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Gresham may accommodate bees, chickens in development code

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Residents could sell vegetables, honey, eggs from front yard


Marijuana, beekeeping, chickens and electric fences: What do they all have in common?

They will possibly gain entry to Gresham’s development code this year after new rules were set for each topic in 2015. The proposed changes could allow residents to sell plants, vegetables, fruit, eggs and honey from their front yard, none of which are currently allowed.

Beekeeping and chicken-rearing are allowed in the city with specific limitations, but the updated development code will allow residents to sell what they gain from these ventures.

Beekeepers petitioned the City Council to update its rules on honeybees last year, saying that many residents already kept them with little to no impact on neighbors. After discussions, the council decided to allow residents to keep six honeybee colonies on their property with a fence or dense vegetation at least 6 feet high.

As for the poultry, a resident may keep up to three chickens with a permit. Roosters are not allowed. Chickens must be kept in an enclosed coop at all times and be covered between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. The coop must have 2 square feet of floor space per chicken. Permits for chickens are valid for two years.

Electric fences are allowed only in industrial zones and must include access to a disconnect device using a lock box. There must be a danger warning sign every 25 feet.

Marijuana laws are a bit more complicated. For medical marijuana, residents are allowed to have up to six plants as long as the patient lives at the residence. For recreational marijuana, residents are allowed up to four plants. Anything more than four is considered a "non-personal grow" and is not permitted in residential areas.

These codes will go to the community forum and a planning session before the Gresham City Council considers their adoption.