Akron City Council Considers Urban Farming Ordinances After Beekeeping Proposal Draws Fire

May 21, 2018

Some Akron City Council members are considering whether changes need to be made to ordinances related to urban agriculture, in the wake of an unsuccessful proposal to hike fees for beekeepers.

The city had proposed raising the fees for beekeepers from $5 a hive to $50, but after public protests, Mayor Dan Horrigan withdrew the proposal.

Ward 1 Councilman Rich Swirsky chairs the Green/Sustainability committee, and says he and Councilwoman Veronica Sims have met with the Summit Food Coalition, which advocates for urban agriculture in the county. He describes it as an initial meeting to discuss what future ordinances may be needed to address urban farming.

“We’re taking a look at hoofed animals, chickens, bees. We’ll even come up with better definitions and have better lines of authority.”

And Swirsky says that will also lead to more training for city employees who implement urban agriculture laws at the permitting and enforcement levels. The Summit Food Coalition plans its next meeting in early June to discuss recommendations about urban agriculture ordinances.