After hearing from several local residents, as well as a few from elsewhere, on both sides of the issue, Forsyth County’s planning board has recommended that beekeeping be allowed in all residential zoning districts.
The board agreed 4-0 to the measure during a meeting Tuesday night. Planning board member Matt Murphy was absent.
The potential change to the unified development code moves on to the Forsyth County commission, which will consider it later this spring.
Planning board member Joe Moses commended the Forsyth County Beekeepers Club for bringing the matter to light and educating the panel and others about bees.
“I would just like to say thank you,” he said. “I think you’ve handled it in a very learned and diplomatic way.”
Moses also asked that residents who say they’ve had problems with swarms of bees coming to their property from a neighbor’s hives to contact the beekeepers club and give it an opportunity to help.
The motion, which Moses made, included the provision that local beekeepers follow best beekeeping practices as established by the club.
The issue first arose last year after Nicholas Weaver received a notice from county code enforcement that his hives were a violation.
He appealed the matter through the county’s chain of command, contending that honeybees are not livestock.
Also Tuesday, the planning board agreed 4-0 to replace the word “church” in the unified development code with the phrase “places of worship” and keep the original definition as it stands.
A measure to send modifications to accessory structure regulations to the county commission with approval failed because of a tie vote.
The planning board will revisit the matter during its next meeting, in April.
A measure to recommend approval to amendments to the new design overlay district passed 4-0, as did a request for a conditional use permit for Happy Dogs Play and Stay kennel, 6130 Parkway North Drive.
Charles McGlamery’s request to rezone about 6.4 acres on Misty Cove Lane from lake residential to agricultural also was cleared 4-0.