Understanding Rules on Owning Animals in Utah County: Chickens and Bees

I recently sat down with a new client who is interested in buying a home in Utah County. When we went over what they are looking for in a home, one of their desires was the ability to raise chickens and bees on their property. Each city has different rules when it comes to animals in residential areas, so I went to work to find out which cities allow chickens and bees, especially in residential areas.

Orem

Chickens and bees are both allowed in Orem, including residential areas. Bees were banned in Orem prior to 2011, but an amended city ordinance in 2011 now allows the raising of bees. The number of hives allowed depends on location and which zone you live in. See city codes section 22-6-10 L for more specifications.

The number of chickens allowed on a property depend on the size of the lot. The larger the lot, the more chickens that are allowed: 5,000 square feet: 2 chickens; 7,000 square feet: 3 chickens; 8,000 square feet: 4 chickens; 9,000 square feet: 5 chickens; 10,000 square feet: 6 chickens; 20,000 square feet: 10 chickens; 30,000 square feet: 12 chickens. See city codes 22-6-10 C for more information on raising chickens in Orem.

Vineyard

Since Vineyard is a newly established town, they do not have actual written city codes concerning chickens and bees. When I talked to Morgan Brim, Vineyard Community Development Director, he said that most animals are allowed in agricultural areas. Chickens and bees are unofficially allowed (because there is no city code that prohibits it) in residential areas. In regard to bees though, Brim noted that because of the large populations of mayflies and mosquitos, the city regularly sprays for bugs in residential areas and that may affect bees.

Provo

Chickens and bees are allowed in Provo city, but there are size and other regulations. Provo codes states that up to five bee hives are allowed on side or rear lots that are larger than 5,000 square feet. Lots that are one-half acre or larger can have up to ten bee hives. All beekeepers must be registered with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. It is also important to be aware of the placement of the hives and their flying patterns. If hives are located close to a property line or public access areas, then flyaway barriers must be in place and secured. Read more in section 8.03 of Provo city codes.

Chickens are allowed in residential areas if the sole purpose is to produce eggs. The number of chickens allowed depends on the size of the lot, but it can vary from two to six. Limitations and other maintenance guidelines are outlined in section 8.02.190 of Provo city codes.

Springville

Springville recently updated their city zoning codes to allow bees. The number of colonies allowed depends on the size of the lot. For properties smaller than half an acres, five colonies are allowed. Properties larger than half an acre can have 10 colonies. In agricultural zones, any number of bee colonies are allowed. There are specific rules regarding the housing, equipment, and raising of bees, so read over Article 9 in section 3-7 of city codes.

Photo Credit: Adam Clarke, Flickr. com

As of March 2014, chickens are allowed in all of Springville, including residential areas. Some residential zones have a limit to how many chickens are allowed, but there is no minimum size lot to raise chickens. City codes, section 3-7-801, outlines specific regulations regarding chickens.

Spanish Fork

Spanish Fork allows chickens in residential areas based on the size of the lot. Chickens are not allowed on lots less than 5,000 square feet in size. Up to six chickens are allowed on lots that are at least 5,000 square feet. To raise chickens in Spanish Fork, a permit must be obtained and specific coop and upkeep regulations must be followed. For more information, see section 6.20 of Spanish Fork city codes.

Photo Credit: Cowgirl Jules, Flickr. com

The animal control department of Spanish Fork says that bees are allowed as long as they do not cause problems within residential areas. Residents should contact animal control to make sure they comply with rules regarding raising bees within city limits.

—Stephanie Bahr Bentley