Sunday, November 1, 2015

In case you were wondering ... bee keeping is allowed in Dunwoody, GA

It was Halloween evening and I am over at a neighbors house sitting around a campfire in the middle of the cul-de-sac where the group was happily passing out candy to those who begged,threatened, asked.  I was about to leave the gathering when a friend pulled me aside as he was very concerned that we (the City) were citing bee keepers for zoning violations and that he was afraid that we might be coming for his hive next?

I informed my friend that the issue did come up recently and in checking the City Ordinances, I discovered that we are completely silent on the keeping of bees therefore it was my belief that the practice is allowed as they were not mentioned or defined by City law.  Our regulations clearly state that the Ordinances of the City are the minimum standards requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety, morals and general welfare and that if the city attempted to regulate back yard bee hives that it would be over stepping its authority because the Council has not prohibited or regulated the practice in any way.

Legal & administrative staff seem to be backing up my opinion and as I told other council members, if push comes to shove on this issue - I am leaning heavily as pro bee.


Steve Barton said...


Steve Barton said...


DunwoodyTalk said...

Any chance we can revisit backyard chickens?

SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions said...

Only if backyard chicken owners are subject to the same administrative process as home business owners. (SLUP, public hearing, extra permits etc).

No one wants to be the guy who likes animals more than people. And no one REALLY wants to be the guy who gets caught in an ethics investigation over politically motivated decisions because two different standards were applied to activities raised by homeowners that haven't generated a flood of complaints. Right, gentlemen?

John Heneghan said...

FYI to all interested parties, Dunwoody Staff has confirmed that bee hives are allowed in the City of Dunwoody.

Rick, as far as Chickens are concerned, I am the last member of Council to be officially on the record as being pro Chicken as the 4 to 3 vote took place back in March of 2010 and failed.

Much like the Tilly Mill / North Peachtree Intersection that we as a community were not ready for thirteen years ago but are now renovating; the topic of backyard chickens will come back for discussion someday.

That being said, it will not be a subject for me to personally push as I have already lived through the issue but I am pretty certain as to where I would vote if another reasonable proposal were presented.

Adrienne, you and I haven't seen eye to eye on this subject but I don't see the connection to chickens and the business regulations.

SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions said...

The connection is that both are held up by their supporters as "residential activity" that is outside thee stereotypical sphere of suburban living. However, they were both treated very differently when their regulation (or lack thereof) was brought before council. I blogged on this numerous times and I know that you've seen that so please - don't pretend that I've never pointed out the contradiction before and that you're not well aware of it.

You and the livestock supporters attempted to frame legislation that would allow a "change in the residential character" of a community to allow an activity without a single piece of paper being filed, no alerting the neighbors, no public hearings, etc. You don't believe that animals owned by homeowners in their backyard deserves to be regulated.

However, when it comes to human beings without livestock, your standards are much stricter. IN spite of a very low incidence of filed complaints (not just verified - FILED - the home business map on my blog confirms that) you think that anyone who has even a single customer or a single business discussion in their home needs to write to neighbors in an ever-growing radius, and subject themselves to a mean-spirited public hearing process that makes enemies of neighbors and doesn't "protect" anyone's rights or comfort in their home. Like that last disaster with the SLUP for the daycare. Remember the parade of naysayers in those hearings? All kinds of speculation about home values and not one of those people filed a complaint against the lady and her childcare. That's not how you "build community".

One group gets preferential treatment in drafting legislation (granted, it didn't pass, but you pushed it very hard) while another group that is much larger and has a longer track record of being good neighbors and taxpayers several times over with few exceptions gets regulated to the point they just operate covertly. That looks an awful lot like decisions made on personal prejudice - or politics.

So the connection is: if one very large group of citizens has to be regulated with tons of paperwork even with no significant track record of nuisance activity verified, then the smaller group that is your favorite should be regulated to the same degree. Otherwise, it's favortism. That thing the ethics code is supposed to prevent.

GaryRayBetz said...

Crazy happy about the bees! Now I'll have homegrown free-range pollinators for my new poppy growing venture! However, with now reading about the malevolent hearing process that home businesses have to experience, I do believe, aside from the other obvious reasons, I'll be keeping this blossoming enterprise on the down-low. Thanks Dunwoody neighbors for the 411!