Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hailey will not get its goats

Urban agriculture limited to bees and chickens


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

    The Hailey City Council rejected a request by Hailey residents Monday to allow for the raising of geese and goats in residential zones, but expressed interest in expanding areas in the city for keeping bees.
    The council also expressed an interest in increasing the number of chickens allowed per household.
    Community Development Director Micah Austin requested on behalf of residents a change to the city’s zoning ordinance that would allow residents to raise more animal species, including geese and goats, but the council rejected the idea, citing potential odor problems.
    The city’s urban agriculture ordinance allows for keeping bees, chickens and horses, as well as vegetable gardens and community gardens.    
    Many city gardeners raise produce for sale at local stores and restaurants.
    “Bee keeping is only allowed in residential areas,” said Austin in an interview. “But you could also have hives in industrial areas on flat rooftops.”
    Austin was told by council members that they would be interested in looking at an expansion of bee keeping in the city, but did not direct Austin to draft an ordinance change to that effect.
    Austin said one year after the city passed a bee-keeping ordinance to regulate apiculture in Hailey, there have been “zero complaints.”
    Austin said Tom Harned, a beekeeper and owner of Five Bee Hives, was helpful in drafting the city’s bee-keeping ordinance. Austin said neither he nor Harned had any idea how many hives there are in Hailey.
     “They are small and can be easily hidden in backyards,” Austin said.
    Austin said hobby bee-keepers are not required to register their hives, but commercial bee-keepers, like Harned, are required to do so.
    The City Council expressed interest in increasing the number of chickens allowed in the city, said Austin, but again did not instruct him to draft any ordinances changes to do so.
    Only three chickens, and no roosters, are allowed per single-family residence in the Limited Residential, General Residential, Limited Business and Transitional zoning districts.
    Roosters are not allowed because they crow at dawn and at many other times of the day.
    The city allows horses as a conditional use in the General Residential zone, up to two per acre on lots of one acre or more.
    In other Hailey news:
- The Hailey P&Z Commission will consider next Monday a request by the Syringa Mountain School to allow for a “reasonable number” of livestock to be kept for educational purposes on a new campus in the Woodside light-industrial area.
- The Hailey City Council approved a recommendation by Austin that calls for the two-lot Life Springs subdivision in the county, just north of Albertsons grocery store, be developed according to city sidewalk and street standards.
Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com






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