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Posted on: March 19, 2021

City Council seeking feedback on draft chicken ordinance

Chicken in coop with a couple of eggs

The Spring Hill City Council is seeking feedback on whether to permit chickens in the city limits.

At the March 11 City Council meeting, the Governing Body discussed the subject of whether or not to allow chickens in the Spring Hill city limits. It was the consensus to gather resident feedback — positive and negative — on the proposed ordinance. In May 2020, a group of teens petitioned the City to allow chickens in the City limits. Over the last several months, staff from the Police and Community Development departments researched the subject. 

With a number of homeowner associations (HOA) in our area, it's important you review your HOA covenants to see whether it allows the keeping of chickens. HOAs can be more restrictive than City ordinances with enforcement done by the HOA and not the City. 

Below is a draft copy of the proposed ordinance for review:

AN ORDINANCE ADDING SECTION 2-103.C.2, TO CHAPTER II OF THE SPRING HILL MUNICIPAL CODE RELATING TO THE RAISING AND KEEPING OF CHICKENS WITHIN THE CITY OF SPRING HILL, KANSAS 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE CITY OF SPRING HILL, KANSAS:

SECTION ONE Section 2-103.C.2 relating to the raising and keeping of chickens is hereby added to Chapter II of the Spring Hill Municipal Code as follows: 

 “2-103.C.2 SPECIAL ANIMAL PERMIT WITHIN CITY LIMIT-CHICKENS. 

 It shall be unlawful for any person to rear or keep any chicken in the city, except for the chickens granted by special permit pursuant to the following conditions:

  1. No more than 6 adult hens or pullets are allowed on property.
  2. All chickens shall be kept in an enclosed structure in the rear yard of the principal dwelling and shall not be permitted to roam at large, outside the enclosure or onto another property.
  3. Enclosed structures and exercise areas shall be located a minimum of 30 feet from a residential structure, church, school, or place of business, and a minimum of nine feet from side and rear lot lines. 
  4. Coops shall be built with a minimum of 4 square feet per chicken and if applicable, an additional 10 square feet for outside run/exercise area. Run/exercise areas must be attached to the coop.
  5. Enclosures open to the sky shall consist of a wall or fence of sufficient height to contain the animals; such enclosure shall be a minimum of five feet and maximum of six feet in height.
  6. The combined area of structures and enclosures shall provide a minimum of 4 square feet per chicken and no chicken shall be confined in a cage less than twice their length and height. 
  7. Enclosures shall be constructed of study wire or wooden fencing. 
  8. Owners and persons responsible shall handle the care and disposal of any chicken waste. The coop, yard, run must be kept free from trash and accumulated waste or droppings.
  9. All feed and other items associated with the keeping of chickens shall be protected from or to prevent rats, mice, other rodents, vermin, or predators from gaining access to the feed. 
  10. The special animal permit needs to be kept current with city and renewed annually, and the city notified when the permit is no longer needed.
  11. All coops will be inspected and approved by the Building Inspector." 

Residents can submit their feedback to the Governing Body or by emailing publicaffairs@springhillks.gov by Friday, April 16. The ordinance will be discussed at the April 22 City Council meeting. City Council meetings are on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Spring Hill Civic Center, 401 N. Madison St. Meetings can also be viewed live on the City's YouTube channel.

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