Beekeeping, pit bulls and chickens fall among the prohibited animals and insects in Prairie Village and remain prohibited at least in the first draft of a new animal control ordinance for the city.
The main point of the ordinance rewrite, according to Prairie Village Police Chief Wes Jordan, was to move the appeal process on a decision about a dangerous animal to the governing body rather than an animal control committee. The discussion with the city council, though, touched on several other areas. “This is a chapter that does get used,” Jordan said. Almost 10 percent of the department’s call load last year related to animal control, according to the chief. Prairie Village runs its own animal control department with two civilian officers.
The draft changes to the ordinance moved beekeeping from being defined as a nuisance to the prohibited list along with livestock, poultry and fowl. Some other cities allow beekeeping with limits on how close the boxes can be to a neighboring property. “Historically, we have not allowed beekeeping in the city,” Jordan said. One resident appeared at the council meeting to make the case for bees, saying they are extremely safe and encouraged the city to allow beekeeping.
A few councilors said they had received inquiries from residents about chickens, which are allowed in some cities, such as Roeland Park.
The ordinance also bans pit bull breeds, which is not a change in the language. Responding to council questions, Jordan said he is not a proponent of lifting the ban. Some cities are discussing dangerous animal ordinances that are not breed specific. “More fatalities (occur) with pit bulls than any other breed,” Jordan said. “I could not make a recommendation … to change it.”
The ordinance lays out the procedure for declaring a dog to be dangerous and the restrictions that will be placed on the owner and the dog if that designation is made.