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Keeping the chickens close to home is one goal a city council member has.

It’s been a little more than a year since backyard chickens became legal within Rapid City, but now, one city council member is bringing up changes to the ordinance.
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 4:16 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) -The Rapid City community is not too chicken to fight for what they want, gaining approval to raise chickens within city limits is one of them.

And, they won that battle. But, hens and roosters have to stay at least 150 feet from a house and property must be at least 3 acres to have the poultry.

Now, Mother hen wants her eggs a little closer to home.

Darla Drew of Ward 5 brought forward an amendment proposal to reduce the 150 feet distance to 50 and cut the 3-acre property rule down to a quarter of an acre, creating the opportunity for more people to have chickens in their backyard.

“Pretty sure everybody on this council right now, on this status would not be able to tell me where their eggs come from. You do? Where? Ok, excuse me, that’s very surprising but I’m very glad for you but most of us don’t have that option. Ok? And they want their children to understand where food sourcing happens, some 4-Hers want to raise show chickens in town. We’ve got a lot of people that want to see this happen,” said Darla Drew of Ward 5 during the meeting.

However, the request was denied 3 to 2.

“I’m looking for a more all-inclusive plan that says, ‘Hey if you get your neighbors to go along with it,’ I’m good with that. So, this didn’t address that, they didn’t want to address it in that manner so that’s why I voted no today,” said Ron Weifenbach of Ward 1.

One suggestion was to allow neighbors to give their permission. Another was to get the Humane Society’s perspective and participation in the proposal.

“So I think the opportunity to have people have hens and take care of them responsibly can benefit us all, there is manure that people can use, there are fresh eggs, there’s a lot of things there. I also do understand that we don’t want to burden staff with regulations and follow-up,” said one concerned Rapid City citizen attending the meeting.

Drew will not revise this request but that doesn’t mean someone else won’t.

Although the committee voted to deny the request to amend the ordinance. The proposal now heads to the full city council Monday for a vote.

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