A light agenda greeted the Spokane City Council, which buzzed through a study session in just over a half-hour Tuesday. The meeting was highlighted by beekeeping and a potential architect for a new city hall.
Bee hobbyists in Spokane Valley shouldn’t be stung by the proposed new rules – expected to go before the council for passage on April 14 – as they will be allowed one beehive per 4,356 square feet of lot area. Hives, however, will have to be kept out of the front yards and a 6-foot barrier must be erected to keep bees from bothering neighbors. A water supply will also have to be provided to keep the insects from, say, slurping in a nearby wading pool.
“The rules are generally consistent with Spokane and Spokane County,” said Lori Barlow, senior planner, who added that bee complaints “really have not been an issue for us.”
Council Member Ed Pace, however, bristled a bit at a requirement that hobbyists be required to have certification from the Washington State Beekeepers Association. The city Planning Commission voted to approve the requirement in order to make sure those keeping beehives do so safely.
“I like everything about this, I just wish we didn’t require certification,” Pace said. “You don’t have to be certified to have a dog.”
Council Member Chuck Hafner said the minimal cost – about $15 – and effort to be certified was reasonable.
“I think certification addresses any safety concerns of neighbors,” he said.
In other news, the council will be asked to approve a contract with Architects West next Tuesday to plan the next phase of building a new city hall on 3.4 acres of land on the southeast corner of Sprague Avenue and Dartmouth Road. The plan is to have the $14 million project completed by 2017, as that’s when the city’s existing lease at Redwood Plaza, 11707 E. Sprague, will expire.
Future public meetings will be scheduled, according to city staffers, in order to gather input on design elements of the facility.