"And with beehives, we found if you only have one they tend to die out. So two or three ... we went with [a maximum of] three."
Honeybees can be kept only on residential property, the bill says, and their hives must be kept out of front yards.
In embracing urban agriculture, Charleston is catching up with cities large and small across the country, where folks are turning abandoned properties into sources of healthy food.
At the American Planning Association convention in Chicago earlier this month, urban "ag" was one of the hottest topics during the daily work sessions, Plagemann said.
"Urban ag comes up a lot in other topics, too, like 'Planning for Shrinking Cities,'" he said.
"One session I attended was 'Urban Ag in Community Development and Redevelopment.' They used examples of neighborhoods in Chicago where urban ag groups have kind of taken off. They started as community gardens but grew to become nonprofits.
"Cities that have seen vacant or abandoned properties ... community gardens have been bringing communities together and evolved to offer job training, classes. They teach how to grow ... in areas that were otherwise food deserts, didn't otherwise have fresh foods.
"Nonprofits started offering internships to students, high school and college, for gardening techniques, horticulture, even to the point of learning about sales -- operating the nonprofit.
"It was interesting to take what they were doing and apply it to Charleston," Plagemann said. "There's some definite similarity to what Tom Tolliver's doing on the West Side. He's already involving children.
"You never know how these programs are going to grow," he said.
Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.