SILVER LAKE — The village is buzzing about beekeeping.
Residents will have a chance to share their thoughts this week on a proposed zoning change that would allow beekeeping in Silver Lake.
A public hearing on the proposed zoning amendment will take place at 6:40 p.m. on Monday before Village Council’s regular meeting at Village Hall, 2961 Kent Road.
Mayor Bernie Hovey said the issue came to the fore because there is a homeowner who has been doing beekeeping for about a year and there is a second resident who would like to begin the practice.
Hovey said while the village does not have an ordinance specifically prohibiting beekeeping, the municipality has an ordinance banning nuisance animals and pests, which he said "has been used to prohibit bees in the past."
"This, to me, seems an incorrect description of bees, and I see no valid argument to prohibit beekeeping, as long as state law, Department of Agriculture rules and regulations, and any stipulations we may want to add into an ordinance, are adhered to," he explained.
Village Solicitor Robert Heydorn said he put together the legislation after reviewing ordinances from Cuyahoga Falls, Michigan and Florida. The ordinance would amend the zoning code to permit beekeeping as an accessory use in residential areas. It would also set up regulations such as the number of hives allowed on a piece of land (which would vary depending on the acreage); the minimum distance that a hive can be to a lot line or public right-of-way; and placement of a barrier near the hive.
A property owner keeping bees must obtain a license from the Ohio Department of Agriculture and post it near the hives, according to the proposed ordinance.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.