Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
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