City Council unanimously voted to amend the ordinance about beekeeping to encourage beekeeping in town, instead of regarding it as something to be strictly regulated.
All public speakers and council members were in favor.
“I’ve already ordered my bee platforms,” said Mayor Deirdre Martin.
Erin Macias, a member of the Bee Legal Pacifica People, was one of the community members who spoke in favor of changing the city ordinance to encourage beekeeping.
Helen Gannon, assistant planner, presented a staff report that told the history of Pacifica’s ordinance. Bees were allowed to be kept no closer than 200 feet away from any inhabitable structure or playground. That severely limited the places where bees could be kept.
Recent advocacy by local beekeepers, Bee Legal Pacifica People and the Beekeepers’ Guild of San Mateo County asked for new regulations to make backyard beekeeping easier to permit.
No permit fees will be required in the new ordinance. Now it will be the responsibility of the beekeeper to keep the bees in a manner that will not disturb the peace of the neighborhood.
Any potential problems will be treated as “nuisance abatement,” not a violation of city code.
“Bees are an essential part of the earth’s ecosystem and provide many benefits, including pollinating plants for both human and animal food. Over the last few decades, honey bee and native bee populations have been decreased due to a number of environmental issues,” Gannon said.