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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
No urban beekeeping for me.

Well, after asking some zoning questions I got the following response from the local zoning administrator:

"Although our zoning regulations do not address apiculture as a permitted
use, there is some broad language regarding the health, safety, and
welfare of the residents. After discussing this with the City Law
Director, we have determined this is not a permitted use in the city.
There is a remote possibility this could be reviewed by the City
Planning Commission as a "Home Occupation". If you have any more
questions, please let me know.

Todd Richard,
Zoning/Floodplain Administrator"

So, my top bar hives I have planned with be moved 25 miles down the road. Will still be getting my first bees at the end of March. Just will not bee able to enjoy them on a daily basis.
 

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Why? Zoning people don't write the law. Broad language is not law. If they don't go out of their way to kill all the intrisic stinging insects inside the city limits, then they aren't too concerned about that "health and safety" thing. I would set them up, invite them over, and challenge them to write it up. If it isn't banned outright, they don't have a leg to stand on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That is what I was thinking. I do want to speak with the "Urban" Beekeeper a who is only several blocks away. Seems he has had bees in the same area for about 25 years and is closer to the city center than I am but has a different land layout than I do.
 

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I am with Ross - plus, I have this 'thing' about liberty and private property rights.

I would put them up (whatever number is reasonable for your space) and make the city address the issue if I got caught. Plus, without specific written codes, they can not fine you or arrest you - they have to give you some sort of compliance period if you have to move them.
 

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Unless you have complaining neighbors just place them where they can't be seen. I have been hassled by the zoning officer twice and just bring the bees back until someone complains again. This summer I had 42 hives where I only have permits for 8. It's the swarms and bee poop that will get you busted.
My zoning officer had a grandfather who was a bee keeper and it was the zoning officer who researched that I could get permits for 8 rather than the permits for two that I had. 8/42 close enough for me.
 

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Also, do not apply as a home occupation unless you plan to make your living from it. I just looked at the regulations online. Gardening, woodworking, and other uses are not covered either. By the way, there is a regulation prohiiting the growing of marijuana. It is a minor misdemeanor. Near as i can tell, you can even keep exotic animals as long as you don't let them run around town.
 

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It's always easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

Never more true than when dealing with regulators. While ignorance of the law is no excuse, there doesn't appear to be any specific law here to be ignorant of. For anyone else with the urge to become an urban beekeeper, I advocate discreet hives, a friendly chat with the neighbors (and a promise of some fresh honey to come), and a low profile.
 

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a friendly chat with the neighbors (and a promise of some fresh honey to come), and a low profile.
I would discourage the friendly chat with your neighbor. You can be sure that many of your neighbors and their kids and their dogs and their nieces and nephews are "ALLERGIC" to bees (who visit their picnics foraging for meat). When a huge swarm fills their whole yard with 100000 spinning bees and lands in their tree, they will know exactly whom to blame. And when their cars and their skylights are covered with very hard to clean little yellow spots, they will quickly figure out who to blame.
Keep hidden and keep quiet unless you know your neighbors very, very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It was ironic that I also got an email from our State Entomologist. She had some suggestions for making my hive a bit more vandal proof. Asked if I could move it closer to the house or into the back yard. My back yard is about 3 feet deep (I really have no back yard).

Sent her some answers to her questions for me and also told her it was probably a moot point now as the city has said that an apiary is not a permitted activity in the city. If I am lucky, I may receive an answer back suggesting how I can change that.

Will see. Otherwise I will just have to drive 50 miles round trip to check them out.
 

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I had 4 hives on Sandusky st. in the apartments that are right by I-75 1995 to 1997 they were in the back and the kids did not play with them and I had my phone # on them and never got a call. I would say just go for it :thumbsup:
 

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i live here in the buckeye as well. i live less than 1000 yards from the city managers office. i keep bees. some of the neghibors see me in the yard and i meet them at the property line take off my veil and walk them over to the hive. when thay see it is no danger i explain some of the interesting things about bees and next thing i know thay want to know more. after a year with hives i am now knowen as the bee guy. hope to get some swarm calls from the p.d this summer. i belive most people are only afraid of something because thay dont understand it. but some times tall fences make good neghibors.
 

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Permit shmerit. One has to ask why a permit? what is the reason for one? is it just to justify a job for a city clerk that has no clue about bees and iif it unlawfull the city better be spraying for every flying insect that might sting. if they don't they can't stop you plus I would never ever openly unless I have to give any information to the goverment city state or fed. they have no right to know whats on my property period. mins my house and cars. out side of that for get it. and I would just keep a hive in your back yard and thumb your nose at them. with out telling them. just keep your mouth shut and have your bees.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I believe this is the code the law directer was referencing:

505.08 NUISANCE CONDITIONS PROHIBITED.
(a) No person shall keep or harbor any animal or fowl in the Municipality so as to create noxious, or offensive odors or unsanitary conditions which are a menace to the health, comfort or safety of the public.


(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The reason it came down to asking is that I live on a corner lot. I have no actual back yard. I have a nice large South side yard, and a very tiny (too close to the sidewalk for bees) North side yard. I wanted to make sure that I fence was not a requirement for having bees in Findlay.

Another reason I asked is that I live on a main street in the city. I am not very far from the police station, court house, etc. Very hard to hide something that the authorities drive by everyday.

As it stands right now, there is at least 23 feet on either side of the hive before a property line is reached.

I do know one thing about buying houses that is very important. Never under any circumstances buy a house on a corner lot. It heavily limits what you can do on your property.
 

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Top bar hives should not be too much of a problem as they are not what people usually see as bee hives. Its when you go out to work your bees that you will get noticed. Still, I think with a bit of fencing or maybe some bushes you will be ok. I have all my hives in several different yards with lots of neighbors. So far no problems (knock on wood).
 

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If you decide not to keep bees on your property you might find a "host" for one or two hives on Craigslist. My bees are about 20 miles away on a little farm... the owners answered my ad when I put a posting "Wanted: Host for Honey Bees" in the Farm and Garden section of CL.
 

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I didn't ask. If you ask, they are sure to tell you no.
I've had mine for 2 years now. I put some decorative tall grass in front and lattice fencing with vines on the side facing the neighbors.
I figure it anyone complains now, I can say they've been here for years with no problems.

You can get one of the compost bins that look like a hive (I've seen them in Gardener's Supply catalog), if anyone asks just say that's my compost bin, then after awhile just move that and put in your hive painted the same colors. :D
 

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There is one sure fire way to get rid of all zoning ordinances. Call your counties Land and Water Use bureau. When I was building my home, I wanted to dig a 1/2" lake with my backhoe to use the fill for around my home. I also designed the lake to conform with fish and wildlife habitat. It didn't take but a few short talking sessions to convince them that this was feasible. Once I got the blessing, Zoning must back down and allow it to become part of wildlife. In case of your bees, make a habitat for them and go through Land and Water Use & conservation if needed. Most of us just keep our mouths shut, however when we need something more than anything, we find ways to get around laws that are completely heartless.
 

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Sometimes a nice solid type fence or hedge solves a lot of problems. Plus enhances the look and value of the property. Good luck with your problem!
 

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Findlay, You've been excited for a while about getting bees. I don't think they can classify your bees as animal or fowl, so that ordinance wouldn't apply. You will learn so much more and so much faster by having the bees right there at home. Then you can observe them on a daily basis. There are literally dozens of hives in our town.
 
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