Supervisors Steve Clinton and Dr. Mac Scothorn voted against the changes. They represent the Amsterdam and Valley Election Districts that have the largest number of residential (R) zoned subdivisions.
They worried that allowing poultry such as chickens and honeybee hives would cause problems on the smaller lots that residential zoned developments have.
The supervisors directed county staff and the Planning Commission to consider amending the county ordinance to see if allowing certain agriculture uses in residential districts had a place in Botetourt.
That was almost two years ago. In January 2017, Michael Lewis petitioned the supervisors for a zoning ordinance text amendment that would allow apiaries in R-zoned districts. He lives in Daleville and had honeybee hives on his property behind Lord Botetourt High School.
At the time, beekeeping was only allowed in Agriculture (A-1) zoned districts.
Instead of looking only at beekeeping, the planning staff asked the supervisors for permission to look at the overall ordinance and consider other home agriculture uses — such as keeping chickens since staff had had inquiries about that for R-zoned…