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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas Nevada
    Posts
    7

    Default Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    Hi -

    First, I wish to thank the many, many fellow beekeepers that responded with suggests, words of support and ideas for research. I was unable to take the time to respond to all of them, but I did read each and every posting and got LOTS of good ideas.

    Today, I charged ahead to get results.

    I have spent many, many hours researching the city and state statutes and codes for Nevada and Las Vegas. Absolutely NOTHING in any of them that would restrict or ban my keeping a couple of hives in the back yard. I found some newspaper articles about a couple of other bee keepers, one from about 10 years ago saying he was the LAST registered bee keeper in Las Vegas, and that the city had given him an extension until November to move his hives from his yard. This was from 2000 pr 2001. Another article, dated two years ago, talked about another beekeeper, in the same part of town, that loved working with his bees and how the honey was for sale at a local bakery, which just happened to be 3 blocks from me. I went over and spoke with the owner of the store, who no longer had any honey as Jeremy the beekeeper had lost his hives to mites. "But do you have any honey you want to sell??" was the response. I left my name and number and he said he would try and get in contact with Jeremy to call me. Nothing back as of today.

    I also spoke with several friends here. I was involved in political work for a number of years and still have a few friends, and I also have a friend who is the editorial page editor for one of the local papers. One of my longest term friends is friends with the city councilman for this district, and he suggested I call him. He raises birds such as pheasants on his place in Utah and Rick thought he should be open minded about this.

    I also decided to call the code enforcer who wrote us up. She was not in the office until yesterday, but I did speak with her, for a half hour, and got nothing but mindless twitter from her. I simply asked where in the code it said I couldn't have bees, and her response was that you just can't have them. I found out she had written up almost everyone along the street for something the same day. Yup, I did have a couple of flats on a car in the driveway, a neighbor did have two vehicles parked in her driveway for one etc etc etc. But she seems to think it was a major crime wave and all of us were guilty. I think she is just trying to justify her job. Anyway, she denied saying that she told my wife that we could keep them in a greenhouse, because "your bees could get out and do their bee things" Yes, she actually said they would be doing their bee things. I kept asking where it said I could not have them, and she kept coming up with "you can't raise kangaroos in the front yard" (I have the city code covering that) and that you couldn't store plutonium at home (I have the city and state codes covering that) but could not come up with anything covering bees other than 'you can't have them, we had a complaint, a child might get stung." She said her supervisor would call me, but of course he did not.

    Today, I called my city councilman, who was somewhat charged up in his voice. He gave me a number and the name of the city attorney, and told me to tell him he told me to call and get it taken care of, and if he doesn't take care of it, call him right back. Wow! I felt good for a change. The city attorney was not in, but his assistant was, who took my info and said it should not be a problem and he would call me back. Several minutes later, he did and said my bees were fine and that he would have the head of code enforcement call me. A short time later, she did call and tell me she just had a few questions. "Where my bees housed or were they just living wild?" I assured her they were in commercial wooden industry standard hives (from Darren Orr on this forum, who I HIGHLY RECOMMEND for hive bodies and such) A pause of a few seconds and she said "You can keep your bees."

    SUCCESS!!!!

    I assured her that the other few minor things were being taken care of and would be finished by Monday, and was told that she would speak with the code enforcer that wrote us up and take care of it. She wanted to make sure I had her number and name 'in case you have any further problems." Yes, I now have names and numbers to call 'just in case." And yes, I did call my city councilman back and thank him for his help as well.

    Everyone here was very supportive and helpful - what a great forum! I hope to be able to spend much more time here. We all have so much to face these days, with mites, colony collapses and much more. Some don't realize how important our small friends our for our very existance. I raised my older children and they got to see our hives, and my young children and grandkids will be raised the same way. We will be putting in heirloom vegetables next year, and along with our fruit trees, will need the bees of course.

    Thanx again for all your help

    Glen
    Glen Parshall
    "I fought the law and .... I WON!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    Congratulations Glen!!
    That has got to feel real good!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,394

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    Just out of curiosity what grows in Las Vegas.?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    WOW...great news!! I am very happy to hear of your victory!!
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas Nevada
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    Just out of curiosity what grows in Las Vegas.?
    Well......many things if you are willing to work at it. Mesquite is the native plant that provides the most food for bees, but there are many other desert plants that bloom. I have peach, apple, fig, apricot, persimmon, almond and pomegranate trees, and my nectarine died last year. Peach and nectarine usually only live 7-10 years no matter what you do. Mine is now ten years, and I lost several older branches this year to wind, so I will be pruning it back when it cools down. I also have grapes of several varieties. And a small lemon tree, more of a bush actually, that hasn't really grown in several years. Just on the edge of too cold for it during the winter.

    We took down the playground last month, so I can finally get a garden plot next year. You have to bring in soil, as the native clay doesn't support much. There is a company in NM that deals in native, heirloom vegetables that will grow in the southwest, so I will be placing my order shortly. Summer is pretty much a waste of time, after the tomatoes stop producing because of the heat, usually in June, but pumpkins, certain watermelons and some types of cantelopes will grow in the heat. Garlic also winter grows.

    It is tough, with the heat and drought we have here, water rates have gone through the roof, but I also plan on putting in as gray water pond and filtration system, as done at the Integral Urban House back in the 70's. I toured the house back then (Berkeley CA) and learned quite a bit. I'm also going to put up sun netting over the plot, with mist coolers. Hopefully that will help.

    G
    Glen Parshall
    "I fought the law and .... I WON!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    A great victory, it appears you put quite a bit of time into the battle.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Thousand Oaks, CA USA
    Posts
    1,206

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    Congratulations on sticking it out and working within the system to overcome a misuse of the system. Kudos!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Monroeville Pa
    Posts
    188

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    Inspiring and great news!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    Congratulations to you on working the system (the way it is supposed to work).

    "Raspberries" to city employees who are too lazy to know what is really a code violation but just know in their imagination that you can't have [fill in the blank] because they don't like the way you do [fill in the blank].

    Double congratulations to you for being persistent and not giving up in frustration! You are a better citizen than me!

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    Congratulations.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    tulsa, ok usa
    Posts
    2,264

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    It just goes to show that knowing someone really helps speed things up. Congratulations.
    Home of the ventilated and sting resistant Ultra Breeze bee suits and jackets
    http://www.honeymoonapiaries.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Hendersonville, NC, USA
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    Give folks a little authority and it goes to their heads.

    Sounds like she was trying to pass off the ordinance (what ordinance?) means what she says it mean, end of discussion!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belfield, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    Congratulations Glen - very inspiring and a victory for liberty.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Suffolk NY
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    Congratulations! You did everything right and got a rapid resolution without having to go to court or hire an attorney.

    Rather than throw insults to every bureaucrat alive, I have to say that these involved public officials acted in a responsible and reasonable manner. While the code officer seems to have been overly officious, she may have been acting on a citizen's complaint. A summons isn't punishment, it's an invitation to appear before a judicial body to seek a resolution to a perceived problem. Sure the code gal probably knows nothing about bees, but being a certified, world traveled, all knowing agricultural genius isn't a requirement for her job.

    I applaud everyone involved here. Be glad you live in a place where local government is so reasonable.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    omaha nebr. USA
    Posts
    494

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    Like I said " KISS "
    Keep it simple silly!!!!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Montgomery county, Illinois
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    Congrats on your win, but you should ask for a written statement saying you can keep bees. Then there's no problems later.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    omaha nebr. USA
    Posts
    494

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    Brenda is correct!
    Get it in print.
    And from everyone that you talked to on this deal.
    Then be sure to call Ms. ticket giver a call back & be nice, ask her if she was contacted on this matter since you last spoke with her.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    You DID NOT win. The city just wants you to think you won. You won one round, but you have not won the fight. You need to understand this.

    In order to win, you need to sue the city, and you need to sue the code enforcement officer as an individual. The city code enforcement officer, acting on behalf of the city, did persecute you without any legal grounds to do so. The city is liable because they are responsible for making sure code enforcement officers know exactly what they are allowed, and not allowed to do. Because there is no city code prohibiting keeping bees, the officer was acting outside the scope of their legal duties, and abusing their authority. This makes them personally liable for their actions.

    Once you win these, then you will have won the fight. If you do not do this, you can only keep bees until the next time the code officer comes around and you have to have this fight again.

    See, this is how government likes to fight. They ticket everyone, regardless of merit, in the hopes some (or all) will do what they demand or pay fines. They can get away with it, even if people like you complain, as long as you don't take civil action and a judge orders them to stop these efforts - and they have to pay financial penalties for harassing innocent folks who were doing nothing more than standing on their legal rights.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    I agree with your principles, Countryboy, but I'm growing older and more pragmatic as years go by. The goal here was to keep keeping bees in the backyard and that goal is now allowed. I'm thinking a supervisor was called and the code officer was told to cut it out with the bee thing.

    The urge to beat this thing to death is within me but that might provoke the code officer to look a little harder at your residence on the next sweep. And this time she may have her code book handy to make sure she's above board. I'd let sleeping snakes stay in their hole and not disturb them any more than necessary.

    Man, I'm becoming an old softie.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Battling City Hall - The RESULTS ARE IN!!

    Well done sir!

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