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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 8



Meeting Date: October 28, 2008
Subject/Title: Adopt a Resolution authorizing a budget amendment and related expenditure from the City’s Agricultural Land Trust Fund 263 in an amount up to $2,735,000 for the purchase of a 206-acre agricultural conservation easement for Assessor’s Parcel Number 015-060-010 by the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust (BALT) in accordance with the direction of the Agricultural Enterprise Committee.

Prepared by: Linda Maurer, Economic Development Manager

Submitted by: Casey McCann, Community Development Director



RECOMMENDATION
Adopt a Resolution authorizing a budget amendment and related expenditure from the City’s Agricultural Land Trust Fund 263 in an amount up to $2,735,000 for the purchase of a 206-acre agricultural conservation easement for Assessor’s Parcel Number 015-060-010 by the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust (BALT) in accordance with the direction of the Agricultural Enterprise Committee.

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 the Brentwood Planning Area and the County’s Agricultural Core. The program establishes a number of requirements and procedures to determine which land is best suited for conservation.

BACKGROUND
On June 23, 2008, BALT presented a potential easement opportunity to the standing Agricultural Enterprise Committee for APN 015-060-010, a property owned by Manuel and Diana Vierra. The Agricultural Enterprise Committee advised BALT of the City’s interest in this potential easement transaction and recommended that BALT enter into a letter of intent with the property owners 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 the Vierra property 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 two parcels totaling 206 acres at $2,735,000, creating a per acre value of $13,276. The appraisal summary is attached to this report.

The property, located in the Brentwood Planning Area, is one of the largest agricultural sites in the County’s Agricultural Core. It is the intent of the current property owner to encumber the property with a conservation easement and sell the property to an interested farmer. The deed restriction would allow the current or future property owner to divide the 206-acre parcel into two parcels, likely along the current bisection of the ECCID canal located on the property.

The Vierra property meets the criteria established in section 17.730.050 of the City’s municipal code. The property has adequate water supply necessary to support agricultural use and it is of adequate size, configuration and location to continue to remain viable agricultural land. Further, the Vierra property is across the street from Hannah Nicole Vineyards, a recent 80-acre conservation easement transaction, which creates a concentration of protected lands through the City’s conservation easement program.

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.

Staff is seeking Council approval to amend the Agricultural Land Fund 263 and expend up to $2,735,000 from this fund for the purchase of the proposed agricultural conservation easement and related costs. The Council’s authorization of funds is contingent on the approval and execution of the easement transaction.


FISCAL IMPACT
If the resolution is adopted by the City Council, a budget amendment and related expenditure in an amount of up to $2,735,000 from Fund 263 will be made to Old Republic Title. Old Republic Title is handling the conservation easement sale for the Vierra property. Staff has attached the Estimated Closing Settlement Statement from Old Republic Title as evidence of the easement transaction. Staff has confirmed that there are sufficient funds to cover the proposed amended budget and the related expenditure.

As of September 30, 2008, the balance in the Agricultural Land Fund 263 was $8.63 million dollars.


Attachments:
Resolution
Appraisal summary for Assessor’s Parcel Number 015-060-010
Estimated Closing Settlement Statement from Old Republic Title


RESOLUTION NO. 2008-____

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT AND RELATED EXPENDITURE FROM THE CITY’S AGRICULTURAL LAND TRUST FUND 263 IN AN AMOUNT UP TO $2,735,000 FOR THE PURCHASE OF A 206-ACRE AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION EASEMENT FOR ASSESSOR’S PARCEL NUMBER 015-060-010 BY THE BRENTWOOD AGRICULTURAL LAND TRUST (BALT)

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 for the purpose of acquiring agricultural conservation easements; and

WHEREAS, on June 23, 2008, the Agricultural Enterprise Committee recommended that BALT to enter into a letter of intent with Manuel and Diana Vierra, the property owners of Assessor’s Parcel Number 015-060-010 for the purpose of proceeding ahead with an agricultural conservation easement transaction; and

WHEREAS, BALT received an appraisal from Edwards & Lien for the property. Edwards & Lien placed the net value of the easement on the two parcels totaling 206 acres at $2,735,000, creating a per acre value of $13,276; 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.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood authorizes a budget amendment and related expenditure from the City’s Agricultural Land Trust Fund 263 in an amount up to $2,735,000 payable to Old Republic Title for the purchase of an agricultural conservation easement for Assessor’s Parcel Number 015-060-010 and the execution of any closing statements or other documents necessary for the purchase and recordation of the easement.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at a regular meeting held on the 28th day of October 2008 by the following vote:
 
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