Gilroy City Council Beekeeping Proposal

It is currently illegal to keep beehives within the Gilroy City Limits. Beehives are allowed in all surrounding communities – Santa Clara County, Morgan Hill, etc.

Gilroy City Staff was asked to investigate the possibility of Urban Beekeeping within Gilroy city limits. On Monday, November 21st Staff will present their findings for a vote. Staff will advise NOT ALLOWING beekeeping within city limits.

Staff have stated it was impossible to exempt beekeeping as it would call for the allowance of other agriculture operations within developed areas, such as chickens, pigs, or others. Staff is unaware Gilroy already allows rabbits, chickens, turkeys, and other fowl as of February 2012 without issue.

What can you do to help?

Today

Please send an email to the Gilroy City Clerk! Emails received before Monday will be added to the Public Comments.

Monday, Nov 21st

Please attend and speak to the City Council in person. See below for details.

More Details

In July, the Gilroy City Council asked City Staff to investigate the possibility of Urban Beekeeping in Gilroy to protect our pollinator populations. Many on Council recognized that bees are an integral part of our food production, nature, and neighborhoods, and are at risk. The Staff has completed their report and will be presenting it on Monday.

On Monday, November 21st, the Gilroy City Council will be voting on an exception to allow Urban Beekeeping. Gilroy City Staff, who prepare the report for City Council, have advised NOT ALLOWING beekeeping within city limits:

“The allowance of beekeeping will likely trigger a call for the allowance of other agriculture operations within developed areas, such as chickens, pigs, or others. Once one type of agricultural operation is allowed, anyone with interest in expanding the list of permitted types may also come before Council requesting similar concessions, citing that if one is allowed, theirs must be too.”

You can find the full staff report for the Monday, November 21st Gilroy City Council agenda for this topic here.

During their investigation, Staff failed to realize Gilroy already allows chickens, turkeys, other small fowl, and rabbits. This was passed in February 2012 and is documented in Ordinance 4.23 Small Animals. The Gilroy Article III Animal Restrictions clearly points to 4.23 as an exception.

In addition to all of this, Gilroy does not have a completed Climate Action Plan. Urban Beekeeping would normally fall under that plan. We need your help to make this a reality.

What can you do to help?

Email the City Clerk.

Any emails received before Monday will become a public record and will be included in the agenda packet. Please send an email to: cityclerk@cityofgilroy.org.

Attend and speak to the City Council In Person

Please consider attending the Gilroy City Council Meeting. This is critical and is the best way to influence City Council.

Time and Place

City Council Regular Meeting
11/21/2022 6:00 PM
City Council Chambers, City Hall
7351 Rosanna Street Gilroy, CA 95020


City Council meetings can be confusing! Here’s your guide!

  • It’s the very last item on the agenda! Be prepared to wait a bit
  • When you arrive, you will need to fill out a speaker card to make a public comment. You will need to indicate the item number. Write in: “Item 11.1. Urban Beekeeping” and return it to the clerk presiding over the meeting.
  • COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC WILL BE TAKEN ON AGENDA ITEMS BEFORE ACTION IS TAKEN BY THE CITY COUNCIL. Public testimony is subject to reasonable regulations, including but not limited to time restrictions for each individual speaker. Please limit your comments to 3 minutes.
    • The amount of time allowed per speaker may vary at the Mayor’s discretion depending on the number of speakers and length of the agenda. While public comment usually allows each person 3 minutes of speaking time, the Mayor can reduce this time to 1 or 2 minutes – be prepared for a 1-minute speaking time.
    • If you have more to say, you may divide that amongst several people. For example, if you have 6 minutes of comment but the Mayor has limited Public Comments to 2 minutes, you can divide your speech into three 2-minute segments. You speak for 2 minutes on segment one, then have a friend speak for 2 minutes on segment two and another friend speak for 2 minutes on segment three
  • If you have a handout to give, you must bring 12 copies and supply them at the beginning of the City Council session.

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