BELLVILLE — A problem some people might call a bit sticky is in the hands of village leaders.
Two residents on Bell Street have a beehive. But their neighbors have told village planning commission members a variance shouldn’t be granted to them for use of the device.
Andrew and Devon Granatir appeared before the planning commission meeting Wednesday night.
Their neighbor Marlena Skeens said she adamantly opposes allowing the beehive, because her husband must use an epiPen because he is violently allergic to bee stings.
Skeens said she has made a study of bees, and their flight pattern allows them to go two miles. They also like water.
She said she has a pool for kids and the bees are drawn there. There is a privacy fence between their properties, but she said the bees still “stick to the screen window” and they have been “dive bombed.”
Skeens said her husband “only about died twice” after bee stings.
Devon Granatir said the hive could be moved on their property.
Tom Hill, attending the meeting because of his own variance request, said he is familiar with bees because he has his own hives. He said a planting of tall grasses by a hive forces bees to fly straight up when they exit the hive, so their traffic pattern can be altered in this way.
Hill said Bellville is “behind the honey bee curve” because some cities, like Cleveland and Columbus, have no restrictions on bee populations within city limits.
Village administrator Larry Weirich said there is no village ordinance that governs installation of bee hives, but that a resident must appear before the planning commission if seeking a variance to allow their use.
The commission tabled the variance request. After other commission matters were taken care of, commission members talked about the bee problem.
Mayor Teri Brenkus said she wants to hear again from Dave Duncan, an apiarist who has helped locals before.
Commission chairman Brad Smith said when his group considered a beehive request before, there was no one who was “adamantly” opposed.
Brenkus said this situation is “trickier” than the last.
Member Brian McCartney said he thinks it would be nice to talk to Dave Duncan again, to see his take on this problem.
Hill told commission members there are alternatives in placing bee hives. He said some people have rooftop installations. He said the village might want to consider using a specific area, like Palm Park, as a place where people could place bee hives.
Several people said there would be a problem with vandalism at a place like Palm Park.
Commission, in other action, gave approval to preliminary and final plans for construction of a new office building at the corner of Durbin and Main streets.
This plan was presented by Hill, who is with Edward Jones Investments. He said he wants to use the corner lot at that location as an office for him and others at Edward Jones.
Hill said he has two employees, who work at different times. A variance was needed for compliance with village parking requirements. Hill said he only needs six parking spaces, and not 12. The building will have two offices and a conference room.
Under his plan, the building will occupy three lots in that space, which is now vacant. The corner lot area will be kept open.
Hill said people probably don’t want to see that area used because it is valuable for parking for the Bellville street fair.
Construction should start in two or three weeks, depending on any input by Richland County officials.