Chairman Ball and Members of the County Council:
The Howard County League of Women Voters with amendment supports CB-55-2010 (ZRA_117). The League thanks Councilmembers Greg Fox and Mary Kay Sigaty for their sponsorship of this legislation.
The League supports the proposed legislation to permit apiaries as an accessory use on lots containing community gardens, and in the side and rear yards of all single-family residential lots with a minimum of 25 feet side and rear setbacks from the lot line.
The National League's position on the Environment supports maintaining the biological integrity of the ecosystem. Bees are crucial component of our ecosystem. The proposed allowances will improve conditions for pollination vital to the production of food and honey.
The Planning Board in its advisory opinion on ZRA 117 supported a limitation on location to lots greater than 20,000 square feet in the Non Planned Service Area and 40,000 square foot lots as a minimum size in the Planned Service Area. The Planning Board also made other recommendations to encourage and permit placement on County owned land, conditional uses on CA open space land or community gardens and no placement in the side yards of residential lots in the Planned Service area.
The League found in its research that many cities have enacted apiaries or bee keeping regulations. Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego, Fort Collins, Boise, Seattle, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis, Portland, San Francisco and Santa Monica are some locations that have enacted legislation. These jurisdictions with greater density and smaller lots did not prohibit apiaries because of the size of a residential lot. Attached to the League's testimony are the regulations for Salt Lake City, Utah and Franklin County, Ohio both enacted in 2009.
Both Salt Lake City and Franklin County regulations speak to density -that is, the density of the allowed number of bee colonies permitted on a residential lot. The League suggests that CB 55 be amended to designate the allowed number of bee colonies on residential property in the Planned Service area and on residential lots less than 20,000square feet in the Non Planned Service Area.
The League urges the Council to support with amendment Council Bill 55-2010.
Alison Carney, Co-Chair Action
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