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Question: What do I do with cranky neighbors
move them - 12 (70.6%)
sell them - 5 (29.4%)
Total Voters: 16


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Author Topic: Neighbor's are mad  (Read 5353 times)
SgtMaj
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« Reply #40 on: September 22, 2008, 03:23:58 AM »

An attorney knows the law and how to go through the proper channels.  An attorney can file an injunction to prevent anything from happening until a judge has looked at the case, etc.  It's likely there isn't a beekeeping ordinance anywhere that prohibits her from keeping them... it's more likely that the cops are calling it public nusiance because they had to field a complaint about it.  Also, the cops don't give a darn if she has the right to keep bees.  Enforcing your rights is your job, not theirs.  If the neighbors were complaining because she dyed her hair pink, they would have told her she has 10 days dye it back, reguardless of her first amendment right to express herself through her hair color.  The cops are just looking to push around whomever will give the least push back so that they don't have to take anymore complaints.  They don't care if what they do is right, or even legal.

BTW, if there's an attorney in the local beekeepers association, they may even be willing to work for free.
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JP
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« Reply #41 on: September 22, 2008, 10:35:13 AM »

An attorney knows the law and how to go through the proper channels.  An attorney can file an injunction to prevent anything from happening until a judge has looked at the case, etc.  It's likely there isn't a beekeeping ordinance anywhere that prohibits her from keeping them... it's more likely that the cops are calling it public nusiance because they had to field a complaint about it.  Also, the cops don't give a darn if she has the right to keep bees.  Enforcing your rights is your job, not theirs.  If the neighbors were complaining because she dyed her hair pink, they would have told her she has 10 days dye it back, reguardless of her first amendment right to express herself through her hair color.  The cops are just looking to push around whomever will give the least push back so that they don't have to take anymore complaints.  They don't care if what they do is right, or even legal.

BTW, if there's an attorney in the local beekeepers association, they may even be willing to work for free.

I will assume you are assuming this. If its on the books, you and a lawyer are going to fight city hall? Hiring a lawyer so that she can keep bees at her house would be the last thing I would do.

She needs to check the ordinance and find out what the town has decided in re to beekeeping and proceed from there.


...JP
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bjpbike
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« Reply #42 on: September 22, 2008, 11:05:05 AM »


   You under no legal obligation to move your bees, this is not the same as the police telling you to move from a corner. The bees are located on private property and are your property. They must issue a order or summons of some sort first. It must be in writing, otherwise you or they have no proof that you were even told anything. I would sit back and wait untils some sort of written warning is given. Your lawyer will tell you the same thing, you have nothing to fight right now, no ordinance or law. The police told you to move them they need to issue you some sort of WRITTEN advisement. I ran this by my lawyer and he agreed with it, its the equivalent of them telling you to get rid of your dog, they just can't do it, with out proper legal justification.
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Jacobs
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« Reply #43 on: September 22, 2008, 03:23:58 PM »

I am a lawyer and a beekeeper in North Carolina.  If you do have an attorney who is a member of your beekeeping organization you may want to see if he/she has already researched the issue and might give you a free or reduced cost consultation.  I live in Greensboro, NC and our City Council passed a revised beekeeping ordinance that relaxed setback requirements in the city.  I became involved, not as attorney for the beekeeper who was cited, but as a "representative" of the Guilford Beekeepers (meaning I worked for free).  Once the beekeeper had been cited and said he was going to pursue the issue, I became involved.  Since any change in the city ordinance would affect me and several friends and club members, I wanted to try and see that any changes to the ordinance did not make things worse.

Because our ordinance was in our zoning codes, the beekeeper filed and appeared before the Board of Adjustment asking to be allowed to keep his bees. The Board could not grant his request because his lot couldnot meet the ordinance requirements under any circumstances.  He and I met with city planners and 2 versions of a revised ordinance were presented to Planning Board.  The Planning Board voted not to recommend either (largely because of issues involving poultry in the same ordinance).  The Planning Department forwarded one version to City Council for a public meeting and vote, and Council accepted some changes I asked for and passed a less restrictive ordinance.

Your process may be very different so you should find out what you are dealing with first.  Is there a bee keeping ordinance or just a general nuisance ordinance?  What is the enforcement mechanism?  What appeal processes do you have?

We found the city planners and the city to be generally helpful and receptive to our concerns.  I always kept conversations friendly and always assumed that the people I was dealing with were acting in good faith.  They were.  City Council was bee friendly and somewhat to my surprise, quite chicken friendly.  Don't make enemies if you don't have to.  Do your homework regarding bees and bee behavior.  Have legitimate literature or websites that you can hand out/send officials to so that you can educate your city officials. if need be,  and not have them act out of ignorance or fear.

Before you get too far along, you also need to consider whether your home is in a development that has its own private rules that you must follow.  In North Carolina, private restritive covenants that are properly drawn and recorded are generally enforceable, and can be far more limiting than the city oridnances.  I obviously cannot advise you about the law or private contracts in your State, but I did want to share our experience and some general ideas about how to deal the situation.

Sorry for the long post, and I hope this helps you get started on a happy resolution to your problem.

 
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EasternShore
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« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2008, 08:19:46 AM »

We had the same problem with our neighbors.  Unfortunately our neighbors who were concerned are also our landlords!!!!   shocked

She complained, p'ed and moaned, and just generally threw a hissy fit insisting that the bees had to go.  They have a niece who is allergic to bees.  I highly doubt she's allergic to honeybees, but, whatever.  She told Mark that as long as those bees were in our yard, her niece risked death every time she stepped outside.  We moved the bees across the street.  Less than a 100 yards.  We haven't heard any complaints since.  The thing that's funny to me, is that we might as well have moved them into her backyard, as the bees are just as close, relatively speaking.

Becky
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #45 on: September 23, 2008, 10:42:44 AM »

Jacobs and JP give good advice. You need to find out what rules your town uses. Most code violations require some written notice to "cease and desist" the activity with a statutory referenece which is usually available down at city hall. It will outline exactly your rights and the way in which you proceed. Frankly, an attorney is not needed initially. It might down the road, but most intelligent persons can manage many issues of this type themselves. Ask for an explanation, not from the police who are 'just following' orders, but from a zoning officer, code officer or equivalent. If you fall under a general nuisance, not otherwise excluded, you have a decision to make about how hard you want to fight. Most town do not expressly exclude bees, but proceed under genral nuidance concepts. this si where education of the town leaders can be very effective.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #46 on: September 23, 2008, 11:37:03 AM »

I am reminded of the old adage... the person who represents himself or herself, has a fool for a client.
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JP
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« Reply #47 on: September 23, 2008, 02:06:56 PM »

We had the same problem with our neighbors.  Unfortunately our neighbors who were concerned are also our landlords!!!!   shocked

She complained, p'ed and moaned, and just generally threw a hissy fit insisting that the bees had to go.  They have a niece who is allergic to bees.  I highly doubt she's allergic to honeybees, but, whatever.  She told Mark that as long as those bees were in our yard, her niece risked death every time she stepped outside.  We moved the bees across the street.  Less than a 100 yards.  We haven't heard any complaints since.  The thing that's funny to me, is that we might as well have moved them into her backyard, as the bees are just as close, relatively speaking.

Becky

You know, you never hear people at picnics or other outside activities saying they or someone else is allergic and that the picnic is a bad idea or the football game is a bad idea 'cause so and so might get stung because they are allergic, ya'll ever hear this?

Makes we wonder when people tell me they are allergic, if there's some kind of allergic club I'm unaware of?

I believe people think they may be allergic but that most who say they are, are probably not.


...JP
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #48 on: September 23, 2008, 11:10:16 PM »

As a retired cop I have a few additional suggestions/comments:
1.  In lieu of a specific ordinance the police will lump bee complaints under public/attractive nuisance ordinance to cite in response to the complaint.  They will take this action as it is the part municipal code that they can enforce, they do not have jurisdiction to enforce zoning codes, that takes a code enforcement officer.  If there is a ordinance about beekeeping it takes president over the public nuisance ordinance as the wrong ordinance was used in the matter.  It is critical in law that the correct application be cited or the case is a non-sequitor, i.e. improperly applied and, as such, unenforceable.

2. Check your zoning codes, city ordinances, and housing association bylaws before jumping off the cliff.  If the police cite you under the public nuisance ordinance go to court and as for a continuance on the grounds you need time to prepare your case (research of ordinances etc.)  If the police get hard nosed (they shouldn't as you're exercising your lawful rights) tell them they can at their own peril if they insist prior to adjudication/resolution.  Unless there is a police officer who's also a beekeeper, chances are they'll await adjudication.
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