The keeping of honey bees will be allowed in the city of Holland.
The Holland City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday, with Councilman Wayne Klomparens casting the lone no vote.
The issue was brought to the city council in March by resident Tom Volkema, who had to destroy his bee colony after being cited by the city. It was sent to and discussed by the Holland Planning Commission for several months. In June, the commission voted 4-2 against a beekeeping ordinance that would allow the insects to by kept by city residents. The city council, however, disagreed and approved the measure.
The council approved a version of the law that allowed beekeeping anywhere in the city — not just on lots 8,000 square feet or larger, which would have excluded homes in central city neighborhoods.
Councilman Jay Peters said the fee was fair because the city was taking a “leap of faith” in allowing the residents to keep the insects on their property. The fee is a reasonable way to work together, he said.
Councilman Myron Trethewey asked for an amendment, however, that the fee be $25 for three years and a renewal fee of $15 every two years. The ordinance that was approved Wednesday night calls for fees to be set later, giving officials more time to debate that aspect of the measure.
No residents spoke against the proposed law during the public hearing.
The only dissent came from Klomparens, who said setbacks from parks and bees being stirred up by lawn mowers were concerning.
“Not everyone is excited about this ordinance,” he said.
The other council members were in favor, however. Councilwoman Nancy De Boer specifically mentioned the issue of colony collapse that has dwindled the number of honey bees in the country, saying this was Holland’s chance to help with that and pollination of the area’s vast agricultural areas.
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