A pending rezoning action to allow a home owner to retain bee hives on his property is the impetus behind this amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance for beekeeping. Over the past several weeks the city staff provided the Planning Commission on approaches that other cities in the region utilize to address the bee issue. A study group was also formed consisting of the City Prosecutor, the Animal Control Supervisor, and representatives from Community Development to develop City Code amendments to address the issue. After several meetings of the group, including one with two area beekeepers, the working draft was refined and presented to the Planning Commission during its meeting on October 23rd.
This draft ordinance affects two different chapters of the City Code: Chapter 3 ‘Animals and Fowl’ and Chapter 14, the ‘Unified Development Ordinance’ (UDO). The proposed amendment to UDO permits bee hives in all residential zoning districts, except for multi-family districts (R-18 and R-30), and establishes a minimum lot size with a provision that allows the number of hives to increase as the size of the lot increases. The produce stands section was updated to reflect these other revisions.
However, the bulk of the bee code amendments will reside in the Animals and Fowl chapter, and be administered by the Animal Control division of the Police Department. Aspects of this amendment include setbacks on the placement of hives from property boundaries, a required water source for the hives, flyway barriers, and a provision relating to the relocation of the hives if there is subsequent development of adjacent properties.
During the public hearing several people testified in favor of the amendment but requested that the permissible number of hives per property be increased; two people spoke against the proposed revisions. After closing the public hearing, the Commission held discussions on the amendment resulting in the reduction in the minimum lot area for bee hives to half (½) an acre for two hives and then allowing two hives per half (½) an acre thereafter. The Commission then voted 5-1 to recommend approval of the revised code amendment.
Draft Planning Commission minutes are attached to this Council agenda item.