City Council MEETING




Tuesday, December 14, 2010

City Hens in Roeland Park and the North East Animal Control Commission

At the last Roeland Park City Council meeting discussion regarding backyard hens and the permit, comments were made about how much it would cost to enforce codes(suggested per incident fee for chicken calls**) and that animal control would pass calls on to our Police Dept (because NEACC only handles wild or domestic animal calls)---wait a minute--aren't chickens members of one of those two categories?

The link leads you to the code that creates the commission and outlines its budget procedure, how the cities pay them (RP share is $54,000) and its role in animal control for the communities it serves. Take a read and be informed about this particular item that was brought up for discussion at the last meeting. 

There are several steps:

Go to:

then to the left click on the first item "New Ordinances Adopted..." 

then click on # are at the code.

**We have posted the comments from three other cities citing very little if any impact on their Animal Control Departments in a previous post.

Monday, December 13, 2010

In the Issue of Extra Animal Code Enforcement Expense

Code Enforcement:  In my research I found over and over again commentary by pleasantly surprised public officials who reported little or no increase in animal nuisance call.  Three communities: Longmont, CO;  Montgomery, OH, and Columbia, MO, all have stated publicly that they have few if any complaints. 

Regarding the extra cost of animal control,  
Were they (the NEAC) presented with the fact that virtually no code violations have been a problem in cities across the nation who have good hen / animal keeping ordinances? 
Relevant information: Here are 3 examples of surprised government officials who have see virtually no animal control expense increase in their communities.
Code Enforcement and Burdens on Government
According to the Montgomery Police, Montgomery hasn’t received a chickenrelated
complaint since the 70s, when a family in the Shadowhill neighborhood kept a
rooster and the city received noise
related complaints. We know that there are at
least two families in Montgomery keeping chickens currently; the police have
received no complaints.
Currently both Madeira and Wyoming allow chickens (under similar ordinances to Montgomery’s current ordinance), do have households raising chickens, and have no complaints related to chickens. There is no reason to believe that chickens in Montgomery will generate any more complaints than those in Madeira and Wyoming.
CFM’s Proposed Ordinance forbids roosters and doesn’t require inspections or
permits. Such an ordinance will generate no significant burden on government. In the absence of complaints – which experience both here in Montgomery and in similar communities such as Wyoming and Madeira has shown is the likeliest outcome – will generate NO burden on government.
The chickens are popular among the family’s neighbors. When one recently
expressed an interest in raising chickens herself, Cati O’Keefe decided she’d better
check into the legalities before giving any advice. It costs quite a bit in both money
and time to get started, and while she’d been willing to risk it herself based on her
own perusal of online ordinances, she didn’t want to take that risk for anyone else.
Her inquiry sparked this new ordinance. The police, far from having received any
complaints, were unaware there were chickens being kept in Montgomery. CFM has
since learned of another household in a neighborhood not far from City Hall keeping
chickens. They prefer to remain under the radar, though, as they and their
neighbors are very attached to their hens. Montgomery, OH Ordinance proposal
Outlaw chickens
In the first two months since the chicken ordinance passed, there were only two substantiated complaints about violations, according to the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Gerry Worley, an environmental health manager who is in charge of animal control for the city, said one involved the Hong Kong Market. The business had ducks — which are illegal — mixed in with chickens, but the fowl were all gone when it came time for the two-week follow-up inspection.
The other complaint was against a West Ash resident who, his neighbors said, allowed his chickens to fly the coop and trespass into their yard. His court date was set for March 19, but the city prosecutor declined to prosecute the case.
Two complaints in two months isn’t too bad, said Worley, who is also working on a plan to address what to do with “unwanted” chickens. 
LONGMONT -- All that talk that backyard chickens would produce more work for this city's code-enforcement and animal-control officers turns out to be nothing more than clucking.
A report presented by the Longmont city staff to the City Council last week said that since February 2009, when backyard chickens were first allowed on a trial basis, the effect on the workload of code-enforcement and animal-control officers has been nil.
"The biggest concern was the impact on animal-control officers, but almost two years later, they're saying it really hasn't been a problem for them," said Longmont City Planner Ben Ortiz.
After hearing the report and strong support from residents Tuesday night, the council voted 4-3 in favor of extending the city's chicken ordinance and removing the limit on the number of permits that can be issued. Mayor Bryan Baum and council members Gabe Santos and Alex Sammoury dissented.
Read more: Despite earlier brooding, backyard chickens cause few problems in Longmont - Boulder Daily Camera

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

5-3 Yes to Hen Keeping in Roeland Park

December 6, 2010 Council Result
We verified the action taken at Monday night's Council Meeting with the City Staff:
The council approved allowing Residents to keep chickens in Roeland Park; motion carried, 5-3.
The council tabled the motion to allow staff to work with the City Attorney to draft an ordinance to be approved by the council. Motion carried, 8-0.
 The Administrative Committee will discuss the proposed draft special permit on December 14th at 6 pm
This begins the next phase, the actual drafting of the special permit from the draft brought to the Council Meeting.  We are so grateful to the City Leaders who have given us this opportunity.
The next step is addressing the issues that have been at the crux of the opposition.  Some valid concerns have been brought forth and we will do our best to provide case studies and other research based solutions to those concerns.
Look for those issues to be posted here...and thank all of you for your support!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

City Hens in Roeland Park: Draft of Ordinance from Council Packet

Please review and know that you can still weigh in by submitting a Public Comment Form prior to the meeting on Monday evening, December 6, 7 PM and you can still contact your Ward Representatives.

This is the draft included in the City Council Packet for the meeting on December 6, 2010.  link to Dec Council Meeting Packet

(a) Any person who keeps hens in the City of Roeland Park shall obtain a Special Permit from the
City prior to acquiring hens. No permit shall be issued to a person, by the City, and no
hens shall be allowed to be kept unless the owners of all properties within a 50’ radius of
the applicant’s property are notified by certified mail of the date and time of the council
meeting as well as providing contact information of the council or alternate city contact.
(b) Application shall be made to the City Clerk with a (annual) fee of $85.00 if keeping 3 or less
hens; $115 if keeping 4 to 6 hens. Special permits expire and become invalid 1 year after
the date of issuance. A person who wishes to continue keeping hens shall have obtained a
new permit on or before the expiration date of the previous permit.
(c) A person who keeps or houses hens on their property shall comply with all of the following
(1) Have been issued the special permit required in this section.
(2) Keep no more than (6) hens.
(3) The principle use of the person’s property must be zoned as defined in Chapter 16 as
single-family use dwelling or two-family dwelling.
(4) The property must be occupied by the person requesting the permit.
(5) No person shall keep any rooster.
(6) No person shall publicly slaughter any hen.
(7) The hens shall be provided with the following minimum enclosure requirements:
a. Hens must be kept in a clean, safe and healthy environment; must be kept in the
covered enclosure at all times; and it shall be Rodent and predator resistant.
b. Enclosure must be inspected by the Building Inspector
i. Enclosure must be built with a minimum of 12 sq ft per hen, not to
exceed 85 sq ft total. (2 sq ft for inside area per hen and 10 sq ft for an
outside run per hen).
ii. Coop is to be completely enclosed (meaning there is a top and sides)
iii. It shall be designed in a fashion to be easily maintained.
iv. It shall be designed with durable materials that will hold up to weather
and environment
v. Used materials and equipment must be approved by the Building
Inspector as referenced in the adopted International Resident Code
(8) A person shall not keep hens in any location on the property other than in the backyard.
See definition of backyard in Chapter 16.
(9) Hen enclosure shall not be located closer than 10 feet to any property line of an
adjacent property.
(10) Hen enclosure shall not be located closer than 40 feet to any residential structure on an
adjacent property.
(11) All feed and other items associated with the keeping of hens shall be protected from or
to prevent rats, mice, or other rodents from gaining access to or coming into contact
with them.
(12) Lack of care, illness issues and abuse complaints will be handled through animal control
(?) and protection ordinances.
(13) Chicken odors must not be “perceptible” at the property boundary.
(14) If the above requirements are not complied with, the City may revoke any special permit
granted under this section and /or initiate prosecution for a civil infraction violation.
(City Attorney to help with language)
(15) A person who had been issued a special permit shall submit it for examination upon
demand by any Police Officer or Code Enforcement Officer.
(16) Hens are not to be kept for monetary gain
(17) Veterinary banding of hens may be required
(18) Chicken waste is the responsibility of the owner; no more than three cubic feet of
chicken manure can accumulate. Composting of manure must following City Code
section 15-105; Composting
(19) Commercial chicken operations are prohibited.
(20) Dogs or cats that kill chickens will not be considered dangerous or aggressive animals for
this offense alone.
2003 R104.9.1)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010



Friday, November 19, 2010

New Info to be Presented at Admin Meeting Monday, November 22, 6 PM

It was stated at the Town Hall Meeting that this Admin Meeting would be an opportunity to present new information.

For example, In response to the statement that there are 140 diseases that chickens carry, (link to report cited at Town Hall MTG)  actually only a handful can be transferred to humans. This is considered rare and mostly occurs under poor sanitary conditions or improper animal handling procedures. Source: Merck Veterinary Manual Zoonoses Tables The other chicken to chicken diseases flourish in overcrowded,improperly ventilated, drafty and unsanitary conditions mostly associated with large factory egg and meat production. Not likely this will be duplicated in a backyard micro-flock.

A more common and well known animal to human transmitted disease is taxoplasmosis.  Often one of the first questions a physician will ask a new mother-to-be is whether she has a cat. A common way this disease can be passed is through cat droppings.  If contracted, it can be passed on to the fetus causing birth defects. It is a serious concern, yet no one has to get rid of a cat if one adheres to some basic sanitary practices to avoid exposure during this vulnerable time Go to 2nd page for descriptive list of diseases passed from pets to humans

Isn't it funny that this risky disease does not keep lots of people from having cats as pets?  And how many cities have ordinances against this disease carrying critter because of the public health risk? Regarding most instances of diseases passed from animals to humans, it boils down to this:

Taking responsibility for one's health by practicing good  habits like hand washing after exposure to animals and their habitat, safe food handling to avoid direct exposure and cross contamination with raw food and personal risk assessment for exposure to any situation.

Please write your council representative and the mayor to voice your opinion on backyard hens.

Thank you for your continued support!
NEWS: After inquiring we have good news!
For those concerned about the cost of drafting the new Hen Ordinance: The true cost is $1000 - 2,000 ... rather than the previously stated $20,000.

City of Roeland Park Admin Meeting
Monday, November 22, 2010
6:oo PM
City Hall

Email your council and voice your information on the city website and in our side bar.  Thanks!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Yes and, or yes, but...

The time is here.  We get to have an honest and fair discussion about keeping backyard hens in Roeland Park.  City chickens are finding homes all across America as citizens are taking back their personal power of choice in the foods they eat and the lifestyle they enjoy.  Wellness conscious and environmentally aware urban and suburban citizens are greening their footprints and closing the sustainability loop in their own back yards with organic gardens, composting and in some cases micro-flocks of hens. Lets work together and get a good backyard hen ordinance for our city!
July/August 2010 Ode Magazine’s one last thing interviewed Berhold Bunster. Let's consider adopting his attitude:
“Yes and’ people invent the airplane;
 “yes, but’ people invent the parachute.” for the whole conversation.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Backyard Hens: Facts & Myths


  • Fact: Food Safety/Health By raising your own backyard hens, you are assured that they are being raised in a humane and healthy manner. Studies show that eggs from backyard hens are far healthier than store bought eggs.
  • Fact: Sustainable Hens eat garden/grass   trimmings and kitchen scraps keeping them out of the landfill or sewer system and lay eggs providing a local source of nutritious food.
  • Fact:  Educational Backyard hens are a great learning opportunity for children, showing them how food is raised and teaching responsibility.
  • Myth: Smelly One medium sized dog produces the same amount of waste per day as 6 hens.  Hen manure can be composted, dog waste ends up in the landfill or lawns. Large, commercial operations can be smelly as they are not well ventilated and large amounts of waste are concentrated. Backyard coops of 6-10 hens do not create this concentration.
  • Myth: Noise NO ROOSTERS ALLOWED! A hen at her loudest is 70 decibels, a barking dog or lawnmower is 90 decibels, a car horn is 100 decibels.
  • Myth: Decreased property value There is no evidence that backyard hen keeping affects property values. According to a recent study, over 65% of major U.S. cities now allow chickens. Would major cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Madison, Denver and smaller cities like Missoula, MT, Roswell, GA, and Portland, OR have all passed ordinances if it adversely affected values?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

City Hens Town Hall Meeting November 9!

City Hens Town Hall Meeting


Tuesday, November 9  

7 pm
Roeland Park City Hall
4600 W. 51st Street

Roeland Park, KS 66205

Now is the time to step up and support City Hens in Roeland Park! Please join us for discussion of the new ordinance. This is an opportunity to share information, dispell myths and talk the truth about urban hen keeping!

To request a button, fliers to distribute or other information:

Thank YOU for your support!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Show your Support!

We have buttons!  We have informational flyers that you can email to your friends and don't forget the Town Hall Meeting on November 9!

We will be on the radio with the King Of Green this week talking City Hens in Roeland Park. Details to follow!

Comment on this blog or email us at if you want a cool button, have questions or need resources!

We are in the home stretch and need all the support we can gather!

Thank you to the volunteers and supporters who have helped make buttons, pass out flyers, do research and talk this up!  We appreciate all you do!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chicken Evolution

Have you wondered how to reach your city officials? We are posting the email addresses for handy reference.

Action is at hand...come to the meeting on Thursday, October 21 to get your collateral information to support the efforts to get this ordinance done!

Many other communities have offered support and have asked for help. 

Part of what our purpose is to provide informationa and resources for those wanting to keep hens.
Here is another link into the "evolutionary" community:    

 A Chicken Evolution

Monday, October 11, 2010

Time to Act!

Hello everyone,
   At the suggestion of the City Manager, the City Council has decided to hold a Town Hall meeting to get input from the citizens on the chicken ordinance.  In preparation for the Town Hall meeting, we are going to meet at the Cedar Roe Library on Thursday, October 14 and Thursday, October 21.  Both meetings will start at 6:00.
 The Johnson County Extension Council Agricultural Agent, Rick Miller,  will speak to us at this Thursday's meeting, October 14th, Cedar Roe Library, 6:00.  Please join us if you can.  I'm sure he will have really great information for us.   We will also be cutting out the paper for making buttons for our group as well as putting together a flyer to hand out. 
  If you have friends or neighbors that are interested in backyard hens and may have questions, please invite them to this meeting.  Rick Miller is a wonderful source of information and is happy to answer questions.
We will be creating an agenda for the October 21 meeting, so if you have any questions, suggestions or just wish to discuss a certain part of the proposed code, please let us know so that we can get it on the agenda.
 Please join us for these two meetings to prepare for the November 9th, Town Hall meeting.  Please invite any neighbors to join us.  Now is the time to gather our supporters and answer any questions that anyone may have. 
Roeland Park has a goal to be the "greenest city in Johnson County".  Let's help our city take a step towards that goal by adopting a great backyard hen ordinance.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What is all the CHIRPin'about?

Welcome to City Hens In Roeland Park.  This site is being created to provide an information outlet to our community.  We are part of a growing number of citizens nationwide who are reclaiming their power to choose the source of their food and to live a sustainable lifestyle.

Keeping hens and growing your own food is no longer limited to rural settings.  Exactly the opposite is true!  Urban and suburban farming is growing by leaps and bounds as we are finding that the only truly safe food source, is one we can trace to the producer. 

This could turn into a soapbox...and will from time to time.  For now, this is the  way we will distribute the lastest in our challenge to get a fair ordinance passed in our community of Roeland Park, KS. Expect meeting notices, commentary and discussion as we continue this process.

As this site grows, there will be links and resources provided to the ever expanding online community of back yard farmers and henkeepers.  So we invite you to subscribe to recieve the notice via email when we post new information.  Or you can join our group on Facebook.