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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 15

Meeting Date: July 11, 2006
Subject/Title: Adopt a resolution authorizing an expenditure and budget amendment from the City’s Agricultural Land fund in the amount of $305,000 for the purchase of an agricultural conservation easement at 510 Hoffman Lane.

Prepared by: Linda Maurer, Economic Development Manager

Submitted by: Howard Sword, Community Development Director

RECOMMENDATION
Adopt a resolution authorizing an expenditure and budget amendment from the City’s Agricultural Land fund in the amount of $305,000 for the purchase of an agricultural conservation easement at 510 Hoffman Lane.

PREVIOUS ACTION
On September 18, 2001, the City Council adopted Ordinance 683, which established the Brentwood Agricultural Enterprise Program. This program was designed to protect and conserve agricultural lands located within or adjacent to the Brentwood Planning Area or its approved Sphere of Influence. The program establishes a number of requirements and procedures to determine which land is best suited for conservation. The Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust (BALT), a non-profit organization, was established in 2002 and is the agency that implements the program with property owners in the Agricultural Core to acquire conservation easements.

BACKGROUND
On January 5, 2006, the BALT entered into a letter of intent with the property owners of 510 Hoffman Lane (APN 007-150-004) for the purpose of proceeding ahead with an agricultural conservation easement transaction. Following the signing of the letter of intent, BALT ordered the appraisal for 510 Hoffman Lane for the purpose of valuing the conservation easement. The appraisal set forth two values for the property: (i) the fair market value of the property “as is”; and (ii) the fair market value of the property encumbered by the conservation easement. The appraisal, conducted by Edwards & Lien, placed the net value of the easement on the 23.61 acre parcel at $305,000. The appraisal is attached as Exhibit A to this report.

The property, located in the County Agricultural Core is currently owned by the Vrmeer family. The 23.61 acre property is home to an organic apricot farm, and along three sides of the property bordering Kellogg Creek, the property owners have planted wildlife hedgerows as a habitat for beneficial birds and insects. The property has one existing residence. The Vrmeer family is in the process of selling the property and intends to transfer the property to the new owner with the conservation easement already in place.

The property at 510 Hoffman Lane meets the criteria established in section 17.730.050 of the City’s Municipal Code. More specifically, the property has the adequate water supply necessary to support agricultural use and it is of adequate size, configuration and location to continue to remain viable agricultural land.

The City has reviewed the Deed of Perpetual Agricultural Conservation Easement and has determined that the easement agreement meets with the requirements set forth in Brentwood’s Municipal Code, Section 17.730.060, including having the City named as a beneficiary to any easement instrument, unless waived by Council. Staff is recommending that the City be named as a beneficiary.

The BALT Board of Directors approved the easement transaction at their board meeting on June 19, 2006. Staff is seeking Council approval to amend the Agricultural Land fund budget and expend $305,000 for the purchase of the agricultural conservation easement at 510 Hoffman Lane. The Council’s authorization of funds is contingent on the approval and execution of the easement transaction.

FISCAL IMPACT
The timing of easement transactions is unknown and therefore unbudgeted until the funds are actually needed. If the resolution is adopted by the City Council, an amendment in the amount of $305,000 will be made to the 2005/06 Agricultural Land fund budget and an expenditure in the amount of $305,000 will be made to Old Republic Title. Old Republic Title is handling the transfer of the property from the Vrmeers to the new property owners. Staff has attached the Estimated Closing Settlement Statement (Exhibit B) from Old Republic Title as evidence of the easement’s part in the transaction.

As of May 31, 2006, the balance in the Agricultural Land Fund was $7.9 million dollars.

Attachments
Exhibit A: Appraisal summary for 510 Hoffman Lane
Exhibit B: Estimated Closing Settlement Statement from Old Republic Title
Resolution

RESOLUTION NO.

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD AUTHORIZING AN EXPENDITURE AND BUDGET AMENDMENT FROM THE CITY’S AGRICULTURAL LAND FUND IN THE AMOUNT OF $305,000 FOR THE PURCHASE OF AN AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION EASEMENT AT 510 HOFFMAN LANE

WHEREAS, on September 18, 2001, the City Council adopted Ordinance 683 establishing the Brentwood Agricultural Enterprise Program. This program was designed to protect and conserve agricultural lands located within or adjacent to the Brentwood Planning Area or its approved Sphere of Influence; and

WHEREAS, the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust (BALT), a non-profit organization, was established in 2001 and is the agency that implements the program with property owners in the Agricultural Core to acquire conservation easements; and

WHEREAS, on January 5, 2006, the BALT entered into a letter of intent with the property owners of 510 Hoffman Lane (APN 007-150-004) for the purpose of proceeding ahead with an agricultural conservation easement transaction; and

WHEREAS, the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust ordered and received an appraisal from Edwards & Lien that placed the net value of the easement on the 23.61 acre parcel at $305,000; and

WHEREAS, the property at 510 Hoffman Lane meets the criteria established in section 17.730.050 of the City’s Municipal Code; and

WHEREAS, the City has reviewed the Deed of Perpetual Agricultural Conservation Easement and has determined that the easement agreement meets with the requirements set forth in Brentwood’s Municipal Code, Section 17.730.060; and

WHEREAS, the BALT Board of Directors approved the easement transaction at their board meeting on June 19, 2006.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood authorizes an expenditure and budget amendment from the City’s Agricultural Land fund in the amount of $305,000 for the purchase of an agricultural conservation easement at 510 Hoffman Lane.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at a regular meeting held on the day of July 11, 2006 by the following vote:

AYES:
NOES:
ABSENT:
ABSTAIN :

City Administration
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Brentwood, CA 94513
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E-mail allcouncil@brentwoodca.gov