There are only two options at present: that Modesto annexes Salida or it doesn't. The annexation is likely to proceed because there are powerful political forces and entities behind the scenes that are pushing for Salida to be annexed. Its mostly a mix of politicians, developers, and farmland preservationists propeling it, and Salida's farmland is the pawn that's being bartered around.
|Ratto Bros. land near Toomes and Bacon, Salida|
Now this wouldn't affect all of Salida's farmers because with Modesto calling the shots on where development in Salida occurs, some farmers east of Freeway 99 will still be able to sell their land for light industrial development and a proposed 110-acre sports park. Yet note that I wrote "some farmers" because according to Mr. Marsh, some with land north of the irrigation canal between Kiernan and Ladd will also be subject to their land being designated "agricultural preserve".
If Modesto's politicians decide to proceed with annexing Salida, the only way to stop the annexation is a majority protest and/or petition by Salida's registered voters. If the annexation goes as far as a LAFCO vote, landowners only get one vote each. This is why Salida's farmers have so little say in the matter. The future outcome of what they will be able to do with their land will rest solely on what the majority of Salida's registered voters decide.*
*From "Stanislaus LAFCO Policies and Procedures Manual" page 17:
"NOTE: Although both landowners and registered voters may submit a protest against annexation, the ultimate outcome of an inhabited annexation is decided on the basis of registered voter protest or votes cast in a special annexation election. Thus, the most that can be accomplished through landowner protest in an inhabited annexation is the scheduling of an election wherein the voters–whether they own land or not–will decide the issue."