Land Use Policies

Land Use Policies

The Tulare County Farm Bureau Board of Directors (TCFB) have adopted the following Land Use Policies to protect the rural lifestyle of Tulare County, provide open space with a working landscape, and encourage the continued production of high quality, low cost food in the most efficient, responsible and profitable manner possible.

The demand and need for food will increase with the anticipated worldwide growth in population. Therefore, land use decisions must recognize that agricultural lands comprise an important strategic national resource as well as providing national security.

Farm Bureau maintains local policies on those issues that are critical to protecting farmland in Tulare County and will testify at hearings and attend important conversations to speak on behalf of agriculture. 


1. Agriculture is a basic industry making an invaluable economic contribution to the local economy and encroachment of incompatible uses into agricultural areas should be prevented.

2.  Agricultural planning and allowed land uses in agricultural zones should be driven by agricultural needs.

3. Economically productive agricultural land shall be recognized and accorded with a high priority in land use planning and by agricultural zoning. We support the continued use of the Rural Valley Land Plan to accomplish this process.

4. Concepts of “open space”, “viewshed” or “habitat” are not to be confused with the idea of “agricultural preservation”. Use of land for “open space”, “viewshed” or “habitat” should not be regarded as equivalent to “agricultural use values”.

5. Tulare County Farm Bureau supports local planning that accommodates orderly, logical contiguous patterns of urban development, in order to prevent premature and unnecessary conversion of productive agricultural lands to non-agricultural uses.

6. Efficient land use plans for existing cities and towns should emphasize infill development, redevelopment, and increased densities to preserve farmland. They should encourage efficient use of public services, promote affordable housing, and conserve energy and natural resources. We oppose the establishment of urban “leap frog” development.

7. Agricultural operations shall be permitted with minimal regulation. We encourage the continued implementation of the Tulare County Right to Farm Ordinance.

8. Parcelization of agricultural lands into non-viable commercial agricultural units should be discouraged and prohibited whenever possible to maintain the viability of commercial agriculture.

9. Approval of growth management plans shall recognize economic as well as environmental and other public interests.

10. Recreational or other activities on agricultural land should be limited to compatible uses that overlay but do not significantly displace agricultural pursuits on the land or have a negative impact on adjacent agricultural lands.

11. Tulare County Government should participate fully in the Williamson Act and the Farmland Security Zone Act. Local agricultural property owners should be encouraged to participate.

12. Buffers that protect agricultural operations should be incorporated into Building Standards and included into the Zoning Ordinance and/or General Plan for those parcels that are non-conforming due to size or use.

13. We support an expedited merger process that would halt the use of Certificates of Compliance to divide our agriculturally zoned lands to non-conforming sizes.

14. Tulare County Farm Bureau supports local government sales and use tax redistribution plans that reduce the fiscalization of land use decisions.

15. We stress the need for cooperation between the decision-making bodies of the cities and County to adopt the same urban development boundary lines.

Adopted 11/11/2004

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