Olathe gives OK to backyard chickens

November 21, 2013 by  

Feathers may soon fly in Olathe, Kansas, over whether or not residents can keep chickens in the city.

When one couple asked the city council to renew the permit that allows them to keep two chickens at the start of this month, the City Council hesitated, because there have been complaints. When officials visited the residence, they found everything in compliance, and renewed the permit. Residents who wish to keep chickens can do so if their property is larger than three acres. People with smaller acreage need a special use permit from the city.

The City Council found the complaints unconvincing, especially about noise. Once council member challenged anyone to say a chicken was noisier than a dog, and pointed out there were no plans to ban dogs from small residential lots.

Another council member said he believed the time had come to revisit the entire issue, and others agreed. He said he would like to introduce a new ordinance that would ban non-domesticated animals from the city’s backyards completely. Some members agreed with him but, for the time being at least, people will be allowed to keep their animals.

Some of the residents who do have animals have said they plan to fight such an ordinance if it is enacted, particularly as they see raising chickens as a way to join the movement toward eating healthy, organic foods.

With both sides feeling they have valid arguments, animal owners could work with a flyer printing company to create hand-outs that explain the connection between raising animals and healthier eating, while others could work with brochure printers explaining the problems of keeping non-domesticated animals in small spaces.

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