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Beekeeping now legal in city

Residents can now apply for a permit to keep bees in the City of Cedar Springs, after the City Council approved an ordinance last month on beekeeping. 

According to the ordinance, it will be for an experimental period of two years. “To strike a balance between those who desire to keep honeybees and the concerns raised by others regarding possible problems with allowing honeybees to be kept in the City – and to allow the City Council to assess whether honeybees should be allowed to be kept in the City on a permanent basis – the City Council finds that permitting the keeping of honeybees on an experimental two (2) year basis is the appropriate intermediate compromise solution,” reads the ordinance.

A person will need to apply for a permit from the planning commission to keep bees. Letters will be sent to all those with adjacent properties informing them of the person’s intention to keep bees. If anyone objects, that objection will be given to the planning commission along with the application.

The Planning Commission shall review the permit application in light of the following factors:

  1. The number of honeybees the applicant desires to keep;
  2. The size of the lot on which honeybees are proposed to be kept;
  3. The adequacy of the applicant’s plans for housing and confining the honeybees, specifically the intention to follow the guidelines promulgated and known as the Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices for the Care of Farm Animals January 2015 – Beekeeping and Apiary Management as published by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
  4. Input received from adjacent property owners; and
  5. Other factors relevant to the applicant’s particular circumstances.

A beekeeper must follow all guidelines in the ordinance, including: Keep no more than a total of two hives on real property less than 10,890 square feet; no more than 4 hives on real property less than 21,780 square feet; no more than 6 hives on real property less than 43,560 square feet; and no more than eight hives on real property more than 43,561 square feet.

For more of the guidelines, see sections 8-73 to 8-79. Go to http://dev.cityofcedarsprings.org/ordinances/

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