After a rather long, confusing ordeal with the Madison County Zoning Commission, it has been confirmed that we cannot keep our Honey Bee Hives on our property at our home. I know........it makes no sense, considering that the City of Troy permits Beekeeping on city property that is zoned "Residential". The City of Edwardsville also permits Beekeeping on city property that is zoned "Residential". Go figure, huh?
We are not in the City "proper" of Troy, but I can throw a rock in any direction from our property and hit City property. Yep, it makes NO sense!
All was well at our present location, after we discussed our intentions to keep 2 hives. Well, all WAS well until a meddling, alcoholic neighbor placed a call ranting to the Madison County Zoning Commission. At first, they said Beekeeping was fine at our location. Then, we received a letter saying we needed to obtain a "special use permit" to keep the bees. We prepared our defense, and applied for the permit, only to talk with someone else from the Zoning Office, who stated that we cannot apply for the permit, because we are not zoned for it. Long story short........there are very few people that work at the Madison County Zoning office that know anything about the details of zoning ordinances in Madison County! Our tax dollars at work, as usual!
So, we will be moving our Honey Bee Hives about 3 miles away, to property Angie and I own that IS zoned for this use. The problem is solved, but the fight is far from over. We are embarking on a mission to get the Madison County Zoning Ordinance changed. It may not help us, but it will help others in the future, and we feel it is the right thing to do.
There is something fundamentally wrong with the system when folks are allowed to keep Bees in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and many other places more densely populated than Madison County, Illinois.
They even have a Honey Bee Hive on the south lawn of the White House!
The challenge has begun, and we won't stop until the ordinances are changed for the better. The Madison County Board likes to use politically correct phrases like "Sustainability" and "Go Green". It's one thing to "talk the talk", but we intend to see to it that they "walk the walk". Honey Bee survival is at the very core of the sustainability issue.
All will be fine with our Honey Bees at their new location. I will keep our Blog updated as this moves forward. There is much work to do, and the process will be long, but Angie and I both love a challenge, and look forward to putting unfounded fears to rest, and change some minds regarding the importance of Honey Bees and Beekeeping!
In summary............it's GAME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)