Two urban farmers in Harrisonville will get to keep chickens on their property this summer.
The Harrisonville Board of Aldermen approved requests from Angi Morriss, 709 S. Oakland, and Ricky and Jaine Painter, 901 Park Lane, during the May 5 meeting.
Keeping chickens within the city limits of Harrisonville requires a permit, as described in Section 210.190 of the city’s municipal code.
“We love our birds,” said Ricky Painter, who said he is hoping to keep six or seven chickens on his property.
Morriss added that she wanted to keep a handful birds to teach her children about small farming.
Both Morriss and Painter told aldermen that they have support from their neighbors in keeping chickens.
The requests received unanimous approval by the six aldermen attending meeting.
The issue drew a flock of discussion last May when aldermen turned down a decision to allow a resident on Outlook Drive to keep three chickens at their home for organic gardening purposes and for their young grandchildren to enjoy.
At that time, the resident was contacted by Animal Control after numerous complaints from neighbors. At that time, the resident said she was unaware of the city’s code requiring a permit to keep chickens.
It is unlawful for a person to construct or use any building or premises as a stable, barn or yard for horses, mules, cattle, sheep, swine or other animals, including chickens for commercial or domestic purposes without first obtaining a written permit, within the city limits.
Last year, Ward 1 Alderman Stacey Dahlman said she received at least 13 complaints from residents in reference to their disapproval of the individual keeping chickens within city limits.
Four residents attended the meeting on May 6, 2013 to express their distaste.
One neighbor said that homes in her neighborhood, Twin Oak Estates, had already taken a $30,000 loss in property value due to trouble at the apartments, a foreclosed house, and a collection of trash that gets thrown in her lawn.
“We will take another hit with the chickens,” she said. “We wanted to live in a solid, stable neighborhood in Harrisonville, and I don’t want to see our house and our neighborhood devalued anymore.”
Another neighbor added, “The city is not the place for chickens as pets. Farm animals should be on the farm.”