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Beekeeping legalized in Minneapolis

  • April 24, 2009 - 9:09 PM

It's now legal to keep honeybees in Minneapolis -- as soon as your application is approved.

The City Council on Friday unanimously approved a proposal by Council Member Diane Hofstede to lift a 34-year-old ban on apiaries within city limits. Applications are expected to be available around June 1.

Would-be beekeepers on typical city lots will be required to gain consenting signatures from all abutting property owners, plus 80 percent of owners within 100 feet of their property.

On lots of more than 4 acres, keepers will need consent from all property owners within 150 feet of the hives and 80 percent of the owners with 250 feet of the hives.

If they can't get consent for beekeeping on their own, they could try for the same permission for any lot in the city with an owner willing to provide space, perhaps in exchange for better pollination or a share of the honey and comb. Isolated undeveloped lots could have a larger number of hives.

The area where hives are kept -- no more than two for a typical city lot -- would have to be fenced and flyways devised with barriers to get bees to altitude quickly when the hive is near a property line. Keepers would be required to get some schooling and a city permit of $100 initially and $50 annually.

Also, the council denied an appeal from developers who wanted to build a 96-unit, six-story apartment building near the east end of the Stone Arch Bridge in southeast Minneapolis. The council's decision denying a rezoning and other related land-use requests affirms an earlier decision by the city's Planning Commission.

Developers John Wall and Steve Minn sought to build their project on a triangular lot at SE. 600 Main St. City officials said that the land is designated for park use in neighborhood and city long-range plans, and that the existing industrial zoning already permits a smaller number of units to be built on the site.

STEVE BRANDT

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