Rural and Agricultural Zones

  1. After April 1, 2022
  2. Prior to April 1, 2022


The Zoning Ordinance promotes the County's agricultural legacy by establishing the Rural and Agricultural Zones, which are designated specifically for agricultural purposes. The prior Ordinance had three zones for agricultural purposes that will carry forward under the new Ordinance with updated names. These zones allow farming and homes on very large lots and public preservation areas. See descriptions and purposes of the new Rural and Agricultural Zones below and reference the Zoning Ordinance for full details.

Reserved Open Space (ROS) Zone

The purposes of the Reserved Open Space (ROS) Zone are: 

  • To encourage the preservation of large areas of agriculture, trees, and open spaces
  • To protect scenic and environmentally-sensitive areas
  • To ensure the retention of certain areas for nonintensive, active, or passive recreation uses
  • To provide for a limited range of public, recreational, and agricultural uses

The use of the ROS Zone is intended to facilitate the permanent maintenance of certain areas of the County, both publicly and privately owned, in an undeveloped state.

(Section 27-4201(b))

Agricultural and Preservation (AG) Zone

The purposes of the Agriculture and Preservation (AG) Zone are:

  • To provide for low density and development intensity as indicated on the General Plan or applicable Area Master Plan or Sector Plan
  • To provide for areas which are to be devoted to uses which preserve the County’s ecological balance and heritage, while providing for the appropriate use and enjoyment of natural resources

The use of the AG Zone is intended to promote the economic use and conservation of agriculture, natural resources, residential estates, nonintensive recreational uses, and similar uses.

(Section 27-4201(c))

Agricultural-Residential (AR) Zone

The purposes of the Agricultural-Residential (AR) Zone are:

  • To provide for large-lot single-family detached residential subdivisions, while encouraging the retention of agriculture as a primary land use
  • To encourage the preservation of trees and open spaces
  • To prevent soil erosion and stream valley flooding

(Section 27-4201(d))