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The biggest story of the night from the Eudora City Council meeting was not the city budget (which we will report about in the coming days), nor was it about a new use for Nottingham School.  It was about birds.

The City Council held a work session to look into allowing fowl to be raised at residences inside the city limits.  Currently, city ordinances do not allow fowl of any type to be raised in the city. The City was looking into allowing certain fowl, including female chickens, ducks or quail.

The issue came to light when Jay Wilson, a local resident, was found to have several dozen quail on his property located in and near his garage. Wilson petitioned the City Council, per the current ordinances, to keep his quail which as he stated, were a hobby for him.  Tori Gezel, another young resident of the city had also recently petitioned the City Council about raising three chickens on the property she lives at with her family.

Reactions were very mixed as to even allow it anything at all. Council members Kenny Massey and Tim Reazin were rather vocal in their opposition to allowing any fowl.  Both agreed that administration of any type of ordinance allowing birds would consume city resources.  Codes administration would be involved since they would have to approve any buildings built to house birds and likely police we need to verify and enforce any complaints filed by residents about someone having too many birds or not housed properly.

Council President Ruth Hughs, while not coming down on one side or the other, stated that she had some constituents say that they were afraid having chickens next door to them would lower their property values.

Councilman Bill Whitten’s line of questions through the session made it seem like he was in favor of some ordinance allowing fowl and Councilman John Fiore, while not speaking much on the subject, appeared to also support some type of resolution.

During the session, Hughs, Whitten and Fiore wondered how many people would even want fowl and what would the neighbors desire.

The big question that was asked by City Administrator John Harrenstein at the end of the session was if he and staff should do any further work towards writing proposed legislation. There was no resounding directive by anyone to work further. Massey and Reazin indicated that the topic should be dropped and not taken further.

This leads to our newest poll question: Do you think that citizens should be allowed to raise a limited number of fowl inside the city limits? It’s a simple yes/no answer.  You can vote in the box on the upper right hand side of the web site. Simply click your answer and then hit “Vote”.  Let your leaders hear from you and what you think.  You can also use the comment section of this story if you wish to leave a longer answer

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3 Responses to A Fowl Conversation

  • Having raised chickens, I can tell you, hens (female) are quieter than any of the yappy dogs in this town. A pen of 3-6 chickens can easily live in a small/medium size dog house and pen. People who have chickens or fowl, keep them penned up properly not to keep them in but to keep the free range dogs/cats/possum and raccoon from killing their birds. Ask any of our local 4Hers. Keeping fowl does take some work and proper conditions, but that should be up to the owner, not the City to decide what type of caging should be required. The animal nuisance calls PD would get would be for the dogs/cats that are not running free, not chickens. Your neighbor’s chickens will not bring down your property value (hello…this is DG county), but I bet your neighbor would let you try some of the best eggs you’ve ever cooked or baked with.

  • I agree with Momma Hen.
    I think Massey and Reazin should move to Johnson County, thats what they are wanting Eudora to be, but JO CO allows fowl to be raised in pens and with restrictions, so maybe they wouldnt fit over in JO CO iether.
    I say allow up to 6 hens.
    You must get the ok from the houses on both sides of you.
    have a once a year inspection of the care being given to the birds (to keep birds safe).
    Quail, allow up to 30 birds.
    Very simple to do, but our city makes it like pulling teeth..

  • I believe that any homeowner/renter should be able to keep any animal that does not cause a nuisance issue. You could simply write the code in that manner, this does not have to be the issue that this has become. I have found that many administration items in Eudora are over thought and over done for the size and budget for the community. The code does not have to pertain to only fowl; it could cover any type of animal. Simple stating, it should not cause life safety issue, noise issue, or odor issue. Animal should be kept in a humane manner that does not adversely affect nearby residence. Any complaint shall be reviewed by the convening authority & charge a reasonable registration fee. I agree with Momma Hen, I would rather have someone next with 2 dozen chickens, than the dogs that are left outside to bark at every bird, car, or child that passes by. KISS method really does work.