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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Year of Plenty

New Proposed Laws for Spokane County to Allow Beekeeping in Residential Neighborhoods

 

We've been making progress in the Spokane area when it comes to chicken laws. The City of Spokane Valley looks set to approve new laws allowing chickens in residential neighborhoods. The new ordinance will have it's final reading on March 22 and based on the tenor of the meeting earlier this week, it looks like it will be approved. Our group of chicken activists is currently meeting with Spokane County Commissioners to garner their support to change the laws in Spokane County. You can help the cause by emailing the commissioners and letting them know you'd like them to ask the Planning Department to take action - tmielke@spokanecounty.org , mrichard@spokanecounty.organd afrench@spokanecounty.org.

While the Spokane chicken revolution has been unfolding in a public way, the move to change beekeeping laws in Spokane County has been quietly progressing behind the scenes for over a year. 

Here are the current laws regarding beekeeping in the Spokane area:

In the City of Spokane, Beekeeping IS ALLOWED as an accessory use on single-family residence lots.  View the Ciity of Spokane Beekeeping Ordinance can be found here.

The City of Spokane Valley municipal code provides an even broader use for beekeeping - allowing up to 25 hives on a residential lot.

icon City of Spokane Valley - Residential Zone Permitted Uses

icon City of Spokane Valley - Supplemental Use Regulations for Residential Zones

icon City of Spokane Valley - Definition of Beekeeping

Beekeeping is currently not allowed in residential areas in unincorporated Spokane County. Apparently the current laws are problematic in a number of ways, and so for the last year local beekeepers have been working with the County to improve the ordinance. According to Jerry Tate, who is among Spokane's beekeeping experts, the new and improved ordinance will come up for its final reading in April, and it includes a provision allowing up to two boxes on residential lots. While I haven't seen the ordinance, like the other area ordinances, it probably requires that you have to take a class and be a certified beekeeping apprentice before you can keep bees, and you likely will have to register your boxes with the County.



Year of Plenty

The Year of Plenty blog was created by Craig Goodwin in the winter of 2008 to chronicle the experiences of his family as they sought to consume everything local, used, homegrown or homemade. That journey was a wonderful introduction to people and movements in the Spokane area who are seeking the welfare of the community through local foods, farmers markets, community gardens, sustainable transportation, and more fulfilling and just patterns of consumption. In 2009 and beyond the blog will continue to report on these relationships and practices, all through the eyes of a family with young children. Craig manages the Millwood Farmers' Market, is a Master Food Preserver and Pastor at Millwood Presbyterian Church. Craig can be reached at goody2230@gmail.com