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A new ordinance for Princeton would allow residents to keep bees within city limits passed its first reading in the Princeton City Council recently

PRINCETON — Two ordinances, one to allow beekeeping in city limits and another adjusting the zoning in the city, were passed on first reading at last week’s Princeton City Council meeting.

Deputy Director of Code Enforcement Ty Smith, who is a beekeeper himself, said of the first ordinance on Tuesday, “The (ordinance) requires that all prospective beekeepers have 2,000 square feet of land to have hives and their lots would have to be inspected to make sure it is suitable for beekeeping.”

The ordinance, he added, has parameters in order to be in alignment with state law and was mostly meant for people keeping one or two hives. ‘It’s a learning curve. We’re trying to see what other municipalities are doing,” he said.

Smith said that, after the ordinance passes, he and Will Lambert, owner of Blue Ridge Bee Company, would be holding seminars on beekeeping at the Municipal Building.

“We’re going to hold seminars for parents, children, the Boy Scouts and civic organizations. We’re also planning to have local artists and photographers the opportunity to do work involving bees,’ he said.

The CEO, he added, would be experimenting with raised gardens where one garden is accessible to bees and one garden isn’t.

“We’re trying to open an observation area where people can see us working with the bees. As for what we’re doing, we’re trying to ensure further survival of honeybee colonies, because bees are our number one pollinators,” he said.

As for the zoning ordinance, City Clerk Ken Clay said it was to change the zoning of a plot owned by Bryon Satterfield at the end of Airport Drive from residential to commercial upon recommendation by the Planning Commission.

The first ordinance was passed on motion of Councilwoman Jacqueline Rucker with a second from Councilman Dewey Russell. The second ordinance was passed on motion of Councilman Jim Hill and second by Councilman James Harvey.

Both ordinances will be up for second reading and public hearing at the Nov. 12 Princeton City Council meeting.

Contact Jeff Harvey at delimartman@yahoo.com

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