In a recent post I comprised a chart of the local regulations and codes on keeping backyard chickens within city limits. Since then, two cities have put their regulations up for review – Roeland Park, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo.
In February, the Roeland Park city council approved the keeping of chickens with a few catches. Anyone interested in raising chickens in Roeland Park must first send a comprehensive application and $100 fee to the city council. If approved, you are then allowed to get your chicks. You can only have a maximum of six female chickens, and they must be at least 40 feet from a neighboring dwelling. Each subsequent year, you must pay a $75 renewal fee to the city. I consider these fees excessive, nevertheless, it is happy news that the tide is turning.
The current news is that the Kansas City City Council is considering overturning the distance requirements for the keeping of chickens. The current Kansas City, Mo. statues allow for up to 15 hens, but they must be at least 100 feet away from a neighboring dwelling. This code needlessly rules out many of the homes in our densely developed inner core. I live in Brookside, and I only (barely) meet that strict requirement because I live on a larger corner lot. The proposal would grant people a special exception to the distance requirement, as long as all their neighbors within 100 feet approve. This proposal was endorsed by a council committee this week, and will go before the full City Council for vote on July 14, 2011. Let’s hope this measure passes as more people become interested in providing, growing, and making their own food.