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Author Topic: Town says I can't keep bees  (Read 4440 times)
CVBees
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« on: July 13, 2008, 06:48:42 PM »

Good Day all,


  I have emailed a semi local expert on ways to address this issue with my borough (small town) but I though I might poll the masses for more info.  I own half an acre across the road from 10+ acres of agricultural preserve my back property line is on the edge of a very suburban set of expensive houses and the town says that beekeeping is a "farming practice" and there fore not allowed in my residential community.  The ordinances listed on the Carroll Valley, PA website say nothing about it.   

The borough manager said and I quote " the guy I took over for had this question posed to him and that was the ruling, so no beekeeping is not allowed"  I am active duty Navy and just because that's what the last guy said is not good enough.  Honestly I do not know if my property is suitable for keeping due to nectar availability I mean there are apply orchards by the 100's about 6-7 miles away but no large scale sources nearby.  The preserve in front of my house grows hay, soy, and corn.  Anywhoo if you can think of an angle I can approach from shoot me a post.  thanks  <--the aspiring bee keeper.
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2008, 06:56:12 PM »

I would want to see it in writing, get it straight from the horse's mouth. Good luck!


...JP
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Ross
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2008, 07:01:21 PM »

Take it to court.  They have to have a law somewhere or they lose.  I think you can show that lots of people keep a small garden or a few tomato plants on the patio.  Is that farming?  What about a apple tree in the yard?  Where is the line between a hobby and a job?  Anybody work on their own cars?  That's a garage.  Anybody got a table saw?  Oops, that's a carpentry shop.  Not allowed in a residential area.  By the way, why did you ask?
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2008, 07:14:53 PM »

Ross has a good point there, Challenge the town and post the results.  grin
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rast
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2008, 07:45:17 PM »

 Challenge them just to make the point. They will probably write an ordinance just to stop you. Makes my blood boil.
 Small, used to be country/farming town where I live just outside of the city limits now.
 Newcomers and developers took over. They passed an ordinance where you could not keep chickens any more because they were too noisy. No grandfathering. A hog or a cow was defiantly out cause they were agriculture and that was no longer allowed. A lot of people in town had kept chickens and raised a hog all their lives.
 I have fought and lost at city hall several times. I will again if I see the need to be heard.
 Sorry for venting, but as Davy Crockett said "Be sure you're right, then go ahead".
 
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sarafina
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2008, 08:18:56 PM »

How many hives do you have or want to have?
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BenC
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2008, 08:31:54 PM »

 

and I quote " the guy I took over for had this question posed to him and that was the ruling, so no beekeeping is not allowed" 

  The way I read that, beekeeping is REQUIRED.

Seriously though, what is the ag preserve across the street?  Sounds like farming practices to me.  If so, could your place the hives there?  If the nearby fruit growers view bees like I did back when I was an orchardist, they would be more than happy to point you to a spot where you could set a few hives.  Definitely research the mystery ruling your borough manager spoke of and see if there is anything to it.
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2008, 08:55:13 PM »

  By the way, why did you ask?

+1!!  Never ask permission for a God-given right.  My personal philosophy at any rate.  cool  That being said, zoning & land-use laws, etc., are truly thru-the-looking glass!  So much for Constitutional Due-Process! (no jury of your peers to decide the guilt/innocence of, or nullify the issue). 

Best of luck!
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Pond Creek Farm
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2008, 09:25:48 PM »

A jury of your peers? Maybe or maybe not;it depends on the issue.  The action of the town is not, however, in any case an absolute statement. The town must interpret and enforce its laws in a way that is reasonable.  The government's executive branch (i.e. the zoning official) cannot act in an arbitrary or capricious manner when enforcing the law.  Doing so gives you a right of review with the courts.  While we have the right to challenge our government, not all of us have the will or the means to do so.  In situations such as this I would encourage you to question the answers as you are doing. To me, beekeeping can be farming, but it is not necessarily so.  After all growing apples may be farming, or you might have an apple tree in your back yard.  Why should bees be any different?
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Brian
tlynn
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2008, 09:39:35 PM »

It's better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission.

Why expend all that energy trying to force the issue?  Don't you just want some bees?  If you want to change legislation, then that's a different discussion.  If I were you I'd get back below the radar, start some hives and enjoy them.  If the hives could be seen fence in the area if you have to.  Out of sight...worst is you may have to move them so maybe have a contingency.

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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2008, 11:16:03 PM »

Some thoughts--I do have some from time to time.

In order to prohibit bees there must be an ordinance of some type that restricts certain types agricultural pursuits or as an attractiive neusance.  If Apis M. is not specifically listed it is not prohibited, to prohibit beekeeping they must address the creature by name, not just as beekeeping since other types of bees such as masonm bees, bumblebees, and others are also beekeeping.

If your area is zoned residencial/agricultural they are out of luck, they can't prohibit an activity pertinent to what an area is zoned for without extensive requirements on their part.
Call them on it and use the opportunity to educate the entire community.
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2008, 11:49:09 PM »

Sorry for the correction but I dislike when people do this. It's Apis mellifera.
Genus name is always capital, and the species name is always lower case. If you're going to abbreviate, it's A. mellifera but this is only appropriate after the full genus name has been spelled out once. This way people can talk about Apis whatever and Apis whoever and not be confused when they're abbreviate to Apis w. and Apis w. Sorry it just annoys me.

Anyhow Great advice from everyone! As for the apple blooms, they're just a bit out of range from your hives at 6 miles. Because you're around so many farms though I'd be concerned about when they spray insecticide a few times a year. Not that they do it when they're in flower, but they do occasionally drift over. I'd ask some of your local farmers if they spray by misting crops or if they use methods that don't drift so much.
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octagon
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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2008, 07:21:51 AM »

Good Day all,


  I have emailed a semi local expert on ways to address this issue with my borough (small town) but I though I might poll the masses for more info.  I own half an acre across the road from 10+ acres of agricultural preserve my back property line is on the edge of a very suburban set of expensive houses and the town says that beekeeping is a "farming practice" and there fore not allowed in my residential community.  The ordinances listed on the Carroll Valley, PA website say nothing about it.   

The borough manager said and I quote " the guy I took over for had this question posed to him and that was the ruling, so no beekeeping is not allowed"  I am active duty Navy and just because that's what the last guy said is not good enough.  Honestly I do not know if my property is suitable for keeping due to nectar availability I mean there are apply orchards by the 100's about 6-7 miles away but no large scale sources nearby.  The preserve in front of my house grows hay, soy, and corn.  Anywhoo if you can think of an angle I can approach from shoot me a post.  thanks  <--the aspiring bee keeper.

 simple solution, the bees moved into your house because they needed a place to live, they didn't know it was illegal for them to live in that part of the town because they hadn't looked over the zoning laws. you didn't really like the bees in you walls and you didn't want to gas them so you provided them a house. even some bird brain on a zoning board should beable to grasp that.
 I would challenge them. don't they realize the benifits of having bees around,wonder how many illegals are living in that town?

 had a neighbor up the rd a half mile where the town-village line is, they lived in the village where pigs aren't allowed, they went to court to keep a pot bellied pig and somehow proved to the board that the pig was a pet and not a porkchop on leggs.
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2008, 07:42:34 AM »


 so no beekeeping is not allowed" 

it sounds like beekeeping is mandatory.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2008, 09:02:58 AM »

Great environment to get started pushing the issue.  Spell out how honeybees are going extinct and there are only a few left and you want to save the environment by getting some bees.

Save the bees, save the planet!  Make your town a green town!

Even if you may think it is all bunk...the ends justifies the means, right?

Nectar sources...the bees can find plentiful sources around!  Trees, bushes, whatever.  May not be enough for 100's of hives, but there is more than enough for 5+ hives!!!

Rick
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Rick
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2008, 12:01:23 PM »

They mjst provide you w/ a citation of vuiolation spelling out your violatuion. you will get a court date. If they are using a genral nuisance statute, you should win. If they are using a zoning statute, you will likely lose. If there is no statute in place, you should be granfathered in.

1. Contact your local bee club.
2. ask for statute cite and post the statute here.
3. who complained?
4. whats there complaint
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Shawn
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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2008, 01:24:08 PM »

I went to the zoning board here in Colorado first and they told me it depends. I could not set up a business with bees because I am not zoned for commercial. I was able to keep bees because I am just doing it as a hobby. It does not matter how many hives I have I just say Im having a business. Goverment can not say anything about a hobby but they do have nuisance laws, people would have to say "your bes" are being a nuisance, guess they would have to prove they are your bees.
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Irwin
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« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2008, 03:24:33 PM »

I never asked the city people I just asked the neighbor's they said good on ya. If they city Say's any thing I will get letter's from all the neighbor's in support of my bees.  If you ask they will say no that is the way they are!
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Keith13
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« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2008, 03:33:39 PM »

I never asked the city people I just asked the neighbor's they said good on ya. If they city Say's any thing I will get letter's from all the neighbor's in support of my bees.  If you ask they will say no that is the way they are!

TOO TRUE

Keith
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Moonshae
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« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2008, 07:15:46 PM »

I had a very positive experience with my municipality. First I sent an e-mail to the public works director, and he didn't reply. I sent an e-mail to the mayor about a different issue (gypsy moth spraying) and mentioned I was concerend because I was a beekeeper, and there was no reaction. My town has a pretty solid, "Do what you want, it's your business" kind of feeling, and it's really rare in this part of the country, i think.
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