On Monday, the State Department of Agriculture issued a Notice of Proposed Substantial Changes in connection with the previously proposed apiary rules issued this time last year. As the name implies, there have been substantial changes made to the Department’s previously proposed rules. Some of those changes include:
- J.A.C. 2:24-7.2(a)1: Allowing for three colonies per each ¼ acre tract of land, regardless of local land use and zoning rules. Under the original proposal, the number of hives permitted varied based not just on the size of land but by use.
- J.A.C. 2:24-7.2(d): Hives must be placed 10 feet from any property line and 20 feet away from any roadside, sidewalk, or path. The original proposed rules would have required hives be placed 25 feet from any roadside, sidewalk, or path.
- J.A.C. 2:24-7.2(d): The proposed changes eliminate a requirement found in the original proposal that hives be situated at least 85 feet from any public place such as, playgrounds, sports fields, schools, or churches, along with the requirement that hive entrances face away from residential properties.
- J.A.C. 2:24-7.3: The proposed changes include a more detailed process by which beekeepers can seek a waiver of colony density limitations. A new mechanism has been created where previously granted waivers can be challenged by surrounding property owners.
We are still reviewing the proposed changes and anticipate submitting comments to the Department highlighting areas of concern and support. Your municipality may wish to do the same. All written comments are due to the Department no later than February 1, 2019. For more information on how to submit comments please see the Department’s Notice of Proposed Substantial Change.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney, FMarshall@njslom.com or 609-695-3481 x 137.