After a long and arduous journey, the subject of legalizing chickens and bees for Torrance will come before the Torrance City Council on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at the Torrance City Hall: 

Address: 3031 Torrance Boulevard, Torrance, CA 90503 

For all those who want to help support Long Beach Beekeeping, it’s important for neighboring cities to support bees too.  Especially if you are a Torrance resident or know someone, please plan to come and speak to the council in support of bees and/or chickens letting them know why it’s important to you and your family. 

This is very exciting news that they will consider allowing bees and chickens! I hope you share our joy and will attend!!!

It’s item 12, Administrative Matters.

12A.  Community Development – Consider a land use study regarding the keeping of chickens and bees for single family residences within the city.  Recommendation of the Community Development Director that City Council consider a Land Use Study regarding the keeping of chickens and bees for single family residences within the city and provide direction to staff.

For the full agenda go here  http://www.torranceca.gov/PDF/AGENDA_3-3-15.pdf



Tim Grobaty: Readers say animal rules don’t pass smell test
By Tim Grobaty Long Beach Press Telegram
Posted:
PressTelegram.com

MAIL CALL: After our column about the proposal of new rules regarding chickens, goats and bees in Long Beach, readers have been clucking and whinnying and buzzing with concerns and fears, with the main beefs having to do with what scatologists refer to as “No. 2.”

“May Tim enjoy the fragrances from the chicken pens,” writes hex-caster Marilyn Stanley McKellips on Facebook. “People don’t pick up after the animals they have now.”

Another, from a fellow who called us at 6:30 on a school morning, left a message that we should “bring more attention to the fact that the chicken and goats will increase the number of flies. There are already too many flies. It’s made the environment, particularly in Belmont Shore, horrible. You can’t even spend a nice day in the yard because of the flies. People close their garbage container lids, but the trash collectors always leave them open, and that attracts more flies.”

OK, we don’t know what to say about that, but presumably, or at least ideally, chicken ranchers will use chicken output for fertilizing their crops. In gratitude, the chickens will eat annoying insects and God will be in his heaven.

“NO. DON’T WANT TO LIVE CLOSE TO A FAMILY THAT HAS A ROOSTER CROWING AT 5 IN THE MORNING. LONG BEACH IS GOING TO HELL IN A BASKET,” texts Michael O’Brien on his hysterical cellphone.

The truth is, very few people want to live close to a family that has a rooster crowing at 5 in the morning. You’re not allowed now, nor will you be allowed under the new rules, to have a rooster. Because they make too much noise. You’ll only be allowed to have gently clucking chickens. Forget being jarred from sleep; you’ll have more trouble keeping from being lulled to sleep early.

A couple of alarmists checked in. On Facebook, Leslie Abrahams Gosling predicted a scene out of Revelations, “next there will be backyard slaughtering of the chickens, goats and more.” And Seal Beach Dan, who admitted that he doesn’t think the chicken/goat thing is a bad idea, wonders if the city isn’t opening a Pandora’s Box. “What about exotic pets, like a lion or a tiger. If I can have a chicken, why can’t I have a python?” Well, just because you can’t, that’s why. Why can’t we have a python if we have a dog? That’s it: We’re getting a python.

And, in fact, we might get a lion or a tiger, too, to take care of our burgeoning and lively mice population. After writing about that plague, Greg on Monlaco called to advise us that “the best answer for mice around the house is a cat. A neighbor’s cat, an alley cat, any kind of cat will do. And if that doesn’t work, get another one.”

OK, we admit that the cat is looking like a good idea. But, then, what about the problem posed by reader Paula, who sends her future column request, with a nice preamble: “I enjoy your column. I do not like your detractors. I wonder if you’d be interested in doing a column about how to keep cats from using other people’s planters and flower beds as their personal litter boxes.

We wonder if a variation on some of today’s mailbag responses might be the answer. Get a dog. A neighbor’s dog, an alley dog, any kind of dog will do.
And if that doesn’t work, get a python.

Our unwillingness to slaughter the little mice earned us a nice pat on the back from our pal at Wilson, Wes Edwards: “OK, so you are a known Wilson grad, liberal, anti-war, pro-gay, libertarian type, but now, animal rights? We applaud you again!”

Then, Edwards told us a story about a mouse “waltzing” across his son’s chest in his sleep. That kept us up all night.

Finally, our failure thus far using Havahart traps, drew this from Christina Nigra Johnson who, like us, is a bleeding heart nonviolent sort: “Thank you for trying Havahart! I have used them with great success. The key is to find the right bait, so try different things. Compassion often takes courage, which is why it is in too short supply. Please don’t give up!”


Tim Grobaty: Long Beach’s proposed relaxation of urban farming rules may return us to our roots

By Tim Grobaty, Columnistpresstelegram.com

Posted: 03/27/2013 02:29:45 PM PDT

March 27, 2013 9:38 PM GMT

Updated: 03/27/2013 02:38:58 PM PDT

 
We had a duck when we were 2. You should know that about us. His name was Webster Webfoot and he was taller than we were.

 

 

We were living with our grandparents at the time over on Keever Avenue, and we guess they probably gave us a cute little duckling and the thing grew up. Or maybe it just flew or waddled into our backyard. We don’t know.

 

How many ways are there to get a duck? Anyway, knowing us, we were probably afraid of the duck. Who wouldn’t be? How would you feel right now if a duck larger than you barged into your house right now?

 

(John Foxx)

One day, our granddad gave the duck to a man he felt sorry for. “Here, have a duck, that oughta cheer you up.”

 

The man, we later came to find, ate the duck, and we slept like a baby.

 

 

This instructive story is meant to show that we are no stranger to farm animals. There are more stories, like the week we spent inoculating piglets and cows with our cousin at his farm in Iowa – a farm that had been in our family for 100 years.

 

The piglets were easy, you just pick them up by a hind leg, jab a needle into them and mark them with a big grease marker so you don’t accidentally inoculate them again. The cows were more problematic. You had to muscle them into a little cow-sized pen before you could give them a shot. Our cousin was your typical big Iowa boy built like a defensive tackle. In those days we were more of a scatback. Spry. Nimble. Unable to move a cow.

 

Farming is somewhere deep in our genes, just as it is in Long Beach’s. The massive migration to this city in the early 1900s was chiefly from the Midwest Grain Belt, especially Iowa. Many were elderly, retiring from a life of hard work in extreme weather to a glorious life in the California sunshine in a young seaside town that was rapidly filling up with their neighbors and, later, younger farmers being pushed out of jobs by advances in farming technologies that allowed one farmer to work hundreds of acres practically by himself.

 

So maybe it shouldn’t be surprising, this reawakening of a hankering for good, old-fashioned agriculture in a town that was for decades known as Iowa By the Sea.

The Long Beach City Council is now considering expanded and relaxed

rules regarding raising and keeping chickens, goats and bees within the city limits. The changes have already been approved by the council’s Environmental Committee headed by 2nd District councilwoman Suja Lowenthal. They await only final approval by the council, which is still studying the rules, which mainly allow for the keeping of chickens (up to 20), goats (limit of two pygmy goats) and beehives (five), and lessening the restrictions on how far these creatures are from neighboring properties.

 

Some citizens of Long Beach see this as a return to Hicksville, with country folk raising critters out in the yard. Some are worried about noise. We’ve already got noise, with chattering squirrels, barking dogs, cawing crows, UPS trucks, overflying airplanes and round-the-clock gardeners. The odd cackle or whinny might be an interesting addition to the sounds of the suburbs. And we’ve had beehives on our property (millions and millions of bees)- without getting stung.

 

Others, including your former farming correspondent, as well as Lowenthal, see urban (or suburban) it as progressive and a boost to the rapidly advancing urban farming movement in Long Beach. That movement has been brought about to a large degree by the sins and excesses of Big Food such as Monsanto and Cargill and other companies that have swamped family farms and have been crazily and dangerously tinkering with agriculture and Frankenfood products.

 

Sustainable farming has been chatted about a lot, but it’s a great way to go. There are scores of Long Beach farmers and chefs growing their own food on small lots throughout the city, and some of them grow enough surplus to sell to the public. Check out one of the more notable ones, Sasha Kanno’s Farm Lot 59 at 2714 California Ave. (www.longbeachlocal.org).

And, finally, the movement is a return to the sort of simplicity and do-it-yourself farming that most of us who can trace our heritage to the heartland, have in our subconscious, even if it hasn’t awoken yet.

 

Does that mean we want to live next door to a family raising chickens, goats and bees? Yes, it does.

Tim Grobaty: Long Beach’s proposed relaxation of urban farming rules may return us to our roots

By Tim Grobaty, Columnistpresstelegram.com

Posted: 03/27/2013 02:29:45 PM PDT

March 27, 2013 9:38 PM GMTUpdated: 03/27/2013 02:38:58 PM PDT

 

 

 

 

 

We had a duck when we were 2. You should know that about us. His name was Webster Webfoot and he was taller than we were.

 

 

We were living with our grandparents at the time over on Keever Avenue, and we guess they probably gave us a cute little duckling and the thing grew up. Or maybe it just flew or waddled into our backyard. We don’t know.

 

How many ways are there to get a duck? Anyway, knowing us, we were probably afraid of the duck. Who wouldn’t be? How would you feel right now if a duck larger than you barged into your house right now?

 

(John Foxx)

One day, our granddad gave the duck to a man he felt sorry for. “Here, have a duck, that oughta cheer you up.”

 

The man, we later came to find, ate the duck, and we slept like a baby.

 

 

This instructive story is meant to show that we are no stranger to farm animals. There are more stories, like the week we spent inoculating piglets and cows with our cousin at his farm in Iowa – a farm that had been in our family for 100 years.

 

The piglets were easy, you just pick them up by a hind leg, jab a needle into them and mark them with a big grease marker so you don’t accidentally inoculate them again. The cows were more problematic. You had to muscle them into a little cow-sized pen before you could give them a shot. Our cousin was your typical big Iowa boy built like a defensive tackle. In those days we were more of a scatback. Spry. Nimble. Unable to move a cow.

 

Farming is somewhere deep in our genes, just as it is in Long Beach’s. The massive migration to this city in the early 1900s was chiefly from the Midwest Grain Belt, especially Iowa. Many were elderly, retiring from a life of hard work in extreme weather to a glorious life in the California sunshine in a young seaside town that was rapidly filling up with their neighbors and, later, younger farmers being pushed out of jobs by advances in farming technologies that allowed one farmer to work hundreds of acres practically by himself.

 

So maybe it shouldn’t be surprising, this reawakening of a hankering for good, old-fashioned agriculture in a town that was for decades known as Iowa By the Sea.

The Long Beach City Council is now considering expanded and relaxed

rules regarding raising and keeping chickens, goats and bees within the city limits. The changes have already been approved by the council’s Environmental Committee headed by 2nd District councilwoman Suja Lowenthal. They await only final approval by the council, which is still studying the rules, which mainly allow for the keeping of chickens (up to 20), goats (limit of two pygmy goats) and beehives (five), and lessening the restrictions on how far these creatures are from neighboring properties.

 

Some citizens of Long Beach see this as a return to Hicksville, with country folk raising critters out in the yard. Some are worried about noise. We’ve already got noise, with chattering squirrels, barking dogs, cawing crows, UPS trucks, overflying airplanes and round-the-clock gardeners. The odd cackle or whinny might be an interesting addition to the sounds of the suburbs. And we’ve had beehives on our property (millions and millions of bees)- without getting stung.

 

Others, including your former farming correspondent, as well as Lowenthal, see urban (or suburban) it as progressive and a boost to the rapidly advancing urban farming movement in Long Beach. That movement has been brought about to a large degree by the sins and excesses of Big Food such as Monsanto and Cargill and other companies that have swamped family farms and have been crazily and dangerously tinkering with agriculture and Frankenfood products.

 

Sustainable farming has been chatted about a lot, but it’s a great way to go. There are scores of Long Beach farmers and chefs growing their own food on small lots throughout the city, and some of them grow enough surplus to sell to the public. Check out one of the more notable ones, Sasha Kanno’s Farm Lot 59 at 2714 California Ave. (www.longbeachlocal.org).

And, finally, the movement is a return to the sort of simplicity and do-it-yourself farming that most of us who can trace our heritage to the heartland, have in our subconscious, even if it hasn’t awoken yet.

 

Does that mean we want to live next door to a family raising chickens, goats and bees? Yes, it does.

The Long Beach Environmental Committee is hearing recommendations for change to the city ordinances related to the keeping of bees, chickens and goats.  They last met 11/27/2012 and city staff were requested to present in the first quarter of 2013 draft ordinance changes.  There was a potential survey presented by staff but that has been post-poned until the draft ordinances are presented.

Here is the review in the LB report.  LB Report about city meeting.

The fifth district council member, Gerrie Schipske, has put out an online survey to get a feel for what people think about the proposed changes.  Here is what staff has proposed at the summer meeting.


City of Long Beach

Current and proposed policies on the keeping of backyard chickens, goats and bees [source: City of LB website]

Current
Proposed

Chickens

  • Up to 20 may be kept at least 50 feet from 1 and 2 family residences or 100 feet from multi-family (3+) residences or hotels
  • 1 chicken may be kept as pet at least 20 feet from any dwelling
  • Up to 4 may be kept without required distance from neighboring residence
  • 5 to 10 may be kept at least 25 feet from neighboring residence
  • 11 to 20 may be kept at least 50 feet from neighboring residence
  • 5 or more must obtain one-time permit from Animal Care Services
Goats
  • No more than 1 may be kept at least 100 feet from neighboring residences
  • May not be kept south of Anaheim Street
  • 2 female pygmy goats (only) may be kept without required distance from neighboring residences
  • Must be licensed annually by Animal Care Services
  • Milk products produced are for personal consumption only
Bees
  • Hives must be kept at least 100 feet from neighboring residences and public ways (streets and alleys).
  • Must be kept 10 feet above ground
  • Up to 5 hives may be kept at least 5 feet from property line
  • If a hive is less than 15 feet from a property line, a flyway barrier of at least 6 feet high must be maintained around the hive
  • Hives must be registered with Los Angeles County Department of Agriculture