item had been voted on twice
before, and because the County was also looking into adopting a “super”
Williamson Act Program at this time, which would allow for lowered property
taxes on farmland in exchange for 20 year commitments to keep land in
It was the consensus of the committee to add a sentence to read:
“If the Citizenry should approve additional funding source(s), then the
additional funds can be used for term easements or agricultural assistance
A Committee Member felt the Committee would be limiting the expertise
of people if they recommended that all nine Land Trust Board members must
reside in East Contra Costa County. Mr. Loux suggested that the three
members appointed by the City and the three members appointed by the East
Contra Costa Irrigation District could be required to reside in East Contra
Costa County. But the three additional Board members that would be selected
by the first six did not need to reside in East Contra Costa County.
It was the consensus of the committee that the three additional Board
members, which are not appointed by the City or ECCID, may reside outside
of East Contra Costa County.
A Committee Member suggested that there should be a cap on how much of
the fees would be used for administration costs. It was the consensus
of the Committee to add a sentence stating, “no more than 5% of the fees
collected could be used for administration costs.”
TRANSFERABLE AGRICULTURAL CREDITS PROGRAM
2.1 thru 2.3
There was concern from the Committee whether this had been used successfully
in other areas. Mr. Loux said it has been studied in Butte County for
their grazing land, not in a cropland agricultural concept. Mr. McPoland
said the concept has been presented to County Supervisors Canciamilla
and Gerber to look at and they had a positive reaction and seemed interested
in the idea. The concept will be taken to the next Mayor’s Conference
for input next.
The Committee was concerned as to how to plan for a density bonus. Mr.
Loux said through the General Plan Update, the density ranges would be
examined and traffic analysis would be conducted.
The Committee was concerned about the length of time for the easements.
Mr. Loux said that agricultural credits would only be provided in exchange
for permanent easements.
The Committee was concerned about what a dwelling unit credit is worth.
Mr. Loux said developers would set the price after considering the number
of potential lots they have in the City, their particular proforma costs,
the unique development risk factors, and the market place, all of which
would be taken into consideration in order to make the determination.
A member of the public asked if the City adopts an ordinance and there
are willing sellers, would the City have the power to take the land? Mr.
Oshinsky said no, this is strictly a voluntary program.
A Public Speaker asked if a landowner wants to sell an agricultural credit,
would they need to sell all or could they retain some? Mayor Kidd stated
the landowner could sell any portion of the property’s agricultural credits
A Public Speaker asked that if the landowner sells would it be transferred
tax-free for purposes of income tax? Mr. Oshinsky suggested speaking to
a tax advisor. He had spoken to the County Assessor and it would affect
the developer because of the density bonus, but he wasn’t sure in regards
to the income tax implications for the seller of the credit.
Some of the committee members wanted to set up another meeting to look
at these revisions, vote if there was a quorum, then present it to the
Planning Commission. Others wanted to vote on the draft at this meeting
and not set up another meeting since there was a quorum present.
Mr. Loux suggested setting up another meeting, reviewing the revision.
If there was a quorum, vote on the Final Draft; if there wasn’t a quorum
at that meeting, then send the Final Draft to the Planning Commission
as submitted at that meeting.
The committee voted to set up another meeting to review the revision.
If there was a quorum vote on the Final Draft, and if not, send the Final
Draft as submitted to the Planning Commission. Vote: 6-3. There was one
The next meeting date was scheduled for October 11, 2000 at 7:00 PM.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 P.M.