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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Kanosh,Utah
    Posts
    166

    Post

    The small rural town I live in released a draft zoning proposal yesterday. It does not deal specifically with beekeeping but does have a couple of references to public nuisance. None of the neighbors have complained about the bees and in fact are happy to have them (the free jar of honey at harvest time helps). Have any of you helped with drafting an ordinance to protect beekeeping or have links to ordinances in your area? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Blessd Bee
    Doug
    May the Great Spirit watch over you as long as the grass grows and the water flows.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    LV, NV
    Posts
    104

    Post

    I know San Francisco has an ordinance permitting 2 hives to be kept on a residential lot. I didnt see it on first google, but I'm sure it could be found with some digging. Keeping good relations with your neighbors is worth more than ordinances on the books, so good job with that.
    xeric bee

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Post

    seems to me you should be able to have bees in the bee hive state.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Kanosh,Utah
    Posts
    166

    Post

    Thank you for your responses and for the link Michael. Currently there are no restrictions that I know of and if at all possable I want to keep it that way. Everyone in town (pop. 450) knows about my bees and I have never had any complaints. For now the minimum lot in town is 1 1/4 acre if the zoning is passed it will be reduced 18000 sq ft. Still plenty of room for bees I would think

    Blessed Bee
    Doug
    May the Great Spirit watch over you as long as the grass grows and the water flows.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

    Post

    I think some simple reasonable laws can give the people, who are not beekeepers, a level of comfort, while not being unreasonable to the hobbiest. Basically in Lincoln, as long as the neighbors don't complain you can do whatever you like. If they do you are limited in number and distance to the lot line. There should also be allowances made for splits, nucs and catching swarms that distiguish them from full hives, just like ordinances that allow you to have a few extra dogs temproarily when you have puppies at your house. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Volga, SD
    Posts
    2,790

    Post

    I don't know how closely this example matches your situation, but it might be worth something so I'll try to share what I know about a (to my mind) similar situation:

    The small town where I grew up (about 55 to 60 people) has "by-laws" and "covenants" to govern the area. One of the covenants addresses running businesses from homes and other situations that might cause "public nuisances" (I know, people will argue about whether or not business can be a nuisance; the idea was more to limit the traffic or number of cars that might inconvenience other residents). Several lawyers have stated openly that enforcing such a covenant will be extremely difficult if a case is ever taken to court because defining "public nuisance" is extremely difficult. Laws or regulations based on vague wording can be very difficult to enforce.

    I wonder, in your case, if a pet dog that barks at passers-by could also be considered a "public nuisance?"

    With the size of your town, Doug, I would imagine that your voice would be heard more clearly than in a larger municipality. I would try to convince the town to write their zoning requirements more specifically, rather than using wording about "public nuisances." I also wonder about "grandfathering" for existing situations?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Kanosh,Utah
    Posts
    166

    Post

    Kieck thank you for your comments. One of the many ordinances the town is looking at has to do with home business the term public nuisance has not been defined in the draft. There is a grandfather clause stating that any non conforming use can remain in affect unless that use is dicontinued for an extended period of time. In that aspect I may be protected, but when my kids or grandkids want to take over the apiary I want them to have the same protections.
    May the Great Spirit watch over you as long as the grass grows and the water flows.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,027

    Post

    Aurora, CO passed a great bit of legislation about urban beekeeping, describing the value of honeybees and describing how a beek can responsibly keep bees in a populated area. Unfortunately, I can't dig up even a good article about it, but I think I had some hard copies of it about. Weirdly enough the closest I could get to a cite is from NZ; http://www.beekeeping.co.nz/modules....ticle&sid=1048 If I can find more I'll post it. It happened as the end result of an attempt to BAN beekeeping d/t the familiar (to us) poorly-informed panic of a member of the public. Fortunately the city council took the time to become informed and solicit educated feedback before writing the ordinance.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana USA
    Posts
    9

    Post

    The Aurora Co story is quite interesting. Some of it is documented in the Indiana ISBA Journal. It started out being drafted as a total ban.

    I cannot reference the exact issues, but they're all at www.HoosierBuzz.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    The Aurora story was also addressed at length
    (translation: ad nauseum) both on Bee-L and
    here on BeeSource, as I recall.

    This sort of thing is happening all the time.
    Beekeepers have to stomp on such things before
    they get out of hand, and myths start to
    change public policy.

    Here's something handy to pull out in the event
    that such a thing happens in your town:
    http://bee-quick.com/reprints/stingdeath.pdf

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

    Post

    If I read that thing correctly, Canadians are safer drivers of trains, buses and cars, but have a harder time getting in and out of bed, going up and down stairs and walking in a straight line withoutdying.

    Keith

    [size="1"][ February 11, 2006, 06:45 PM: Message edited by: kgbenson ][/size]
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    No statistical significance there, other than
    the slightly less dense traffic patterns that
    Canada enjoys due to having far fewer people
    trying to race around at high speeds.

    But that was not the point of the article,
    was it? Grrrrr... [img]smile.gif[/img]

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Kanosh,Utah
    Posts
    166

    Post

    Thank you all, since the zoning is inevitable (mandated by the state) and I belive that if there is not an ordinace included to protect beekeeping, I could be forced out under the vague term public nuisance. I used the ordinace in Michaels link as a starting point changing some of the numbers to what I feel is suitable for my area and submitted to the zoning board the following:

    Location of hives: No person shall maintain any hive or box where bees are kept within 50 feet of any dwelling (except the dwelling of the owner of such bees), or within 10 feet of any lot line, or within 25 feet of any sidewalk, alley, or other public way. Notwithstanding, bees may be kept within 10 feet of a sidewalk, alley, or other public way when a barrier at least 6 feet high is placed between the hives and the public way which adequately impairs bee flight.
    Minimum area required: Any lot can have one hive, but homeowners are limited to two hives for every 1,500 square feet.
    Standards for management: Any person keeping bees shall: minimize swarming, provide an adequate source of water, provide an adequate number of boxes, and maintain and manage hives so as not to create a nuisance. Hives shall be registered in accordance with the provisions in section 4-11-4 of the Utah Bee Inspection Act.

    Reasonable starting point?

    Blessed be
    Doug
    May the Great Spirit watch over you as long as the grass grows and the water flows.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

    Post

    Sounds pretty good to me. I'd put in a provision for nucs (you could define them as one box or less or by the number of frames if you like) for the purpose of preventing swarming, raising queens and catching swarms. I think you should be allowed at least one or two nucs. You could also limit the nucs as far as time, I suppose. But there isn't much impact and it's a necessary tool of beekeeping to be able to catch swarms and do small splits. It's like your dog having puppies not violating some ordinance that says you can only have two dogs. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Whiteville, NC
    Posts
    193

    Post

    Any lot can have one hive, but homeowners are limited to two hives for every 1,500 square feet.


    Is that a typo or do you really want to allow 60 hives per acre?
    GeeB
    Life must be lived forward but understood backwards.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

    Post

    >Is that a typo or do you really want to allow 60 hives per acre?

    It's doubtful all your neighbors will also have bees. [img]smile.gif[/img] The point is to define things for hobbiests in town.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Volga, SD
    Posts
    2,790

    Post

    It does bring up another point, though. What if, as a homeowner, you want to set 100 hives on one acre? If this zoning isn't limited to towns (and it might not be; the entire county where I live is zoned), even a person with one acre in the country could be limited to 60 hives. Or does this zoning issue in question really only include land inside city limits?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Post

    Jim Fischer
    I live in a toenship that is re-writeing their Zoning. This is mostly an ag township and the question of beekeeping has come up. I would like your permission to give a copy of your artical to the board of trustees that is in charge of the re-write.
    Great articlde
    Clint
    Clinton Bemrose<br />just South of Lansing Michigan<br />Beekeeping since 1964

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    Clinton:

    You need no overt permission!!
    Read what it says at
    http://bee-quick.com/reprints
    anyone, anywhere, anytime, may do whatever
    they please with anything I write, and I only
    ask for some sort of "credit" as author or
    something. Anyway, the article itself suggests
    that you do exactly what you wish to do in the
    text of the article, so fire at will!

    Also, best wishes on the recovery, guy.
    Bummer about the bad luck so far.

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