Dunbar considers urban farming

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Dunbar city council members are considering an urban agriculture ordinance, which would allow residents to raise honeybees and laying hens on residential properties across the city.Council members presented the first reading of the ordinance on Monday night. The proposed ordinance would require public debate to hash out the details before it is passed, Mayor Terry Greenlee said.Dunbar resident Sharon Pearson presented the idea to City Council members earlier this month, he said. The ordinance would set guidelines on how many hens or honeybees a resident could have. The ordinance would also sort out little details such as requiring residents to clip their hens' wings every so often and the size of honeybee colonies.Charleston City Council members passed a similar ordinance in July. Greenlee said he would be looking at Charleston's ordinance as a guideline. He will also consider speaking with agriculturists and experienced urban farmers.Charleston's ordinance lets residents raise up to six hens and up to three honeybee colonies. Roosters are not permitted because of noise problems.
"There's going to have to be a lot of tuning to the ordinance first," Greenlee said.Also during Monday night's meeting, council members passed an amendment to the city's ATV ordinance.ATV riders are forbidden on roads with yellow or white line markings, Greenlee said.Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163. 
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