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Nashville Town Council mulls bee hive request

Nashville's Town Council is considering a request to allow bee hives in the town limits.

Charles Vester, a resident of the Birchwood Subdivision, brought the request before town council on Tuesday during the board's regular meeting. Vester said he hoped the board would consider changing the town's ordinance to allow for citizens to have bee hives at their residences.

Vester said bees have many positive attributes.

"Honey bees can provide not only a source of pollination and beautification for flowers and trees and things around town and Birchwood in which I live but also they can provide a hobby."

Vester said he was about to begin working with a young lady to help teach her about bee hives. The girl recently applied and was accepted into a program where she will be provided bees. Vester said the two of them will work together on the project.

"Me and her are going through the process of learning together," he said.

"I also feel that this will prove as an opportunity to familiarize the youth of Nashville to a new hobby, one that is not only fun to do but has such a grand effect on our outside world," Vester added in a letter to Town Clerk Lou Bunch. "I will be able to mentor the youth of our hometown of Nashville, encouraging them to continue with constructive hobbies throughout the rest of their lives, showing them how to change the world, one honey bee at a time."

Town Council members briefly discussed how such an ordinance would impact the town and how an ordinance could be crafted to allow for such a hobby.

Council members also expressed concern over bees being allowed in a neighborhood where someone may be allergic to stings or the honey itself.

Planning Director Brian Hassell said though he had not thoroughly researched what other communities had done in reference to allowing bee hives, the town did have the ability to say yes or no in terms of whether citizens could have bee hives in town.

"There's varying parameters if you choose to go down this road," Hassell said.

The board could limit the number of hives, impose setback parameters or allow them in only certain zoning districts.

"If it's something you want to do , I would need some time to set it up and figure out what would be the bets way to do it," Hassell added.

Mayor Donald Street suggested Hassell look into the issue more.

"I would propose that we take your suggestion, let our planner work with it and see if he can come up with some usable words and see if it's even acceptable in your neighborhood and go from there," Street said.

Council members agreed.

Hassell said he would have something for the board to look at during next month's board meeting, which would be on Tuesday, April 4 at 7 p.m.

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