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St. Peters amends pet policy in favor of bees, but not rodents

Hamster and mouse lovers may have to watch out in St. Peters.

St. Peters officials are cracking down on the number of pet hamsters, mice and other rodents and placing new requirements for bee hives in residential areas.

The city’s Board of Aldermen on Oct. 23 amended certain portions of its pet regulations, adding new requirements for residents who have certain rodents or keep bees.

City officials are trying to limit the number of hamsters and other rodents per residence. No more than five hamsters, mice or “other small rodent-related mammals” are considered one “pet unit” under the new regulations. The old regulations allowed up to 10 hamsters, mice and other rodents per unit.

Residents are allowed no more than three pet units per residence under city regulations. A dog, cat, potbellied pig or rabbit is considered one pet unit. Five chinchillas, guinea pigs or rodents over 3 months old are considered another unit. Five hamsters, mice or small rodents would be another unit.

Along with three units, residents can be foster parents to two other units of animals  obtained from an animal shelter. The shelter must be registered by the Missouri Department of Agriculture through the Animal Care Facilities Act.

A litter of puppies or kittens is exempt from the city’s pet limit calculation until the pets are 4 months old. Only one litter of puppies or kittens is exempt from the calculation at any time.

Beekeepers can keep hives in a residential-zoned district if a maximum number of three hives is on a lot of at least 10,000 square feet. The hives are required to be visible, if possible, within the homeowners’ yard, but must be separated from public rights-of-way (property lines) by a 6-foot tall, sight-proof fence. A fresh water supply also has to be within 5 feet of the hives.

The hives must be at least 20 feet from the public right of way. The hives’ opening has to be facing the most distant property line.

The old regulations set the minimum lot size for hives at 2 acres (87,120 square feet) along with requiring hives to be 20 feet from the rear and side property lines, and requiring a 5-foot high protective barrier between the hives and the nearest property line.


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