PAC to seek public participation at a Sept. 24 meeting.
Beekeeper John Hood with Angela Goodwin, who has applied to amend the town's planning laws to enable her to have beehives on her property in town, appear at an informal meeting of the planning advisory committee. BELLE HATFIELD PHOTO
The town's planning advisory committee met informally with beekeepers on Tuesday, Sept. 10, to review a proposed amendment to the town's planning strategy and bylaws to allow people to maintain urbran beekeeping operations as hobbies within the town's limits.
It was decided to schedule a public participation meeting for Tuesday, Sept. 24 to gauge the public appetite for allowing bee hives in town.
The planner has drawn up proposed amendments in response to council's direction, but he is recommending that the PAC vote against the application. He cited concerns about usage creep (if bees, then chickens?) and dangers, both real and perceived.
Angela Goodwin's home is on a one-acre lot on Chestnut Street. She wants to have two or three hives to help pollinate flowers and vegetables and for honey.
Several committee members questioned why one would want a beehive in town.
Referring to the efforts of the town's Communites in Bloom committee, she said, "If you want to have pretty flowers, you have to have bees."
At an earlier council meeting beekeeper John Hood provided councillors with a detailed synopsis of what was involved in beekeeping. He also attended Tuesday's meeting. He pointed to other jurisdictions where beehives coixist in urban environments.
In response to potential scenarios raised by committee members the town's CAO Jeff Gushue suggested that maybe they should concentrate on whether beekeeping was consistent with the kind of lifestyle that the town aspires to embrace.
The public participation meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m.. There will be a planning advisory committee meeting in advance of the public participation meeting, beginning at 6 p.m.