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Re: [beekeeping] It's official! Aurora Colorado's beekeeping ordinance passes final reading!

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  • Ismael Carlo
    REMOVE ME FROM YOUR LIST Cara &Tom Patterson wrote:Last night, August 11, 2003 the City Council Of Aurora Colorado unanimously passed
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 12, 2003
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      REMOVE ME FROM YOUR LIST

      Cara &Tom Patterson <tomandcara@...> wrote:
      Last night,  August 11, 2003 the City Council Of Aurora Colorado
      unanimously passed the final reading of the beekeeping ordinance!  It
      will become law in 30 days!  I am thrilled with the passing of this
      ordinance.  I hope and pray that beekeepers in other municipalities
      will pursue steps to assure they will be able to legally keep beehives
      in their town or city.   Aurora is Colorado's third largest city with
      a population of 286,028.  I wish to publicly acknowledge and thank the
      many people who have supported this effort in their own ways.  The
      below ordinance is what will be on the books.  I love the intro of the
      bill when I think of how close the city came to passing an ordinance
      that would have banned beekeeping in residential Aurora. 

      Tom Patterson,
      Aurora, Colorado
      ___________________________________________________________________________________________________


      ORDINANCE NO. 2003-51

      A BILL

      FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 14 OF THE CITY CODE OF THE CITY OF
      AURORA, COLORADO, BY ADDING A NEW SECTION 14-15 RELATING TO BEEKEEPING

      __________________________


      WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Aurora, Colorado has found
      that honeybees can be maintained within populated areas in reasonable
      densities without causing a nuisance if the bees are properly located
      and carefully managed; and

      WHEREAS, honeybees are of benefit to mankind by providing agriculture,
      fruit and garden pollination services and by furnishing honey, wax,
      and other useful products; and

      WHEREAS, passage of this ordinance is in the interests of the health,
      safety and welfare of the citizens.

      NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF
      AURORA, COLORADO:

            Section 1.  That Chapter 14 of the City Code of the City of
      Aurora, Colorado, is hereby amended by adding a new section, to be
      numbered 14-15, which section reads as follows:

      SEC. 14-15 BEEKEEPING.

      (A)  DEFINITIONS.  THE FOLLOWING WORDS, TERMS AND PHRASES, WHEN USED
      IN THIS SECTION, SHALL HAVE MEANINGS ASCRIBED TO THEM IN THIS SECTION:

            (1)  APIARY SHALL MEAN A PLACE WHERE BEE COLONIES ARE KEPT.

            (2)  BEE SHALL MEAN ANY STAGE OF THE COMMON DOMESTIC HONEY
      BEE, APIS MELLIFERA  SPECIES.

            (3)  COLONY SHALL MEAN A HIVE AND ITS EQUIPMENT AND
      APPURTENANCES, INCLUDING BEES, COMB, HONEY, POLLEN, AND BROOD.

            (4)  HIVE SHALL MEAN A STRUCTURE INTENDED FOR THE HOUSING OF A
      BEE COLONY.

            (5)  TRACT SHALL MEAN A CONTIGUOUS PARCEL OF LAND UNDER COMMON
      OWNERSHIP.

      (B)  HIVES.  ALL BEE COLONIES SHALL BE KEPT IN INSPECTABLE TYPE HIVES
      WITH REMOVABLE COMBS, WHICH SHALL BE KEPT IN SOUND AND USABLE
      CONDITION.

      (C)  SETBACK.  ALL HIVES SHALL BE LOCATED AT LEAST FIVE FEET FROM ANY
      ADJOINING PROPERTY WITH THE BACK OF THE HIVE FACING THE NEAREST
      ADJOINING PROPERTY.

      (D)  FENCING OF FLYWAYS. IN EACH INSTANCE IN WHICH ANY COLONY IS
      SITUATED WITHIN TWENTY-FIVE (25) FEET OF A DEVELOPED PUBLIC OR PRIVATE
      PROPERTY LINE OF THE TRACT UPON WHICH THE APIARY IS SITUATED, AS
      MEASURED FROM THE NEAREST POINT ON THE HIVE TO THE PROPERTY LINE, THE
      BEEKEEPER SHALL ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A FLYWAY BARRIER AT LEAST SIX
      (6) FEET IN HEIGHT CONSISTING OF A SOLID WALL OR FENCE PARALLEL TO THE
      PROPERTY LINE AND EXTENDING TEN (10) FEET BEYOND THE COLONY IN EACH
      DIRECTION SO THAT ALL BEES ARE FORCED TO FLY AT AN ELEVATION OF AT
      LEAST SIX (6) FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL OVER THE PROPERTY LINES IN THE
      VICINITY OF THE APIARY. 

      (E)  WATER.  EACH BEEKEEPER SHALL ENSURE THAT A CONVENIENT SOURCE OF
      WATER IS AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES TO THE BEES SO THAT THE BEES WILL NOT
      CONGREGATE AT SWIMMING POOLS, BIBCOCKS, PET WATER BOWLS, BIRDBATHS OR
      OTHER WATER SOURCES WHERE THEY MAY CAUSE HUMAN, BIRD OR DOMESTIC PET
      CONTACT.  THE WATER SHALL BE MAINTAINED SO AS NOT TO BECOME STAGNANT.

      (F)  MAINTENANCE.  EACH BEEKEEPER SHALL ENSURE THAT NO BEE COMB OR
      OTHER MATERIALS THAT MIGHT ENCOURAGE ROBBING ARE LEFT UPON THE GROUNDS
      OF THE APIARY SITE.  UPON THEIR REMOVAL FROM THE HIVE, ALL SUCH
      MATERIALS SHALL PROMPTLY BE DISPOSED OF IN A SEALED CONTAINER OR
      PLACED WITHIN A BUILDING OR OTHER BEE-PROOF ENCLOSURE. 

      (G)  QUEENS.  IN ANY INSTANCE IN WHICH A COLONY EXHIBITS UNUSUALLY
      AGGRESSIVE CHARACTERISTICS BY STINGING OR ATTEMPTING TO STING WITHOUT
      DUE PROVOCATION OR EXHIBITS AN UNUSUAL DISPOSITION TOWARDS SWARMING,
      IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF THE BEEKEEPER TO RE-QUEEN THE COLONY.  QUEENS
      SHALL BE SELECTED FROM STOCK BRED FOR GENTLENESS AND NONSWARMING
      CHARACTERISTICS.


      (H) COLONY DENSITIES.

      (1)      IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL TO KEEP MORE THAN THE FOLLOWING NUMBER OF
      COLONIES ON ANY TRACT WITHIN THE CITY, BASED UPON THE SIZE OR
      CONFIGURATION OF THE TRACT ON WHICH THE APIARY IS SITUATED:
      (A)      ONE-QUARTER (1/4) ACRE OR LESS TRACT SIZE - TWO (2) COLONIES;
      (B)      MORE THAN ONE-QUARTER (1/4) ACRE BUT LESS THAN ONE-HALF (1/2)
      ACRE TRACT SIZE - FOUR (4) COLONIES;
      (C)      ONE-HALF (1/2) ACRE OR MORE BUT LESS THAN ONE (1) ACRE TRACT
      SIZE - SIX (6) COLONIES;
      (D)      ONE (1) ACRE OR LARGER TRACT SIZE - EIGHT (8) COLONIES;
      (E)       REGARDLESS OF TRACT SIZE, WHERE ALL HIVES ARE SITUATED AT
      LEAST TWO HUNDRED (200) FEET IN ANY DIRECTION FROM ALL PROPERTY LINES
      OF THE TRACT ON WHICH THE APIARY IS SITUATED, THERE SHALL BE NO LIMIT
      TO THE NUMBER OF COLONIES.
      (2)      FOR EACH TWO (2) COLONIES AUTHORIZED UNDER COLONY DENSITIES,
      SUBSECTION (H)(1) ABOVE, THERE MAY BE MAINTAINED UPON THE SAME TRACT
      ONE NUCLEUS COLONY IN A HIVE STRUCTURE NOT EXCEEDING ONE (1) STANDARD
      NINE AND FIVE-EIGHTHS (9 5/8) INCH DEPTH TEN (10) FRAME HIVE BODY WITH
      NO SUPERS ATTACHED AS REQUIRED FROM TIME TO TIME FOR MANAGEMENT OF
      SWARMS.  EACH SUCH NUCLEUS COLONY SHALL BE DISPOSED OF OR COMBINED
      WITH AN AUTHORIZED COLONY WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS AFTER THE DATE IT IS
      ACQUIRED.
      (I) PROHIBITED.  THE KEEPING BY ANY PERSON OF BEE COLONIES IN THE CITY
      NOT IN STRICT COMPLIANCE WITH THIS SECTION IS PROHIBITED.  ANY BEE
      COLONY NOT RESIDING IN A HIVE STRUCTURE INTENDED FOR BEEKEEPING, OR
      ANY SWARM OF BEES, OR ANY COLONY RESIDING IN A STANDARD OR HOMEMADE
      HIVE WHICH, BY VIRTUE OF ITS CONDITION, HAS OBVIOUSLY BEEN ABANDONED
      BY THE BEEKEEPER, IS UNLAWFUL AND MAY BE SUMMARILY DESTROYED OR
      REMOVED FROM THE CITY BY THE CITY MANAGER OR DESIGNEE. 

      Section 2.  That all ordinances or parts of ordinances of the City
      Code of the City of Aurora, Colorado in conflict herewith are
      expressly repealed.


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    • Cara &Tom Patterson
      ... Hi Ken The only problem with not doing anything is that someone else may decide to do something that else. In Aurora, the City attorney decided that
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 12, 2003
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        On Tue, 12 Aug 2003 11:12:18 -0700 (PDT), you wrote:

        >My only comment before everyone goes out and pushes
        >for ordinances that could stir up opposition is that
        >if it is not mentioned at all it is not unlawful. It
        >is only unlawful if there is an ordinance prohibiting
        >the keeping of bees. Also if there are no ordinances
        >there are no restrictions such as are set up in this
        >one.

        Hi Ken

        The only problem with not doing anything is that someone else may
        decide to do something that else. In Aurora, the City attorney
        decided that no-one had addressed beekeeping in the animal control
        ordinance. The attorney then wrote a one line sentence in the
        multipage ordinance that would have restricted beekeeping to
        agricultural zones. I had heard many times the philosophy that you
        are supporting and actually if you are watching your municipalities
        ordinance procedures you could initiate an attempt to block an
        unfavorable ordinance if one were in the making. I was just blessed
        by a number of factors in being able to aid in stopping the ban. I am
        urging beekeepers to be pro-active rather than reactive and work on
        getting something that clearly defines the legality of having beehives
        in a municipal area. Golden Colorado has a nice simple law. It was
        one that I suggested to the city council as a model but the city staff
        wanted more control than it offered. They increased the control but I
        still get to have my hives and an irate neighbor cannot cause me to
        loose my hives by complaining (which happened to a friend last year
        when there was no ordinance).

        By the way here is Golden's ordinance in it's entirety:
        Municipal Code 18.28.085(6) Beehives for domesticated honeybees,
        provided, however, that all hives shall be located at least five feet
        from any adjoining property with the back of the hive facing the
        nearest adjoining property.

        This code change was added to the city in 1999 after a beekeeper (Dick
        Sargent) had neighbors complaining and he took the steps to educate
        his city council and make sure it was legal for him to keep his bees.

        Each beekeeper who lives in a municipal area should look at what the
        city, town, village, etc allows and consider what they wish to do.

        Tom Patterson,
        Aurora, CO
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