City Commission Discusses Regulations on Urban Chicken Keeping

During Monday's City Commission meeting, Commissioners engaged in a Study Session to address the growing trend of keeping chickens within the city limits of Salina. Similar to many other communities in Kansas, Salina has witnessed a notable rise in urban chicken keeping. Currently, the city permits residents to possess up to 15 chickens, with no permit required. However, certain guidelines are in place, such as maintaining a distance of 50 feet from neighboring residences or structures, prohibiting chickens within the owner's living area, and seasonal maintenance requirements for chicken runways.

Vice Mayor Longbine emphasized the importance of adhering to the designated area for chicken coops, expressing concern that a lack of a permitting system and cooperation might lead to the necessity for stricter regulations. He emphasized the need for responsible practices.

Commissioner Ryan questioned the need for 15 chickens and suggested implementing a permit system to track ownership and regulate the number of chickens based on lot size. Commissioner Lenkiewicz supported the idea, acknowledging the balance between self-sufficiency and ensuring the well-being of neighbors. He emphasized the importance of addressing issues such as odor that could affect the community.

While no immediate action was taken during the study session, the Commission provided guidance to city staff. The direction included the incorporation of a new lot line specification for chicken coop placement, the requirement for chicken ownership permits, and limitations on the number of chickens based on lot size. Notably, there was a consensus not to grandfather in current chicken owners. Instead, as existing chickens naturally reach the end of their lifespan, owners will be required to comply with the new regulations over time.

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