Aldermen approve language regulating honeybees in Quincy

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Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development, said someone living in the St. Charles neighborhood in the Sixth Ward — the southwest portion of Quincy — complained to aldermen about bees. | Photo courtesy of pexels.com

QUINCY — Aldermen voted during Monday night’s meeting of the Quincy City Council to approve an ordinance regulating how many honeybees or hives a homeowner could have.

Honeybees?

“Well, you know, we’ve got language in the city code about ducks and waterfowl and chickens,” said Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development. “Honeybees? Who’d have thought?”

The language of the approved ordinance says, “No person shall cause or permit honeybees owned … within the city to constitute a nuisance, including but not limited to having an excessive number of hives and honeybees such that honeybees cause an undue and repeated disturbance and interference with their neighbors’ reasonable enjoyment of their real estate.”

Bevelheimer said someone living in the St. Charles neighborhood in the Sixth Ward — the southwest portion of Quincy — complained to aldermen about bees.

“A neighbor had approximately a dozen hives, and this guy was having trouble mowing his lawn and enjoying his property because there were lots of bees,” Bevelheimer said. “We had no language in the city code that really addressed bees precisely, so we looked at what other communities in Illinois have done with bees.”

After discussions about language with the Mississippi Valley Beekeepers Association, the ordinance was drafted. 

“They preferred to use a generic definition for what a nuisance is, rather than a specific number (of bees and hives),” Bevelheimer said. “It very clearly states that hives and honeybees cause an undue and repeated disturbance if it interferes of a neighbor’s reasonable enjoyment of their real estate. At the end of the day, (the beekeepers association) asked that we keep (the ordinance) simple.”

He said the city would give a warning to anyone with bees proving to be a nuisance.

“It’s probably not going to happen a lot, but now we have it figured out,” Bevelheimer said.

John Mast, R-5, said he understood the intent of the ordinance. However, he was the only aldermen to vote against it.

“My speculation is that it could be used to work against (the beekeepers),” he said. “My concern is that (a nuisance) would be possibly falsely reported.”

Aldermen sent four petitions to the Plan Committee:

  • NLA Quincy requested approval for a subdivision (dividing one lot into two) of property located 3601-3701 Broadway under the “small tracts” provision of the Subdivision Ordinance. 
  • Good Samaritan Home requested approval for a special permit for planned development to install additional parking stalls to serve the existing senior living facility at 2130 Harrison. 
  • Tri State Investors Group, LLC requested approval to amend a special permit for planned development to get a liquor license to operate multiple video gaming terminals at 2600 N. 12th.
  • Bryce Rupp requested approval to amend a special permit for planned development to allow for the 3,000-square-foot cafeteria at 2435 Maine to be used for storage by Quincy Community Theatre. 

Aldermen approved: 

  • A request from the Quincy Axe Throwing Company to hold Boo-vie (Movie) Night from 7-10 p.m. Oct. 22 at the First Mid Bank and Trust Pavilion, 635 Maine.
  • A request from the Quincy Family YMCA to hold the annual Turkey Run from 8-10:30 a.m. Nov. 24. The event will start and begin at the YMCA, 3101 Maine. 
  • A request from the American Business Women’s Association Quincy Charter Chapter to conduct a raffle from Nov. 10, 2022 through Feb. 25, 2023. 
  • A mayoral appointment of Rhonda Autry to the Quincy Housing Authority Board of Directors for a five-year term starting Oct. 25.
  • Spending $39,500 from a Strong Communities grant with Zanger Excavation LLC for demolition expenditures for 914 Cherry, 410 College and 217 Elm. 

Aldermen also approved the following ordinances to be added to the city’s traffic code:

  • Adding a school speed zone on Jefferson Street near Ulmus Academy.
  • Removing two-hour parking on both sides of North 14th from Broadway north to the alley. 
  • Removing yield signs at the intersection of 16th and Lind. 
  • Adding a four-way stop at the intersection of 16th and Lind.
  • Removing yield signs at the intersection of 14th and Lind. 
  • Adding a four-way stop at the intersection of 14th and Lind. 
  • Removing stop signs at the intersection of 13th and Lind.

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