Honeybee hives could be showing up in Oak Park backyards in the foreseeable future, following a decision on Monday night.
The Oak Park village board voted 6-1 Monday evening to start moving toward allowing beekeeping within the community. Such a practice is currently considered a "nuisance" under village code, and an Oak Park resident has been pushing for the past couple of years to change that.
Back in October, the local board of health recommended that the village board should allow residents to maintain beehives, but trustees just got to the matter this week, following an April election and taking the month of December off.
Supporters have argued that bees would be good for the environment and local gardens, while others worry about the possible dangers to people with bee allergies. Trustee Ray Johnson voted no, as he was pushing for the village to require beekeepers to first gain permission from their neighbors before buying hives.
Village staff now plans to craft an ordinance, which will need subsequent approval from trustees. Staff has already started working on the new law, which could include provisions such as requiring beekeepers to obtain a permit, forbidding apartment or condo dwellers from maintaining hives, and limiting each property to two bee colonies.