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Salt Lake City, Utah Beekeeping Ordinance

SALT LAKE CITY ORDINANCE

No. 71 of 2009

(Amending Section 8.04.010 to Add Definitions Related to Beekeeping and Enacting Chapter 8.10 to Establish Beekeeping Regulations)

An Ordinance Amending Section 8.04.010, Salt Lake City Code, to add definitions related to beekeeping and enacting Chapter 8.10, Salt Lake City Code, to authorize beekeeping subject

WHEREAS, honeybees benefit mankind by providing agriculture, fruit, and garden pollination services and by furnishing honey, wax, and other useful products; and

WHEREAS, bees, via pollination, are responsible for 15 to 30 percent of the food eaten by

WHEREAS, in the last 50 years the domesticated honeybee population, on which most farmers depend for pollination, has declined by about 50 percent, and

WHEREAS, Salt Lake City allowed apiaries in agriculturally zoned areas until the 1980s when concerns about killer bees led to the prohibition of apiaries in the City, and

WHEREAS, domestic strains of honeybees have been selectively bred for desirable traits, including gentleness, honey production, reduced swarming, pollination attributes, and other characteristics which are desirable to foster and maintain; and

WHEREAS, gentle strains of honeybees can be maintained within populated areas in without causing a nuisance if properly located, managed, and maintained, and

WHEREAS, the City Council of Salt Lake City, Utah, (i) desires to amend Section 8.04.010, Salt Lake City Code, to add definitions related to beekeeping and to enact Chapter 8.10, Salt Lake City Code, to authorize beekeeping subject to certain regulations as set forth below, and (ii) finds such action reasonably furthers the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of Salt Lake City.

NOW, THEREFORE, be it ordained by the City Council of Salt Lake City, Utah:

SECTION 1. Amending Section 8.04.010. That Section 8.04.010 of the Salt Lake City Code, shall be, and hereby is, amended to include definitions of “Apiary,” “Beekeeper,” “Beekeeping Equipment,” “Colony,” “Hive,” and “Honeybee” which shall be inserted in alphabetical order and shall read as follows:

APIARY: Any place where one (1) or more colonies of bees are located.

BEEKEEPER: A person who owns or has charge of one (1) or more colonies of bees.

BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT: Anything used in the operation of an apiary, such as hive bodies, supers, frames, top and bottom boards, and extractors.

COLONY: Bees in any hive including queens, workers, or drones.

HIVE: A frame hive, box hive, box, barrel, log, gum skep, or other artificial or natural receptacle which may be used to house bees.

HONEYBEE: The common honeybee, Apis mellifera species, at any stage of development, but not including the African honeybee, Apis mellifera scutellata species, or any hybrid thereof.

SECTION 2. Enacting Chapter 8.10. That Chapter 8.10 of the Salt Lake City Code shall be, and hereby is, enacted to authorize beekeeping subject to certain regulations, as follows:

Chapter 8.10

BEEKEEPING

The purpose of this chapter is to authorize beekeeping subject to certain requirements intended to avoid problems that may otherwise be associated with beekeeping in populated areas.

8.10.020: CERTAIN CONDUCT UNLAWFUL:

Notwithstanding compliance with the various requirements of this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any person to maintain an apiary or to keep any colony on any property in a manner that threatens public health or safety, or creates a nuisance.

8.10.030: HIVES ON RESIDENTIAL LOTS:

A. As provided in this chapter, and notwithstanding any contrary provision in Title 21A of this code, an apiary, consisting of not more than five (5) hives or an equivalent capacity, may be maintained in a side yard or the rear yard of any residential lot. On a residential lot which is larger one-half (0.5) acre or larger, the number of hives located on the lot may be increased to ten (10) hives.

B. A person shall not locate or allow a hive on property owned or occupied by another person without first obtaining written permission from the owner or occupant.

8.10.040: BEEKEEPER REGISTRATION:

Each beekeeper shall be registered with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food as provided in the Utah Bee Inspection Act set forth in Title 4, Chapter 11 of the Utah Code, as amended.

8.10.050: HIVES:

A. Honeybee colonies shall be kept in hives with removable frames which shall be kept in sound and usable condition.

B. Hives shall be placed at least five (5) feet from any property line and six (6) inches above the ground, as measured from the ground to the lowest portion of the hive; provided, however, that this requirement may be waived in writing by the adjoining property owner.

C. Hives shall be operated and maintained as provided in the Utah Bee Inspection Act.

D. Each hive shall be conspicuously marked with the owner’s name, address, telephone number, and state registration number.

8.10.060: FLYWAYS:

A hive shall be placed on property so the general flight pattern of bees is in a direction that will deter bee contact with humans and domesticated animals. If any portion of a hive is located within fifteen (15) feet from an area which provides public access or from a property line on the lot where an apiary is located, as measured from the nearest point on the hive to the property line, a flyway barrier at least six (6) feet in height shall be established and maintained around the hive except as needed to allow access. Such flyway, if located along the property line or within five (5) feet of the property line, shall consist of a solid wall, fence, dense vegetation, or a combination thereof, which extends at least ten (10) feet beyond the hive in each direction so that bees are forced to fly to an elevation of at least six (6) feet above ground level over property lines in the vicinity of the apiary.

8.10.070: WATER:

Each beekeeper shall ensure that a convenient source of water is available to the colony continuously between March 1 and October 31 of each year. The water shall be in a location that minimizes any nuisance created by bees seeking water on neighboring property.

8.10.080: BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT:

Each beekeeper shall ensure that no bee comb or other beekeeping equipment is left upon the grounds of an apiary site. Upon removal from a hive, all such equipment shall promptly be disposed of in a sealed container or placed within a building or other bee-proof enclosure.

8.10.090: CONFLICT WITH COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS:

In the event of a conflict between any regulation set forth in this chapter and honeybee management regulations adopted by the Salt Lake Valley Health Department, the most restrictive regulations shall apply.

8.10.100: VIOLATIONS:

A violation of this chapter may be remedied as provided in Sections 8.04.500, 8.04 510, and 8.04.520 of this title. When a violation of this chapter is committed, and provided it is not charged in conjunction with another criminal offense and does not constitute a fourth or succeeding notice of violation within a twenty-four (24) month period, an authorized agent of the City shall issue a civil notice of violation to such violator in lieu of a misdemeanor citation.

SECTION 3. Effective Date: This Ordinance shall become effective on the date of its first publication.

Passed by the City Council of Salt Lake City, Utah this 1st day of December, 2009.

Bill No. 71 of 2009.

Published: January 9, 2010.