Help in Overland Park. Trying to keep our chickens.

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by calebtk, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. calebtk

    calebtk New Egg

    Jul 9, 2016
    We have a meeting Monday with OP planning committee. First step towards getting our permit. We have been told it's a long shot and spent over $200 on all the fees just to apply!

    Talked to many of the neighbors today and basically everyone over 60 is against it and says it will lower property values. Even when I show them data and tell them our price of home increased $40k in 8 weeks after buying home and bringing our chickens with us.

    Neighbors on both sides of us are fine but people that live several houses away and don't even see our chickens are making a fuse about it.

    Any tips or advice would be welcome.


  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    [​IMG] so sorry you have to fight to get the ordinance changed.

    IMO the best approach is to go into the meeting armed with real data. There was a good article on BYC about this, but cannot locate it.

    But found this one on My Pet Chicken:

    Hope this helps. But being realistic - in cities around here, it is often the prejudice of the the "planners" that either oppose directly in a vote or delay the agenda.
  3. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal

    Hi there! I really don't understand why people make such a fuss about chickens. Well, like the article said, there's some misunderstandings, so that's probably why. I would definitely bring up the points in the article to educate these people and hopefully make them realize that there are actually more benefits to keeping chickens than losses, I'm not even sure if there are losses. To make sure you talk about everything you want to talk about, perhaps you could make an outline on a piece of paper or something like that. It would probably be good if you included the number of chickens that would be at your house. And that the neighbors on either side of you give their approval to keep chickens. I don't know why the people that aren't even going to see the chickens are making a fuss, but what can you do. And definitely, like sunflour said, go in with actual data and information.
  4. calebtk

    calebtk New Egg

    Jul 9, 2016
    So I had one neighbor behind me that came to oppose me today. Planning Council voted 11-0 to not recommend me for approval of my special use permit. Now I have to meet with City Council next month. Hope that goes better but doubt it.

    In the meeting I addressed all concerns from our neighbors that don't support and showed how those concerns of lowered property value and increased noise are actually not true. Council didn't even care about the facts sadly!

    Is anyone here in OP that has chickens or would like to come to the meeting to voice support for this idea please let me know.


  5. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal

    Awe, that's a shame. Hopefully it goes better next month.
  6. calebtk

    calebtk New Egg

    Jul 9, 2016
    I've been trying to keep my chickens in our new city. Our previous city allowed them and now OP is being extremely difficult to deal with on trying to get a special use permit.

    Here is the information I provided all my council members.

    Main concerns voiced by only 4 neighbors opposing.

    1. Property Value Reduction: Our property value has increased over $25,000 since we purchased home in February 2016. We have proof of this value increase with purchase appraisal and then re-appraisal 2 months later. 7 out of 10 cities on Forbes Magazine’s “Most Desirable Cities” List for 2010 allow Backyard Chickens”. Appraisers that I have spoken to in Johnson County have stated in 30+ years they have never had an appraised house value be lowered due to the presence of chickens in the neighborhood.

    2. Waste of chickens: A forty-pound dog generates more poop (about ¾ pound) than ten chickens (two-thirds pounds of daily poo). Both poops are smelly, but the key is to keep the chicken manure from accumulating by composting which we do for our plants. Composted chicken manure is valuable as a high-nitrogen fertilizer.
    The smell of chicken waste should not pose a problem where the coop is properly cleaned: “If you pile pine shavings 2 to 3 inches deep in the coop and clean it out every month or two and compost it, it's not going to smell,” says Penn State poultry expert Phillip J. Clauer. In some cities, including Seattle, Austin, and Atlanta, chicken owners arrange coop tours to show off what good neighbors chickens are (Foley, 2016)
    3. Noise of chickens: Laying hens at their loudest have about the same decibel level as human conversation (65 decibels). Roosters make most of the noise. They have about the same decibel level as a barking dog (90 decibels). Olathe, Kansas councilman Larry Cambell said in a recent city council meeting, “I challenge anyone who says a chicken is louder than a dog. “If we don’t allow chickens because of noise, we shouldn’t allow dogs. It’s not fair.” Several council members concurred.

    4. Histoplasmosis: This is primarily found in the Ohio and Mississippi River valley’s over 500 miles away from Kansas City. In medical studies HIV patients with severely depressed immune systems were the most at risk people to contract the disease. Those with intact immune system can get a mild version of the disease and then become immune. Many in the endemic areas have already had the disease and are immune.

    There is a very low risk with 4 chickens. The risk is not much higher than the general population. Thousands of farmers live with more chickens than this and don't get Histoplasmosis.

    Cities allowing chickens:
    Many major cities around the US currently allow chickens. Here is a short list of cities that allow chickens, there are 100’s more not listed; Kansas City, Lenexa, Shawnee, Roeland Park, Mission, Olathe, Wichita, St. Louis, Omaha, Lincoln, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Fort Collins, Seattle, Dallas, Austin, Houston.

    Currently 160 people have signed an online petition on to allow chickens in Overland Park, KS.

    Some states, including Arizona are currently passing legislation to allow chickens in residential areas statewide including urban areas.

    Other common questions about chickens and responses to those concerns:

    1. Urban Chickens Carry Diseases
    Fact: small flocks have literally no risk of avian flu transmission to humans. Centers for Disease Control states on there website: “There is no need at present to remove a family flock of chickens because of concerns regarding avian flu.” The 2006 Grain Report states: “When it comes to bird flu, diverse small-scale poultry is the solution, not the problem.” Salmonella is a food handling sanitary problem, not an avian problem.

    2. Health Benefits of Free Range Eggs: I have heart disease in my family. Free range backyard eggs are have 50% less cholesterol compared to commercially raised chickens. 25% less saturated fat, 66% more Vitamin A, 2x more Omega 3, and 7x more beta carotene. (Mother Earth News)
    3. Chickens Attract Predators, Pests & Rodents
    Fact: Predators and rodents are already living in urban areas. Wild bird feeders, pet food, gardens, fish ponds, bird baths, trash waiting to be collected all attract raccoons, foxes, rodents and flies. Modern micro-flock coops, such as chicken tractors, elevated coops, and fencing provide ways of keeping, and managing, family flocks that eliminate concerns about such pests.
    And about those pests . . . chickens are voracious carnivores and will seek and eat just about anything that moves including ticks (think Lyme’s disease), fleas, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, stink bugs, slugs, even mice, baby rats and small snakes.

    4. Property Values Will Decrease
    There is not one documented case that a home property value decreased due to a family flock next door. In truth, some Realtors and Home Sellers are offering free coops with every sale. This emphasizes the values of green neighborhoods, and residents who value local, healthy food supply and respect the environment.


    Foreman, P. L. (2010). City chicks: Keeping micro-flocks of laying hens as garden helpers, compost creators, bio-recyclers and local food suppliers. Buena Vista, VA: Good Earth Publications.

    Denise Foley, Frequently Raised Objections to Backyard Hens, ORGANIC GARDENING, available at

    The Kansas City Star. (2013, November 7)

    Mother Earth News.

    Well I can sadly say the OP city council voted me down 11-0 last night. I provided evidence to them to answer all concerns my neighbor had. Presented information about how other local cities have removed their Special Use Permit application requirements. I have spent hundreds of dollars and over 12 hours banging heads with these people who are obviously biased to the facts of the case! Very sad that our leadership coddles to the fear mongering of a few neighbors.

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