Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Petition launched to make it easier to keep hens in Wyandotte County

By NICK SLOAN, nick@kansascitykansan.com

Hens and Wyandotte County are not exactly two words that go together like peanut butter and jelly.

However, an online petition has been launched that would make it easier for Wyandotte County residents to own hens and other small livestock.

So far, 62 residents have signed the petition. The goal is to get 200 signatures.

The petition "calls upon the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS to alter Unified Government Code Ordinance 0-22-03 Section 7-175 to allow more residents access to the benefits of keeping hens in the city; specifically we ask them to reduce the required distance from neighboring buildings from 100 feet to 20 feet and to reduce the required distance from the property line from 25 feet to 5 feet.".

Proponents of the petition argue that hens would improve the health of the average Wyandotte County resident, as 18,000 residents have low access to food, according to the USDA.

In addition, supporters also argue it would help the environment as well.

" Allowing residents to keep hens in their backyards provides a reliable, affordable outlet for nutritious food and decreases the city’s burden to build more grocery stores and other food venues in the urban core," the petition reads. "It also decreases stress on the area’s landfills, as chickens eat table scraps and their waste can be composted to fertilize nearby gardens. Furthermore, it reduces pollution in the city and elsewhere, as eggs grown in backyards need not be shipped in refrigerated containers across the country to consumers."

No official UG action is scheduled on this matter.