(LINO LAKES) – Amid a busy public comment section at the city council meeting on March 9, Lino Lakes Resident Sierra Rasmussen addressed the panel to ask that it reconsider the city’s ordinance regarding beekeeping.
The current laws only allow bees–considered by city code to be farm animals–on rural parcels and not on plots zoned as residential, like Rasmussen’s house, which she said she has owned since October.
The council did not respond at all to her comments at the meeting.
Days later, the city government was in upheaval over the social disturbance of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Rasmussen said she will continue to pursue the issue once things hopefully get back to normal.
“This isn’t something I just want to drop,” she said at her home last week. “I think it’s for the good.”
Her property is just off Lake Drive, and she said that ordinances in nearby cities like Circle Pines and Centerville allow bees on residential property, given some restrictions. One such restriction in some cities is for bee hives to be at least 25 feet from any property boundary. Rasmussen thinks she has plenty of room on her lot to abide by a similar provision and still be able to pollenate a garden she hopes to use to grow a variety of produce this growing season.
“I felt like I was in a good place to start a hive,” she said.
Rasmussen has also researched the state’s Lawns to Legumes program, which encourages and financially supports homeowners who want to transition parts of their yards into more pollinator-friendly habitats.
“The application process is year-round, and the deadline (to receive state assistance) for this Spring was actually March 1,” she said. “With me not even knowing if I can keep hives, it feels like something maybe I should keep on the back burner.”
City planners said they continue to receive periodic requests to change the zoning for farm animals, but because of the abundance of zoned rural land within the city limits–and abundant park land including the county’s Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Preserve–there are no plans to change the zoning at this time.
Sierra put together an online petition for her cause.