By Sophie Tulp
The Mission City Council set the stage to pass an ordinance that would allow backyard beekeeping and chickens at its community development meeting last night.
The ordinance, which has been in the works since early June, was presented to the council last night for any last revisions. After taking into consideration public comments and extensive discussion from previous meetings, the council agreed to take the ordinance to their next meeting for an official vote.
Councilors discussed the possibility of reducing the maximum amount of chickens allowed from the current six to three, but ultimately agreed to keep it as written in the current draft.
After a public comment from a home owners association leader, the council also agreed to add that residents must check with their homeowners association policy before the addition of chickens or bees to their home.
The current ordinance is a reworked version of an animal control ordinance, modeled after other area cities, such as Roeland Park and Shawnee. The ordinance requires a permit process, with a $50 payment and no prior nuisance complaints or animal control violations before issuing the “Accessory Animal Permit” to residents.
The “key provisions” included in the ordinance make the following things illegal: animals “running at large” within city limits, noisy animals or “any animal that makes loud, frequent, excessive or habitual…noises between the hours of 10:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M.” and any animals or equipment that presents health or sanitation nuisances.
Residents must have passed their most recent inspection in order to keep chickens or bees. For chickens, roosters will not be allowed, a shelter must be provided for the animals and they must be at least 10 feet from the property line, the same as bees. For beekeeping, only two hives can be kept per property, and they must be located in the rear yard of the property which must be surrounded by a exterior fence.
The ordinance states that “the keeper shall maintain and manage hives to minimize swarming and prevent the creation of any public nuisance.”
The council is expected to vote on the official ordinance at their next meeting on August 19.