Source: Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, LLP

California's agricultural economy and culture deserve protection. That was the conclusion of the Fifth District Court of Appeal in a unanimous decision last week. The court upheld a Stanislaus County ordinance requiring developers to protect one acre of farmland for every acre they convert to large-scale residential use. The decision overturns a Superior Court ruling that found in favor of the Building Industry Association (BIA), which challenged the county's farmland mitigation program (FMP).

With developers pressing to convert farmland to residential subdivisions and other uses throughout agricultural California, this case is likely to have a significant impact throughout the state, particularly in cities and counties with significant swaths of agricultural land. 

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