Alderman Drew’s request to make keeping chickens more widespread denied

RAPID CITY, S.D. – A request by Alderman Darla Drew to allow for keeping of chickens or other type fowl in Rapid City did not pass at Wednesday afternoon’s Legal and Finance Committee meeting, with members in attendance voting two to three on it.

Chickens in the coopAs per the request, the committee would have had to agree to do the following: declare fowl as domestic animals in the same way as dogs, cats, and small pigs, decrease the minimum distance of fowl housing to an occupied building from 150 to 50 feet, then reduce the minimum lot size for keeping them from three acres to one-quarter acre.

Ward 1 Alderman Ron Weifenbach elaborated on his vote in opposition of the request.

“What they want to do is reduce it so that more people would have the availability to have chickens, which would force that upon the neighbors,” he said. “I’m looking for more of an all-inclusive plan that said, ‘Hey, if you get your neighbors to go along with it, I’m good with that.’ This didn’t address that and they did not want to address it in that manner, so that’s why I voted no today.”

It will still go on to City Hall, but with notices about the decision made on Wednesday. However, this does not mean the end for parties interested in bringing it back in a modified form if denied during the City Hall meeting.

“Anybody can pick it up. The Urban Hen Society, they’ve brought it up twice. It’s been a little bit of a heated discussion back and forth,” Alderman Weifenbach said. “And I’m hoping that we get beyond that at some point and have a good constructive argument on both sides.”

Alderman Drew declined to comment. During the meeting she declared that the request not passing would result in her separating herself from it and is no longer involved.

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