Victory in Lessening Restrictions for Beehives in Prince William County, Virginia
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    846

    Smile Victory in Lessening Restrictions for Beehives in Prince William County, Virginia

    YOu should all be pleased to know that in Prince William County, Virginia, (less than 1 hour West of D.C.) we won our downzoning text amendment for beehives last night, at the 11th hour. Hopefully NYC can be the next victory

    See below:

    Congratulations to all those many members and beekeepers in our club who've fought so hard, & for so long (clearly over a year!) to educate our county executive leadership on the benefits of honeybees and their ability to be kept safely. By a vote of 4 yea vs. 2 nay, Prince William County Zoning for Beekeeping was amended to read:

    The keeping of honeybees in four (4) beehives or less shall be permitted as an accessory use to a residential principal use on any lot. On any lot of 10,000 square feet in size or larger, more than four (4) beehives may be kept, provided there is an additional lot area of 2500 square feet for each hive. In all instances, there shall be one (1) adequate and accessible water source provided on site and located within fifty (50) feet of the beehive(s). In addition, if the landing platform of a hive faces and is within ten (10) feet of any lot line, there shall be a flight path barrier, consisting of a fence, structure or plantings not less than six (6) feet in height, located in front of the hive.

    It is vital to understand what this means in plain English. Effective immediately, you may keep as many as 4 individual hives on any size lot up to 10,000 square feet within the County's jurisdiction, HOA restrictions notwithstanding. For every additional 2,500 square feet you may keep 1 more hive in addition to the 4 permitted on 10K square feet.

    Please note, there are added restrictions with these new liberties:
    1) You must have a water source for your bees within 50 feet of your hives
    2) If your hive entrance is within 10 feet of your neighbor's property line, you must erect a physical barrier not less than 6 feet tall to force the bees' flight path up and out of the way of passersby.

    These restrictions are identical to zoning laws in Fairfax County, who has not seen any incidents in the past 25 years with these codes as written.
    karla

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Azle, TX, USA
    Posts
    266

    Default

    Thanks for sharing this info, Karla. My grandparents want a hive in back of their house (they're on about an acre, in a sort of small town that's growing), and the city ordinance says they can't be within 300 ft of another house or you have to get signed letters. My dad is in a municipality where they are not allowed at all...and all of the houses there are on 1 acre or more lots. It's time some of these ordinances were changed. And as my granddad pointed out...he didn't have to get permission or worry about ordinances for the wild hive that lived in his shed for years!
    Terri

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    846

    Default Re: Victory in Lessening Restrictions for Beehives in Prince William County, Virginia

    Argh all these years later and we have new issues. HOney bee colonies are considered Agricultural Buildings???? And a 15 foot set back? Anyone have similar issues going on?
    karla

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Woodbridge, VA (But planning to move to NW Louisiana soon)
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: Victory in Lessening Restrictions for Beehives in Prince William County, Virginia

    Quote Originally Posted by winevines View Post
    Argh all these years later and we have new issues. HOney bee colonies are considered Agricultural Buildings???? And a 15 foot set back? Anyone have similar issues going on?
    I've had no issues in PWC. Is this an HOA restriction? Curious what the particulars are.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    846

    Default Re: Victory in Lessening Restrictions for Beehives in Prince William County, Virginia

    Quote Originally Posted by Greeny View Post
    I've had no issues in PWC. Is this an HOA restriction? Curious what the particulars are.
    Details are still TBD. It appears to be something new ...... Lumping bee hives in with agricultural buildings. It is NOT part of our current zoning regulations. Contact me off line and happy to add in detail
    karla

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,736

    Default Re: Victory in Lessening Restrictions for Beehives in Prince William County, Virginia

    Do they consider dog houses and bird houses agricultural buildings as well? Thank God I don't live in NOVA.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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