California Court Sides with Solar Project in Williamson Act Challenge



Stoel Rives attorney Kristen Castaños spoke to the Fresno Bee about a recent Fresno County Superior Court decision that denied a challenge to Fresno County's cancellation of a Williamson Act contract to accommodate a solar generating project. The Williamson Act is a California state law that allows landowners to enter contracts with local governments to restrict the use of their land for agricultural and compatible uses, in exchange for favorable property tax treatment. At issue in the case was California Government Code section 51282(a)(2), which provides that a Williamson Act contract may be cancelled if the local agency finds that cancellation is in the public interest.

As Castaños discussed in a previously published Stoel Rives client alert, Judge Donald Black's ruling that development of renewable energy is an important public interest in California has significant implications for the state's solar industry. "I do think it gives a boost to the solar development community," the Fresno Bee quoted Castaños as saying. "This gives counties and developers a little more confidence in moving forward."

"Fresno County judge rules in favor of I-5 solar project" was published by the Fresno Bee, January 2, 2013.

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