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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone!

I've posted once before on this forum, but it's been a few years and i'd like to revisit this topic to see if anyone can help me, because I'm lost:

Is beekeeping legal in my city?

I am in Fountain Valley, CA which is also in Orange County CA. I've emailed the local bee clubs but haven't gotten a response. I have found ordinances for my city and county, and wasn't able to find anything under beekeeping.

Here are the ordinances:
http://qcode.us/codes/fountainvalley/?view=desktop
https://library.municode.com/ca/orange_county/codes/code_of_ordinances

Is anyone else able to find citation of beekeeping withing these ordinances?

Thanks a bunch!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The issue I have with that site is that it doesn't show what ordinance or cite any law that would prohibit it.

Fountain Valley ordinance doesn't mention anything about beekeeping, so I am confused as to how it would not be legal?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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call your zoneing Dept and see what they say?

21.30.040 Keeping of animals and fowl.
The purpose of this section is to ensure that the raising, keeping and maintenance of animals would not create an adverse impact on surrounding properties by reason of negative impacts (e.g., bright lights, dust, fumes, insect infestations, noise, odor or visual blight) by providing standards for maintaining the animals. Animal keeping uses shall comply with the requirements of this section and other applicable provisions of this code.

(1) Regulations. The keeping or maintaining of livestock, fowl or other animals of any kind shall not be allowed in any subdivision except as provided below.

(2) Dogs and Cats. A maximum of three dogs and/or cats over six months of age shall be allowed as an accessory use.

(3) Other Household Pets. The keeping of other household pets shall be allowed of a type readily classifiable as being customarily incidental and accessory to an allowed principal residential use when no commercial activity is involved. (Ord. 1308 § 5, 2000)
 

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Animal includes, but is not limited to, birds, fishes, reptiles and nonhuman mammals.

From the above links I do not see a prohibition.

From MSL link; Please contact the city in which you live for more information. I would try to contact the email listed on MSL and ask the basis of "No".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You were given some pretty good advice in your earlier posts as to how to find out for sure. Did you speak to any of these groups? If calling the City might raise a red flag, the OCBA will certainly be able to help.

https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?341499-Need-Help-from-Fountain-Valley-CA
I've attempted to contact my local BK clubs, but to no luck. I think my next course of action might be to call the city hall to confirm for 100%.

In theory I'm pretty sure I could put a small hive in my backyard and no one would ever find out. Just not sure if it would be ethical but it could be done.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Yeah, that was my advice from 3 years ago. Don't ask, don't tell. But bees are livestock and there is a clear prohibition against livestock or other animals of any kind.
 

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Go to definitions. An animal is defined, an insect is not an animal.
 

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I've attempted to contact my local BK clubs, but to no luck. I think my next course of action might be to call the city hall to confirm for 100%.

In theory I'm pretty sure I could put a small hive in my backyard and no one would ever find out. Just not sure if it would be ethical but it could be done.
I see no ethical issue, unless you lie about it. Then there might be an ethical issue.

Legal, well everything is fine until caught.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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an insect is not an animal.
I would respectfully disagree. Insects are members of the animal kingdom. Although, it is a good point to try and argue when the code enforcement officer knocks on your door.
 

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I would respectfully disagree. Insects are members of the animal kingdom. Although, it is a good point to try and argue when the code enforcement officer knocks on your door.
"Animal includes, but is not limited to, birds, fishes, reptiles and nonhuman mammals." That line is a quote from definitions. You will get no argument from me if you say poorly written. With those limitations I could not argue the reference is to the entire kingdom of animals. I would argue you could keep amphibians.

To write the equivalent of your reading; Animals, does not include humans.
 

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JW Palmer is correct. If you have any doubt call the community in which you live and ask. I am an urban planner and zoning expert and unless you are an expert don't try and interpret the ordinance. I alway advise client to call.
Yeah, that was my advice from 3 years ago. Don't ask, don't tell. But bees are livestock and there is a clear prohibition against livestock or other animals of any kind.
 

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JW Palmer is correct. If you have any doubt call the community in which you live and ask. I am an urban planner and zoning expert and unless you are an expert don't try and interpret the ordinance. I alway advise client to call.
Certainly is the easiest and safest.
May not be the best course for yourself. You will often get the clubhouse reading of the ordinance at City Hall, not the literal. With the detail that follows making specific reference to barking dogs it is very clear that the animal kingdom was not the intent of the definition but rather the common language of "animal". Do you really believe the intent of the ordinance is to prohibit earthworms ?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I like the idea of setting a swarm trap and waiting for the bees to move in. Then ask the zoning folks (when they show up after someone complains) how that is any different than having birds in a birdhouse.
 

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As Andy told Aunt Bee: "Call the man, just call the man" In other words, call the city and ask. It doesn't matter how anyone else interprets the ordinances, the City's interpretation is the one that counts.
 

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No. It is the correct one that counts.

Let me tell you a little story; I was told I needed a building permit to remodel a bit, and as it was a change of use I would need to go before the Planning Board before I could get one. Planning and Codes both swore up and down that was the rules. When I pointed out another section that said no permit required for less than 400 sq ft, so no permit, no planning board. still told me no.
Turned out the Town attorney had already given the Codes and Planner a letter warning months before that it could be interpreted that no permit was required for a change of use without a footprint change. They did not offer to share that letter with me. I did the work without waiting for the planning board.

Town Hall went around complaining I found a loophole. Loophole, it was the regulation, with only the town attorney agreeing with me.

Just because you ask, does not mean you have to agree.
 

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No. It is the correct one that counts.
That may well be true, but unless one is willing to take the city to court, the City's interpretation is considered the correct one. Even then, if the court finds that the City's ordinance is vague or doesn't prohibit, in this case bees, the City will simply pass an ordinance that specifically prohibits them if that was their original intent.
 
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