BAXTER SPRINGS - Baxter Springs resident Brad Freeman appeared before the city council last week to open a dialogue he feels many in town would like to have.
"To relax some people like to watch TV or have a dog they come home to; I prefer raising chickens," Freeman said. "I don't think I'm alone in that."
Freeman addressed the council in the hopes of getting a change to Municipal Code 6.5.09, regarding the keeping of animals in city limits. The City of Baxter Springs does not currently allow chickens to be raised inside city limits. City Attorney Robert Myers said the specific code had been recently updated in the last couple years.
"We're hoping to bring the code more in line with surrounding towns," Freeman said.
Freeman cited that everywhere from Parsons to Pittsburg, Kansas City and even New York City allow chickens to be raised within city limits.
"Usually there's a limit to the number you can have or restrictions to hens only, because of roosters crowing," Freeman said.
Mayor Randy Trease said the council would speak with Chief of Police Bill Adams to look at the codes for nearby towns, and discuss the issue further.
Both Columbus and Galena have laws that allow chickens to be raised inside city limits under certain circumstances. Columbus City Clerk Cherri Chancellor said that Columbus allows it, but only up to six hens, and only on certain grandfathered properties. City Ordinance 1403 states that chickens are allowed only on properties within the city that have previously been designated for horses and cattle. Residents who keep chickens must maintain sanitary conditions, and are required to purchase an annual $25 permit.