Sunday, November 15, 2009

Most Bird Houses are Illegal in Howard County

The Baltimore Sun has an article about the proposed honey bee legislation here. As a hobby beekeeper, I guess I should be more interested in this legislation (ZRA 117) since one of my hives is within 200 feet of a neighbors house, but I really don't have anything interesting to add. My other hives are well outside of the 200 foot range and I would be happy to move the one "illegal" hive if my neighbors protested its proximity to their home, law or no law. Like most laws, I think the existing law is pretty stupid.

The one thing I will add is that I'm pretty sure that bird houses are illegal under the current law if they are within 200 feet of an existing dwelling on a different lot:

4. Required Setback for Certain Farm Uses
In all districts where farming is a permitted use, the following shall not be allowed within 200 feet of an existing dwelling on a different lot:

a. An animal shelter including a building, shed, roofed structure or movable shelter that houses or provides protection for animals other than household pets

Keep in mind that bee hives (which are nothing more than stacked wooden boxes with lids) meet the definition of an animal shelter as interpreted by DPZ, so I think a good case can be made that most bird houses are actually illegal in Howard County under this same interpretation.



Anonymous said...

And butterfly houses commonly found in gardens.

Freemarket said...

And bat houses, lady bug houses, etc.