CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM
Meeting Date: April 10, 2007
Subject/Title: Approve a recommendation from the Agricultural Enterprise
Committee to discontinue the ongoing administrative funding for the
Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust.
Prepared by: Linda Maurer, Economic Development Manager
Submitted by: Bob Brockman, Vice Mayor
Erick Stonebarger, Councilmember
Approve a recommendation from the Agricultural Enterprise Committee to
discontinue the ongoing administrative funding for the Brentwood
Agricultural Land Trust.
On January 24, 2006, the City Council adopted Resolution 2006-10,
authorizing work to begin with Economic & Planning Systems, Inc. (EPS), a
consultancy firm that specializes in, among other things, agricultural
enterprise programs, to review and update the City’s Agricultural Enterprise
Program and its corresponding ordinance.
On January 23, 2007, the City Council received a presentation from EPS,
providing a five year review of the program, including a history on the
program’s establishment, program funding and expenditures, accomplishments,
as well as future projections, program challenges and providing policy
options to the City Council for consideration and discussion. At that
meeting, the City Council referred the matter to the Agricultural Enterprise
Committee for further discussion and recommendations.
On February 20, 2007, the City Council’s newly-formed Agricultural
Enterprise Committee convened to discuss a number of items, including the
possible updates and changes to the City’s Agricultural Enterprise Program.
The Agricultural Enterprise Committee, consisting of Vice Mayor Bob Brockman
and Councilmember Erick Stonebarger, discussed a number of potential changes
to the Agricultural Land Conservation ordinance that they believe would
enhance the City’s Agricultural Enterprise Program. These recommended
modifications will be brought back to the full City Council for further
discussion at a future meeting.
The recommended action in this staff report deals with the administrative
funding for the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust (BALT). Since 2002 when
BALT was established, the City has contributed approximately $600,000 to
fund BALT’s administration for the purpose of acquiring conservation
easements for the City. This funding has covered, in essence, all of BALT’s
administrative operations since its inception. To date, BALT has achieved
one easement transaction in the amount of $305,000 and has been involved in
two Transferable Agricultural Credit transactions that have yielded two
Over the last two-year Fiscal Year budget cycle, the City has expended
approximately $320,000 to fund BALT’s operations. The Agricultural
Enterprise Committee believes that the cost to fully fund the operation of
BALT over the past several years has not been offset by the easement
transactions, in terms of the City’s monetary contribution, nor the acreage
In terms of available funds, there is an approximate balance of $1 million
in the administrative portion of the fees collected by the City, which is
used for a couple of administrative purposes, including the annual
allocations to fund BALT. At the current rate of administrative spending,
there is less than three years of funds remaining to keep BALT operating at
its current level. Therefore, given the above described reasons, it is the
recommendation of the Agricultural Enterprise Committee that the City
Council discontinue future ongoing administrative funding for BALT.
The City and BALT always envisioned the City’s contribution as seed money
for the non-profit organization and that BALT intended to become financially
self-sufficient over time. The Agricultural Enterprise Committee believes
that under the current ordinance, BALT could continue to receive funding
under a transaction-based program, as BALT could receive compensation for
bringing forward qualified easements approved by the City Council.
There is no fiscal impact to the General Fund associated with these
recommendations. There is likely a positive impact of discontinuing BALT’s
ongoing administrative funding on the City’s Agricultural Administrative