CITY OF SHAWNEE
COUNCIL COMMITTEE MEETING
October 6, 2015
(Council Committee Meeting Called to Order at 7:30 p.m.)
|Councilmembers Present ||Staff Present|
|Councilmember Pflumm||City Manager Gonzales|
|Councilmember Neighbor||Deputy City Manager Charlesworth|
|Councilmember Jenkins||Assistant City Manager Killen|
|Councilmember Kemmling||City Clerk Powell |
|Councilmember Vaught ||Finance Director Rogers|
|Councilmember Meyer||City Attorney Rainey|
|Councilmember Sandifer ||Planning Director Chaffee|
|Councilmember Kenig||Police Chief Moser|
|Development Services Dir. Wesselschmidt|
|Parks and Recreation Director Holman|
|Transportation Manager Sherfy|
|Assistant Public Works Director Gard|
|Neighborhood Planner Grashoff |
|Community Service Officer Hunter|
A. ROLL CALL
Before we begin our agenda, I'd like to explain our procedures for public input. During the meeting I will offer the opportunity for public input. If you would like to speak to the Committee at any of those times, please come forward to the microphone. I will ask you to state your name and address for the record and you may offer your comments. So that members of the audience can hear you, I would ask that you speak directly into the microphone. By policy, comments are limited to five minutes. After you are finished, please sign the form to the right of the podium to ensure we have an accurate record of your name and address.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Good evening. Welcome to tonight’s Council Committee meeting. My name is Stephanie Meyer. I am the Councilmember from Ward III, and the Chair of this Committee.
Besides myself, the Committee members here tonight are Jim Neighbor of Ward I; Dan Pflumm, Ward I; Eric Jenkins, Ward II; Mike Kemmling, Ward II; Jeff Vaught, Ward III; Mickey Sandifer, Ward IV; and Brandon Kenig from Ward IV.
I would also like to remind Committee members to turn on your microphone when you would like to speak, so we can get a clear and accurate record.
1. DISCUSS KANSAS CITY AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY BUS STOP UPGRADES.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: We have four items on tonight’s agenda. The first item is to discuss Kansas City Area Transportation Authority Bus Stop Upgrades.
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) is working with staff to make improvements to several bus stops in Shawnee. The project will be funded entirely by the KCATA through a federal grant. Mark Sherfy, Transportation Manager, will provide additional information and answer questions. Shawn Strate from KCATA is also in attendance. This item is for informational purposes only.
Go ahead Mark.
MR. SHERFY: Good evening. Mark Sherfy for the record. This is an informational item, as you just read there, and I wanted to give you a little bit of background because we don’t often talk about transit in this room. And then Shawn with the KCATA is here for any questions about service levels or any other information about stops in the city of Shawnee.
To give you a little more background that is in the packet, a couple of years ago The JO, Johnson County Transit, approached the City saying we’d like to spruce up a couple of the bus stops in the city. The City of Shawnee is served by three bus stops currently, have been for a number of years. And the first one is Route 678, which I’ll read from their pamphlet, serves Downtown Kansas City, Missouri and Crown Center from K-7 in Olathe along Shawnee Mission Parkway in Shawnee. That’s the Shawnee Express. That’s one of their routes. The second route is the Route 546. From the pamphlet here that serves from 116th and Renner in Lenexa to 7th and Minnesota in Kansas City, Kansas via College, Quivira, Nieman, Johnson, and Roe. Basically in our city it comes up Quivira to 75th Street and it hangs a left on 75th Street up Nieman Road and Nieman Road to Johnson Drive. It kind of goes nicely through a great portion of our city. And the third route is The JO Route 575 that serves 75th and Troost in Kansas City, Missouri to 127th and Quivira in Overland Park along 75th Street and on Quivira Road.
When The Jo approached us a couple years ago they wanted to update a couple of the bus stops on these routes. Currently every bus stop in the City of Shawnee is just a sign, a little green JO sign. Largely go unnoticed in my opinion. Several of these are every couple blocks along Nieman Road, you can see those signs. The idea and concept of some more permanent pads would be a concrete pad in lieu of just that sign, putting a nice bus shelter on there with a bench to keep you out of the elements, also a trash can.
So they’re looking at putting five of these locations in the City. The first one would be on the Shawnee Express Line. This would be out by the Price Chopper in western Shawnee and across from the daycare place and the post office. It would be on the north side of 66th Street. Currently I’ve seen as many as eight or nine cars park there as kind of a park and ride facility and sometimes it’s less than that. But that particular route sees 66 riders a day going through the City of Shawnee, so it’s used. Not all of them necessarily coming from that location. So that would be one location that we see an increase – or the pad site with a shelter.
Two others would happen on the Quivira south of 75th Street. Think Hocker Grove, think the Meadows Apartment and the Carlyle Apartment on the east and west side of Quivira Road would be two places for upgrades. And the last two of the five locations they’re looking to upgrade would be on 75th Street by Shawanoe School. One on the north side by the school, the other across the street at Haverford West Apartments.
So really that is kind of the synopsis of where they’re doing, what they’re looking for. In the packet are some sketches of where the shelters would lie and where they’re looking – what they would look like ultimately. The KCATA is working with all of those property owners to get the agreements in place to get this done. They would pay for the construction. And then the long term maintenance, which would include the emptying of the trash, maintenance of the shelters, and any of the benches if they would ever need repairs, also the removal of snow on these pad sites would all be done through an agreement that they have with Johnson County. So I’d open it up to any question at this time.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Thank you Mark. Is there any discussion or questions from the Council? Dan?
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Yeah. I was just curious, and I think we need something like that. I think more people would probably ride the busses if there was more than just a little sign. I mean because every now and then you’ll see people down here on Nieman Road just standing there and there’s one or two people every time and they have nowhere to sit and they sit on the sidewalk or whatever. So, I think it’s a great idea. We need to do something, but hopefully more than five locations.
MR. SHERFY: We would definitely agree that actually building a structure has a more sense of permanency and then reliability, so the people who want to move or work in the area have a feeling that this is a long-term commitment and they could make good choices about choices for their transportation. So, we would concur with that. We’re talking to the KCATA about perhaps building some wider sidewalks at some of these stops in lieu of bigger improvements at this time. So, we’re working on that.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: All right thanks.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Mickey.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Well, I’d like to thank them for bringing it to our City because it is definitely needed. You know, having people standing out in the elements -- and this is a good thing. I appreciate it.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Jeff?
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: This isn’t really the shelter as much as that route. So, out in front of the Price Chopper on west, does it turn around right in there? Where does that terminate? Does it go out there and then turn around and do you know?
MR. SHERFY: Well, I’ll have Shawn jump in, but according to their pamphlet it starts at K-7 and Santa Fe.
MR. STRATE: Yes.
MR. SHERFY: I’ll let Shawn Strate speak to that.
MR. STRATE: Yeah. Shawn Strate from KCATA. Thanks.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Hey, Shawn.
MR. STRATE: So, that particular route starts in Olathe. The reason it starts in Olathe is because that’s where the Johnson County Transit facility is. It basically pulls out of the barn and starts the route at Wal-Mart at the K-7 and Santa Fe. It travels up K-7 and then serves this Park and Ride, then goes along Shawnee Mission Parkway to downtown.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Would there be any way to, and, you know, just on your kind of future of looking at those routes, I’d love to see that get wrapped around in front of the new Wal-Mart. Because and especially a Wal-Mart stores is great for bus services. And the more dollars we can get into that the better. And I know what you’re doing. I think you come right off Shawnee Mission Parkway. You come 7 to Shawnee Mission, pull into that development probably off Hilltop, and come down through there.
MR. STRATE: Yes. 66th Street.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: And it would be great if we just kind of continued on and wrapped around and maybe service the Wal-Mart and curve back around because it’s one of those areas where people, you know, it serves a class of workers that I think would benefit from bus service there and right now there I don’t believe, I’m not sure there’s another -- is there another line that goes past there? I don’t think so.
MR. STRATE: No, that’s the only route.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Yeah. Just something to --
MR. STRATE: It only has a couple trips in the morning and a couple of trips in the afternoon. You know, we’d like to eventually put more service on it, more busses throughout the day in which case it would be a lot more useful to Wal-Mart and some of the other business there. So, yeah, it’s [inaudible].
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Cool. Appreciate it.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Jim.
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: I think it’s a good idea. Thank you for bringing it to us and I think it gives a presence of mass transit for Shawnee and in this area and it would be good advertising and do nothing but continue to grow. Thank you.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Anyone else from the Council? All right. Thank you. Is there anyone from the audience who would like to speak to this item? All right. Seeing none, again, this was an informational only presentation and no action is required.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: The second item on tonight’s agenda is to discuss backyard chicken regulations. The City has received several inquiries from residents interested in keeping backyard chickens. On June 13, 2015, the City Council directed staff to evaluate the current regulations. Community Service Officer Hunter will present several options from the Committee, for the Committee rather, to consider. Go ahead Mr. Hunter, thank you.
2. DISCUSS BACKYARD CHICKEN REGULATIONS.
OFFICER HUNTER: All of you, I am CSO Scott Hunter. I work for the Shawnee Police Department as part of the Animal Control Division among many other duties of my job. I have lots of different duties, but animals are my main concern. This is our outline of how the presentation is going to go. You can read it, it was part of the packet. We’ll just jump right in if that’s okay with you guys.
A little background. Recently staff and Council have seen an uptick in citizens inquiring about the keeping of chickens within our City. Personally, this includes many phone calls, folks just walking up to me on the street, interested to see where our City stood with chickens and if they would be allowed to even have them. A lot of people don’t know that, yes, we do allow them here in the City. However, after hearing our requirements they are quite prohibited and they are a bit disappointed. You know, it’s not a large number, but there is a small niche that is starting to ask about it and we have seen quite the uptick. Many of the inquiries are followed up with statements and questions about our current ordinances, and they were wondering if we could change or amend them, you know, so they could possibly have chickens in the future or how they would even go about changing an ordinance.
This was most recently brought to the attention to the Council by Ms. Smalley, who made a fantastic presentation about the backyard chickens. I really enjoyed listening to it. There was a lot of valid points and a lot of thought provoking points from my standpoint, and at the very least deserved an exploration, you know, of current ordinances and the subject of backyard chickens. So we formed a committee that included myself, Stephen Powell, our City Clerk, and Katie Killen, our Assistant City Manager.
I have mentioned the trends earlier in the uptick that we have been getting. There’s an increased interest in urban and locally-sourced farming in the last five to ten years. In Johnson County, the topic of chickens has been discussed in many neighboring cities with an emphasis on changing or amending current city ordinances. The subject matter is far from localized. There’s national trends in this direction regarding urban farming with websites dedicated to the practice. There are online communities. There’s forums discussing what cities do allow chickens or what ordinances they currently have on the books. And it acts as a guide, you know, as to whether or not they want to move to a certain area, what cities do allow it, you know, because that can be a selling point in a way if they want to move somewhere or if they want to do something like that in the future. Most recently Mission, Kansas adopted new requirements, and in talking with Lenexa, they had explored the option this summer as well.
Our current ordinances. Under our current ordinances Shawnee does allow chickens. It requires a special animal permit with no more than ten chickens allowed and the coups must be a hundred feet from all property lines. And as part of the special animal permit process the applicant must pass inspection of the animals and the property by a community service officer for approval. And they do send out notifications to all adjoining neighbors and in that they write back to us any concerns neighbors may have with, you know, it’s not a consent process. It’s just they notify us with what concerns they may have with their neighbors owning chickens. And that is what we inspect as well during the inspection process. You know, we look for what issues they may be having.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Officer, may I ask you a couple questions while you have this slide up there?
OFFICER HUNTER: Absolutely.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: What is the special animal permit requirements? What’s cost and so on? Do we know?
CITY CLERK POWELL: Stephen Powell, City Clerk. It’s $50 for the first permit and $15 per year to renew it.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: So, it’s an annual renewal of $15?
CITY CLERK POWELL: Yes.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Okay. And then to pass inspection from a Community Services Officer, what types of things are we looking for there?
OFFICER HUNTER: We look for, it’s the basics, the food, water, shelter, you know, make sure they’re properly kept. We inspect the animals to make sure they’re in good, healthy condition. We check out the distance requirements. We check it before we go out with plat maps to see if they do fit the hundred foot requirement at that time. I physically walk it, you know, personally to see if they do reach that and the coops they must be with, you know, have to be a hundred feet.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: But this inspection incurs after they’ve got the chickens?
OFFICER HUNTER: After they have applied. A lot of our – a lot of people that do own chickens don’t know that there’s an ordinance regarding chickens, so a lot of the applicants we get come from a complaint or a concern from a neighbor, or a HOA calls us and says this address has and we go out and investigate. And if we do find it, we have them apply for the process then and we go through the whole thing.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Thank you.
OFFICER HUNTER: Sure. And if approved, the chickens are regulated by our current ordinances such as improper keeping, which would, you know, fall under -- the distance requirements are in there, the numbers, the odor, you know, because that can be a concern. Public nuisance, which is our noise ordinance, and animals at large. I have chased chickens before. And my one fear is that there is someone with a cell phone watching me chase a chicken and I will end up on YouTube and it has been done.
What we have is -- while our city has restrictions, we have many HOAs in our community. We have asked our HOAs that had a registered email contact with us, what their policies were regarding the keeping of chickens. What you see stated in red is the HOAs that do not allow chickens. Yellow which is a very small number is they ask for a committee approval through their HOA. Green does allow chickens. And the blue is unknown or did not respond to us at that time. So as you can see there’s a lot of HOAs out west that do not currently allow it but we are waiting to hear from some of the other ones or they have not responded.
Under our current ordinances, this is what -- these are the areas where they are restricted due to our current ordinances with the hundred foot lines. As you can see due to the average lot size our ordinances as it stands is quite prohibitive. The areas with the diagonal shading are the HOAs that do not allow chickens for some reference. So as you can see the eastern half of the City is pretty much one big solid red rectangle and out west as well.
Best practices. The main question we asked ourselves as a committee, what is the best practice in keeping of backyard chickens. Stephen, Katie, and I researched the question. We looked over surrounding cities’ ordinances trying to find a common ground. We’ve reached out to Rick Miller, the County Extension Agent, who proved to be a wealth of knowledge to us. And he’s here tonight as well. We all came to the same conclusion, there is no best practice. And what I mean by that is there is no consistency in surrounding cities’ ordinances, if they even have an ordinance, which some do not. And to say, you know, how it should be done, how our ordinances should be to -- what is the best way of doing it. So the items to consider really are do we want to allow more chickens in our City? And if so, how many? Do we want to allow roosters? I have some feelings on that personally, but I know how I feel about that one. You know, I like setting my own alarm clock. We do have some noise issues with that. But, you know, that’s what we decided. Lot size requirements and neighbor consent is also another option for us.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Another question then. Like you say, we currently allowed chickens.
OFFICER HUNTER: Yes.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: There’s some requirements for that. You said there’s a number of people that basically walk away disappointed because of our requirements. What is the -- what are the biggest areas in the requirements that seem to be causing concerns for these folks wanting chickens?
OFFICER HUNTER: It’s the distance.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I would have figured it was the hundred foot.
OFFICER HUNTER: It is the hundred foot mark. And further on we’ll compare some maps. It’s just -- our average lot size in the City, especially in the eastern half and even in the western half, you know, they aren’t wide enough. You know, length-wise generally they are.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yeah. I figured that’s probably it. But is there anything else that seems to be a concern as well, or is that the number one?
OFFICER HUNTER: That’s the number one for sure. I mean that’s the most prohibitive and restrictive part of it.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Okay. Thank you.
OFFICER HUNTER: City comparisons. These are some of the surrounding cities that we researched that allow or prohibit chickens. It kind of looks cut and dry [inaudible] in each one of these cities. You know, for example, Merriam, they currently have no law on the books for chickens whatsoever, so anybody can have a chicken. And I spoke to one of the CSOs over there and they chase chickens around their city. I mean they have no laws on the books to, you know, enforce anything other than just what they would have for their domestic dogs and cats and such, you know, stuff like that so far. Whereas, our City we allow them, but we have requirements and they’re more entailed and, you know, some would say prohibitive. The question is where do we as a City want to sit on the scale of no restrictions like Merriam or to prohibit them. We have to find the middle ground where we want to be.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Mickey, did you –
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I’ll wait till he’s done. Go ahead.
OFFICER HUNTER: Furthering the city comparisons, you know, some cities have, you know, special land use permits. We have like a special animal permit and some have none. Some are based on number of chickens, some are tied to zoning and size of the property, maximum number allowed and some have like I said none. So we set out and decided to come up with some options, you know, something that we could do to change ours if that’s what we want to do.
Option one, it’s relaxing the distance requirement of chicken coups from a hundred feet from all property lines to 35 feet. This would definitely require the least amount of change to our current ordinance as we already allow aviaries. We have racing pigeons. People are allowed to have pigeons in our City. That is considered an aviary and aviaries currently are at 35 feet. You know, if you look at the Webster Dictionary, you know, a coop is an aviary. It’s considered an aviary. You know it’s -- an aviary is defended as something that houses birds.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Mickey.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Is this 35 feet from the property lines?
OFFICER HUNTER: from the property lines.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Okay.
OFFICER HUNTER: And apiaries which are our bee hives. They’re also at 35 feet. The 65 foot decrease may not seem like much of a change; however, when looking at the next two slides you’ll kind of see where we’re at.
So, this is where we were at with the properties that don’t meet the hundred foot distance requirement where we were at earlier. And if we switch it to 35, that is where we are currently at. So that would open it up quite a bit with very, very little change to our current ordinance as it stands. They would still go through the special permit process just like anything else. So we’ll flip back and forth. Like I said there’s the hundred foot and it’s a pretty striking difference.
Option Two. This option would keep all the current requirements but we would have an exception option where the City Clerk would ask for consent from adjoining neighbors. Not notification like we currently do with our special animal permit, but we where would -- all adjoining neighbors to that property would consent and we would tally them up at the end. If they said, hey, they can have them, there would be an exception to the hundred foot mark. And we have an area in our current code referencing adjoining property owners and consent for storage of firewood. I wasn’t aware of that. Stephen brought that to my attention. And again, in all of these we have to think about -- each one of these options we have to think about, you know, do we want to allow roosters, you know, the numbers and everything. Each one of these options we have to consider different items for what we want.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Mickey.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Do one hundred percent of the neighbors have to agree?
OFFICER HUNTER: That would be if we do go into changing it, and Stephen might be able to answer this better than I, you know, it could be a tally system or it could be a hundred percent.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: If we choose this.
OFFICER HUNTER: If we choose this.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Because you’re always going to have the one.
OFFICER HUNTER: Oh, always.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: That would mess up -- that would just mess up the whole plan.
OFFICER HUNTER: That’s true.
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: That would be up to you guys.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: All right.
OFFICER HUNTER: Option Three. We would tie the number of chickens to land use and lot size similar to Lenexa’s currents ordinances on the matter. And this would require substantial changes to our current code and staff would recommend changing the large animal ordinance in tandem, so we don’t have conflicting ordinances on the matter if we tied, you know, one set of animals to lot size or what they are zoned, we’d like all animals to be tied.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Are you able to – what’s the number for example that they would have?
OFFICER HUNTER: This is Lenexa’s example, what they currently have. You know, they -- as far as AG, you know, it’s based on one acre, one to three acres, and three-plus acres. So for poultry, which is where chickens would fall, if they were zoned AG they could have four maximum if they had one acre. Five per acre, but not to exceed fifteen with one to three acres, and three-plus there would be no limit. As far as residential goes, you know, it’s kind of pretty much the same back and forth with the exception of no limit on the AG aspect if they have three-plus acres.
Option Four is simply gathering further public input on the matter, whether it be a public meeting or Survey Monkey, social media, or any combination of all those means. This will allow us to better gage where our citizens stand on the matter; however, the interested parties such as Ms. Smalley would have to wait a little bit longer. That’s kind of a con of that, but [inaudible]. And the results would be brought back for a future Council Committee meeting.
Option Five we came up with was to continue with the current process as it stands. As far as pros and cons on this, on the idea of back yard chickens there’s an alternate, you know the, pro, an alternative pet. A lot of folks have stated to me about they want to use it as an educational tool for their kids, or they want to teach responsibility. It’s not, you know, not everybody has a chicken and not everybody is fit to own chickens or they don’t want to own chickens. They do provide sustainable food. I love farm fresh eggs and a lot of people have stated that as much they would like to have eggs in their back yard. A natural fertilizer with the manure and shells and feathers can be used in compost, can be used in your garden and pest control. They like to eat bugs. The cons are just like with any animal. You have noise. You have different breads of chickens that are louder than others and that would be something that we’d have to look into as well. Odor would fall under our improper keeping, so they would have to upkeep their coups as well as they possibly could.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: When he’s done.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Sure.
OFFICER HUNTER: Appearance. You know, that is something we’d have to be looking into, look into further coop requirements. We’d have to make sure it’s not a little shack built in the back, you know, we want it to appear nice. There are disease concerns with any kind of animal but poultry especially. You hear stuff about the bird flu. We had it just north of the river this last year. You know it was in turkeys mainly, but you know, it is a possibility. And again, at-large chickens chasing them around the block it’s not fun, but trying to locate where they live. You know we’d have to go back and try to look in a database to see where -- who in that area owns chickens to try to get them home. They don’t wear collars like dogs generally. So, with that, I thank you for your time. And it is truly a policy decision. There are no best practices. It’s just how, you know, what our City wants to do with chickens. And Rick Miller is available if you’d like to speak to him as well.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Thank you, Mr. Hunter. I think Mickey has a question.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I do. On the permitting, I think we ought to keep the permitting because we have to have a tool. I’m not against having chickens in the back yard. It is educational for kids anymore. There’s quite a number of people wanting it for good health reasons, you know, for the eggs, chickens. As I’ve talked to Carol earlier we -- I had a neighbor three doors up that had chickens for four or five years and never knew it, you know, until a bobcat decided he wanted to eat some chickens, you know, and then they didn’t want the kids seeing that and the kids were older and they went ahead took the chickens out to a farm. I’ve heard from a few people and through the last six years probably 15 people right in that ballpark, and I hadn’t any that were against it. The only thing that people were against were having a rooster. They liked their alarm clock, too, you know, so. In our particular neighborhood, our lots are 75 feet wide. So people that might want chickens in that area may still be illegal and they may still keep chickens. Is there something else that we can do with the 35 feet from the property line, or could we have it 35 feet from a residence?
OFFICER HUNTER: That would be something that we could look into, absolutely. I mean, we came up with some options, you know, of something that was immediate, but you know, there are some out there where it’s 35 feet from the property line or 15 feet from the property line.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Right.
OFFICER HUNTER: -- or 15 feet from the property and 15 feet from the nearest residence.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Right. The property out there, the lots are 300 feet deep and 75 feet wide. So, and you can’t have chickens on them, you know. But the people are going to do it anyway, so if we can somewhere make it to where it’s still legal. I mean, because there have been one or two that I’ve talked to that are interested in that area and they have 75-foot wide lots. And to do that we would have to make it 30 feet where they have to put them in the middle. Who cares?
OFFICER HUNTER: Yeah.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Or have it a certain distance from the neighbor’s house or something where they could actually put it over to the side. I mean if we could do something that would complement it a little bit. That’s pretty well what I’ve got on it.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Jeff.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Just a couple things come to mind so, and my HOA doesn’t allow them. I know they didn’t answer you, but Crimson Ridge doesn’t allow them. One of the challenges of most homeowner associations though is enforcement, and I don’t know if we can -- I don’t know how we would be able to do this is when you change the law in Shawnee we could be more restrictive in Shawnee, we can’t be less restrictive. So, if we change the law in Shawnee, then someone in a homeowner association decides, oh, well, Shawnee changed, I’m going to have chickens. And now you have a homeowner association that doesn’t have a really good mechanism of enforcement, which most of them don’t, it’s very difficult to enforce in the HOAs. Is there a way that we can add a layer of enforcement in an HOA and kind of back them up, or is that getting -- are we splitting hairs on that?
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Ellis could probably answer that better than I, but my guess would be between the homeowner association and the resident. We normally don’t get in the business of enforcing their siding or any other rules of the HOA, nor do we really obviously have the resources to do that.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Ellis started to stand up, but is that – you don’t have to come and answer, but.
CITY ATTORNEY RAINEY: I was waiting for Paul too. Yeah. It’s a private contract. We don’t have any involvement.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Okay. That’s fine. And I was just asking, I don’t know. Because that is, and I don’t -- I’m not opposed to the idea. I just know that we have difficult times enforcing things in HOAs at times because it’s just, you know, you have a fining process, but you don’t have near the power in an HOA that you do in the city so.
CITY ATTORNEY RAINEY: Especially a city in Kansas.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Yeah. No, I get that.
CITY ATTORNEY RAINEY: When you sign on to the HOA you’ve signed all your covenants and you’ve entered a contract that you would use the land in accordance with those covenants and we can’t change that.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: No. And I’m not saying change it. I guess what I’m saying though is, maybe you misunderstood me. So, let’s say we go ahead and relax to 35 feet, so then someone in an HOA now their lot qualifies. And let’s say they go and get chickens, but the HOA doesn’t allow them. The problem is the HOA has a hard time. If these people say, well, the city allows it, the HOA has a hard time enforcing the rules at times. So is there a way in that HOA can we say that we will as a city, and I don’t know how you do it, I mean you – I guess it would be in the --
CITY ATTORNEY RAINEY: [Inaudible] said before I jumped up.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Yeah. Okay.
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: So, wood roof argument and, you know –
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Yeah. That’s true.
CITY ATTORNEY RAINEY: We weren’t a party to that.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: And I get that. Yeah. That’s fine. I just -- simple question. All right. Thanks, Ellis. And then you talk about chasing them, and I guess my question would be I mean, you know we have wild turkeys that run around which is a much bigger bird then a chicken. Why chase them? I mean if a chicken gets away, why should we spend our time and resources to go find somebody’s chicken?
OFFICER HUNTER: Well, we get -- it’s the same reason we would chase a dog or a cat. I know it’s somebody’s pet and it’s their responsibility to keep them on their property but they can be a traffic hazard just like anything else but they aren’t a native species to our area. I’ve chased turkeys off of Johnson Drive and Shawnee Mission Parkway before, you know, to get them out of traffic.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I’ve seen some I’d like to shoot off of Johnson Drive. Just veered about 11½ inches I think.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Something you’d like to shoot?
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Shoot.
OFFICER HUNTER: They’re very good pets, too, to be honest with you.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Well, and I understand that I guess. Well, just let me say this and you talk about trying to figure whose it is and I think I would say, I mean my concern is I don’t want to spend a whole lot of resources doing that and I don’t think we’re going to have that many chickens. But we have a chicken coop, too, so I guess if someone’s chicken gets out we just -- unless they want to put a band on its leg, it’s --
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Bring it to the community jail?
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Yeah. It’s in community jail and, yeah, hey, thanks for the chicken. [Inaudible] your yard. Because they’re not a dangerous animal. I get it with dogs. I mean, you’re not going to get attacked by a chicken. I know some roosters you might get attacked by. And I guess kind of what, you know, we talk about this and it’s funny because I mean, I don’t think we’re going to have 50 percent of the population run out and put a chicken coop in their backyard and get chickens. It’s not like, you know, that big of a deal. And then the other thing we talk about, noise, and I’m always kind of humored by that because we allow dogs to bark incessantly from sunrise to sunset and there’s really not a lot you can do about it. But when you talk about the noise of a chicken, which roosters will make noise. My brother has got chickens, they’re not loud and they don’t really smell that bad. I mean, if -- you’ve got to have a lot of chickens to really have an odor problem. But when I think about noise I mean, you know, I’ve never seen a chicken bark as loud as a dog. Even barking chickens don’t bark as loud as a dog.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Mickey.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: And again, if it was allowed for residents in the urban part of the city, how many chickens would they be allowed?
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Well, it said four.
OFFICER HUNTER: We can look at numbers. Currently we’re at ten, where you’re allowed to have ten.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Right.
OFFICER HUNTER: And again, that’s entirely up to you guys.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: It hadn’t been an issue. The only issue I’ve ever seen in this city with chickens is Karen Deffenbaugh’s jumping over the fence. The black and white-speckled.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Those are Guinea hens.
OFFICER HUNTER: Those are Guinea hens.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Yeah.
OFFICER HUNTER: They generally stay –
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: They make a big spot on the street.
OFFICER HUNTER: But that number can be adjusted up or down, however we see fit.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Well, ten hasn’t even been a problem or an issue has it ever?
OFFICER HUNTER: No.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: So if we left it at ten, we would be fine.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Dan and then Jim.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Actually on the number of chickens, if we could get some of these guys here to weigh in on that before we can make a decision. But didn’t your slide say for a regular lot size it would be four?
COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: That was Lenexa. That’s what Lenexa is.
OFFICER HUNTER: That was an option.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Oh, okay. Okay. Okay.
OFFICER HUNTER: That was Lenexa’s example of --
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: And I thought we’ve done two. And we’ve never had an issue.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Right. But it’s a hundred foot and it, you know, so that most of those are out in the middle of nowhere so.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Jim.
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Yeah I would -- we’ve talked about a lot of things here and I think Option Four, you know, gather public, maybe gather some input, but try and come back with something a little more definitive. You know, like myself, no roosters, fine to have to have chickens, 35 feet, maybe 30 feet to make it work, maybe ten at a max. But come back with some an ordinance or maybe a couple much more specific options in another Committee meeting I think would be worthwhile. I don’t think anybody’s really against it. I know my son lives on AG ground out in Olathe and he’s got 14 or 16 chickens and they’re good eggs.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Oh boy. Eric and then Dan.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I just have a couple comments. The first one is roosters are out. I’m not into the rooster thing and I don’t think anybody else has expressed a lot of interest in roosters either. I think we’ve pretty well got that one nailed down. I would like to retain the special animal permit process. I think that allows us to know where these birds are and allows your office to be actually kind of clued in that way where you need to inspect and so on. Without a permit you’ve just got chaos basically. So, I think we need to keep that going. I have some comments here from one of my constituents that thought the backyard chicken owners should go through the initial permitting process every five years just to -- I don’t know, it sounded like a reasonable suggestion in a way because property owners do change and this guy just hates chickens where the guy that was there before thought chickens were just fine and that person now has no recourse or whatever and they’re just stuck with it I guess. I don’t know, something to think about, I’m not really -- I don’t know where I am with that just yet. I’m just -- it was something that was given to me and I’m taking a look at it. I like the minimum 35 feet and I think that the cases that Mickey has brought up in his neighborhood. I think those could be addressed with the special animal permit process. Those lots, which by their configuration, would preclude a chicken. And in those cases if you can get the permission of your neighboring property owners, then you can get basically a variance to that and could go ahead and put your chickens in. Something like that, it would control the process. Because I think 35 is a pretty good standard overall. But there does need to be a way of getting around that if you’re in a situation where you just can’t meet that standard I mean because of your configuration. So I think if your neighbors are okay with that, then I think we could move ahead and they could have the minimum set back of less than 35 feet with concurrence. Just another thought. Even a 200-foot notification sounds like a pretty good idea, letting people know, hey, guess what, you’ve got chickens coming in. And at least allow them the opportunity to say, oh, my god, I’m allergic to chickens or whatever the issue is. At least you know they can address it that way up front and we wouldn’t be just getting beat over the head subsequently with somebody who’s really not happy with the situation.
These comments I got from one of my constituents where she had chickens move into her neighbor’s yard and put up with them for 18 months and they didn’t have kind of permit. And she said it was pretty big, a significant nuisance with the odors and things like that so. So, whatever ordinance we have needs to address the idea of the odors. What are the nuisances? There are some nuisances, we’ve identified those, so how are we going to keep those nuisances at a minimum. And I guess the inspection process, yes, but you’re not going to be able to go out there and check these chicken coops all the time. Let’s get real. So, it’s going to be obviously based on a complaint system like many of our inspections are now. And there has to be something in there that would address the odor issues so they have a strong motivation to clean those coops out regularly and keep it so it’s not a nuisance for the neighbors. And I think those are my comments I’d like to have considered in the overall scheme of things.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Dan and then Mickey.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I think we could probably come to a consensus tonight on the issue instead of sending it back to a Committee meeting and taking more staff time and all that. So I think if we hear from the citizens that we should probably come up with something that we can possibly agree on and then vote on it and send it to the Council, you know, or at least give some direction to staff on a couple different items. I mean a number of chickens is one thing and 30 feet doesn’t seem to be like a big deal. So, I think we could probably get this done tonight instead of dragging it out for months so anyway.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I agree with you, Dan. I don’t know what more information we would need that we haven’t gotten aside from public feedback, but I agree with you. Mickey.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Yes. You know, if we could work out the 30-foot mark. And the other thing is on the -- getting permission from the neighbors. I think if we really -- if we can get within the 30-foot mark, because if we depend on letters from the neighbors and you get two or three neighbors that are 200 feet away that say, no, I don’t want chickens and that kills the deal that’s, I mean if they just look in their neighborhood, there’s chickens in their neighborhood already and they don’t even know it.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: They probably wouldn’t even know they’re 200 feet away.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: That’s right. So, the complaint or the permission issue from the neighbors, I think if they can meet within, say, if we can do a 30 foot. Because 30 foot, wouldn’t that get somewhere in the urban part of the city also?
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Most of them.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Thirty-five. We’re talking 35 not 30.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: We’re talking of changing it to 30.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Well, it could go -- we’re talking if we could go thirty.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Of going to 30.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Because there’s a lot of 70-foot lots.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Yeah. If we could go to 30, then people could put them in the middle.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Yeah.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Everything would work and that would allow some people in the inner city that could have a large enough lot that they could do that. That’s my thoughts, but, you know –
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I’m with you.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: If we’re talking about 35 -- a 75-foot lot, 35 and 35 is 70, so you’ve got five feet for a coop.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Five feet in the middle for it.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: How big are these things? A mansion? A chicken mansion?
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Five foot [inaudible]
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I have Mike and then Jim.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Well, you’ve got plenty of distance -- depth so you can have a long skinny chicken coup.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: But I’m also talking about in inner city area.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: It only five-foot wide, but it’s 47-feet long --
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Mike.
COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: I think there’s a lot of consensus up here that we’ve already been talking about, so I think from what I’ve heard we’re mostly in favor of keeping the permit. We’re in favor of not allowing roosters. I think we’re more or less in favor of the limit of ten, and I think somewhere around 30 or 35. So I think for the most part we have, it seems like from the conversation so far, an agreement on that. And so I agree with Dan and Stephanie. I think if we’re that close we should be able to hash out something tonight. To me that kind of seems like Option One where really all we’re doing is changing the distance. So, I would be in favor of an Option One barring further public discussion to the contrary.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Thank you. Jim.
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: I just was going to ask Carol, do you have enough information from what we’ve talked about to come up with a definitive thing to bring it before the Council if we approve it conceptually?
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Sure. We may offer one or two options within that packet memo just on -- if there is anything we’re unclear on or that you want to have -- in case you want to have any further discussion. But I think the direction from Option One is a good place to start and we can get something drafted.
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Okay, I would move that, but do you want to --
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Just a sec. We have got a few more. I have Brandon and then I’d want to open it up for public comments.
COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Yeah. I just had a comment. I wanted to echo Councilmember Jenkins. So, I think that if we have the -- I agree with the 35-foot requirement, but if we keep that, we need an exception through the consent process I think to account for other cases that come forward. If we go to a 30 foot that might negate that, I’m not positive. But I did have a question for Stephen. Your idea with the consent process, so it would be upon the City Clerk to notify those residents. Would there be some type of mechanism in place if residents were unresponsive that you would defer to the resident in that case to approve? How would that work?
CITY CLERK POWELL: My thought would be if they didn’t respond it wouldn’t be counted yes or no. They would have, you know, two weeks to respond or I think we give -- currently when we do a special animal permit, we notify everyone within 200 feet and we give them two weeks to provide any comments that they’d like. And then at the end of two weeks, you know, I send everything over to Community Service officers and then they do their inspections. So, in another consent processes that I’ve, you know, been involved with, if you don’t receive the consent either way it’s just not counted either way.
COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Okay. Thank you.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Jeff and then public comment.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I do have a concern with -- I don’t have a problem notifying, I don’t like the consent process. I mean I think we can notify and say, hey, this person has applied. But when we give people the option of consent and then basically we’re opening up a can of worms, pitting neighbor against neighbor. We don’t ask for consent for somebody to have three big dogs in their back yard and that smells just as bad as chickens and that is a lot noisier. So what’s the point? I mean --
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: But then why do we take staff’s time to go ahead and mail the --
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Well then don’t notify.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I mean, don’t -- no, I wouldn’t –
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I mean you can notify and that’s what I’m saying. I don’t think we really need to notify. I mean I can put three greyhounds, or not greyhounds. What am I think of, those big giant dogs? Anyway. I could put three --
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Mastiffs?
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Yeah. Put a mastiff in my back yard and I mean, I don’t need to notify anybody. I don’t need a special use. I don’t need anything. Maybe two of them. I don’t know if I can have three. Two. Whatever it is. Two of them. I can have two dogs. I should know that. But, you know the funny thing is, how many people have four in their back yard? And so, you know, that’s not heavily enforced.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: She must have filled out his -- COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: You know, like I say, when you talk about chickens it’s funny because if someone said, oh, my God, it’s going to be nuisance. No, they’re not. And a far less nuisance then big dogs. And I don’t have anything against dogs, it’s just we don’t do anything special for that and I don’t think we should spend a whole tremendous amount of time doing anything for this.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I would open it up to see if there is anyone from the audience who would like to speak to this item. Sure come on up. And if you’ll state your name and address for the record please.
MR. MILLER: Bruce Miller, (Address Omitted) in Shawnee. What about property values if you’ve got a chicken coop next door or right below your bedroom window? I mean you’re up on all that, so consideration. I had a couple questions on the 30 feet, 35 feet. Is that going to be where the chicken coop is located, and we don’t know what size that’ll be. Where are the chickens allowed to run? Right to the property line? Which could be five foot from my bedroom window, maybe ten feet below my bedroom window, I don’t know. And what’s the description of the chicken coop? Is that going to be regulated by codes? Are they going to be required to have permits? Is that going to be inspected before the coop is finished? I mean, I envision just chicken wire wrapped around a T-post and call that a chicken coop and the chickens aren’t in there except in the crates or whatever they use, I don’t know about chickens. But it’s just -- I envision it and I’ve had friends with chickens and theirs has just been a mess. And I don’t know about odors or that. And you probably wouldn’t know if you’re 200 feet away, but if they’re right outside your bedroom window you’d probably know it. And so I would tend to – I’d want to be notified, even have the ability to give consent one way or the other if my neighbor right next door was not so much raising chickens or having chickens, but constructing. And again I’m in a home association. We don’t have much enforcement process. We don’t allow outbuildings. We don’t allow dog kennels. We wouldn’t allow chicken coops, and I can see the complications on the City enforcing regulations. And it’s probably out of the question but could the ordinance say, when in compliance with homeowner’s homes association restrictions or covenants, could the City ordinance apply only to those covenants that allow it in the first place? I don’t know. But I’m mainly concerned about the irresponsible owners just like irresponsible dog owners that have multiple dogs and don’t bother to get a permit. You’re still going to have those too. You’re going to have the good ones, you’re going to have the bad ones. It’s just something to think about.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: The reason for the permit is you can pull the permit and get rid of the chickens if there was a problem like you said.
MR. MILLER: Oh, and that’s the other thing. And I don’t know, you know, barking dogs. Animal Control doesn’t sign complaints on barking dogs. It’s not their nuisance, it’s the owner’s nuisance. If the owner wants to sign a complaint and take his neighbor next door to court, then he has to that. So, if there’s an odor problem or a sight problem, is Animal Control going to sign complaints in that? Will the neighbor just complain and say, hey, come over and check out this odor, or will the neighbor have to sign the complaint and actually go to court? Maybe as a witness sure, but not as a complainant and make it the City enforce the regulations not the homeowner next door enforce the regulations. Thank you.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Thank you. And I would say the homeowner association tenets would trump the City ordinance. So, even if we changed it and your homeowner association doesn’t allow it, you wouldn’t -- yeah.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Well, here, let me ask something real quick. I’m sorry.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Very rude. Go ahead.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: He said something that’s kind of interesting to me. So we have to issue a permit. Can we just say that -- can the policy say that we won’t issue a permit to a neighborhood that doesn’t allow, you know, the covenants? Because I mean I think it would be irresponsible of us to issue a permit to a neighborhood that by covenant doesn’t allow chickens. So, I think part of that process would be --
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: That would be -- that’s a bag of worms right there.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: How is that a bag of worms? To would we allow a permit -- if I apply for an outbuilding in my neighborhood would I --
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: It has nothing to do -- you’re going to make staff go look up their homeowner association rules, deeds and restrictions?
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: We have them. We have them.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: We have them.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: We should have them all. But the point is --
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: It’s a straight letter to the -- it’s a straight letter to the association to say that --
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: It doesn’t matter. I say I’d go look it up.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: But I think that if we get our name put out there that we’re in an association --
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Well, wait a second. Hold on a second. The assumption is we’re going to have 50 of these a week. I mean, my god, we might have --
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Not very many –
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: My point is if somebody in an association, why would we just say we’re not going to issue a permit if by covenant it’s not permitted? Or if it’s discovered that it is we pull the permit, it’s that simple. We’re going to issue a permit but we have right under this, it says, but if by covenant you’re not allowed to have this and we’re notified, we pull your permit and the chickens go away. It’s a pretty simple process and I think that addresses a lot of concerns. Because that is the problem you have in associations. All associations have -- most of them have a difficult time with enforcement, so they just want to know that there’s some sort of mechanism that we can do that.
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: I would want to do a lot of research on that. Stephen was just pointing out to me, I mean, there are a lot of things that we allow that HOAs do not and it’s kind of a slippery slope of heading down that path. Some HOAs don’t allow three dogs. We wouldn’t know that. We issue the permit and then the HOA would have to enforce it. There’s probably many things we can’t even -- aren’t even thinking of like that. It doesn’t mean it couldn’t be done but I think we’d want to think about it very carefully.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I just don’t know why you would.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Are we able to get any answers from our officer here?
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yeah.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Well, I think somebody else wanted to speak from the audience.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: And I might, well, just quickly, if Mr. Hunter would come up. Maybe it would help if you could talk just briefly about what you all look for when you go out and you’re inspecting in terms of like the coop and what people are building and to address some of that.
OFFICER HUNTER: Like you say, a lot of people don’t even know that there’s chickens in the back yards. A lot of ours, I go up to an address after we receive a complaint from a neighbor who remains anonymous a lot of the times, hey, this person has chickens. I knock on the door and say nobody answers I don’t -- a lot of times I don’t even see anything in the back yard, you know, from the street or from a public place. But when I do finally make contact they have it stuck under their deck or somewhere out of the way. And then I open up a conversation with these folks, give them a certain amount of time to apply for the permit. And when they apply for the permit, if it goes through everything we get the notifications back from all of the neighbors, and a lot of the neighbors will state every one of their issues that they may have with it. You know, whether it be I smell them when the wind blows from the north or, you know, something along those lines, or I hear them clucking back there at five o’clock in the morning, something along like that. I go back there, I address all these with the chicken owners, you know, after they have applied for the permit and all that, and I go and look at it. I look to see that they’re well kept. I look to see that they have clean bedding. I look to see, you know, the general health of the animals. I’m looking to see, hey, you know, because we do have predators in our city. You know, we have bobcats, we have coyotes, we have foxes and raccoons. They’re notorious for breaking into chicken coops. So, if someone wants to properly keep a chicken, it can’t be the chicken wire and the T-posts just because they’re going to have all sorts of issues. And that’s stuff that I bring up and try to educate folks when I do get there to get them into compliance, and so they do have a good experience if they want to own chickens. That’s kind of where I’m at with it and what I look for when I go out there.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Thank you. That’s helpful. Mike, yeah?
COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: I want to add real quick. Mr. Miller had asked if there is a coop, but how far are the chickens allowed to roam on the property?
OFFICER HUNTER: And that’s something we have to look at. I would prefer that they be kept enclosed, you know, or put in a tractor that can you know, as long as they stay within, you know, the boundaries whatever they are we set, you know, because they are moveable. You know, I don’t want them walking around in the front yard for, you know, to be, you know, for a fox or something like that, or to be running out into the street and causing a traffic hazard. You know, I don’t, you know, I would prefer they be fully enclosed. That’s just me. I don’t want them roaming around a backyard or somebody’s neighborhood cat to jump over the fence and kill someone’s chicken, you know, something along those lines.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Sure. Dan.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I just didn’t know if you had anything to add before you were interrupted.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: What? That’s so kind of you. Thank you. No, I have no idea, so thank you.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: You can’t remember now, can you?
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I can’t. I’m sure it was brilliant. Thank you, Dan. Thank you. Is there anyone else from the audience who would like to speak to this item? Come on up, and if you’ll state your name and address. Thank you.
MS. SMALLEY: Do you have my address memorized yet? Bailey Smalley (Address Omitted). I just moved here a little while ago. Okay. So, I just have a few comments that came to mind. First about homeowners associations that you should stay in a homeowner association if you want to retain property value. I don’t think that it’s necessarily the obligation of municipal code to retain property value for animal issues. I think dogs can be horrible nuisances. In my research that I’ve done over the summer less than one percent of Kansas City, Missouri residents applied for permits. So we’re talking, although it seems like, you know, it’s a long discussion with a lot of people bouncing around opinions it’s about a very tiny number of people who would actually even care about chickens. And for the people it matters to, like me, it matters a great deal. I’d really like to have chickens. And I think of chickens like I think of dogs. The appearance and upkeep is up to the owner and it’s their responsibility. I’m okay with enclosing chickens entirely and since I don’t have a great fence on my yard I would keep my chickens enclosed. But I think if you have a cat that jumps over your fence why isn’t someone keeping their cat enclosed? Or if you have a dog running stray why isn’t someone keeping their dog enclosed? I think that you should think about cats and dogs just like you think about chickens. Which brings up the point for the distance requirement that we make exceptions for dogs because we’re familiar with them and they’re furry and they’re friendly. The ten foot or whatever the current code is maybe Stephen can speak to this, there’s an exception for distance requirements for animal shelters made for dogs only. Which I understand with bees, you would want to keep a bee hive away from your property line and with chickens for the smell, you would want to keep them maybe away from the property line. But if you have three dogs in a kennel and you don’t clean it, there’s going to be a smell issue. And that’s kind of -- I came up here a little fired up, but I am really glad that you guys are talking about this, I think it’s something like people have said before it’s an educational opportunity for people in our city and it’s something that I want to do for the health of my community as well as myself and my family.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Thank you. Mickey.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: How big is your yard?
MS. SMALLEY: It’s a 125 feet across and 200 deep, or 250 deep.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: So, you have plenty of room?
MS. SMALLEY: I do. I live on a half-acre lot.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Okay.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Anything else? All right. Thank you.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Thank you.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Is there anyone else in the audience who would like to speak to this item? Someone. If you’ll state your name and address, sir. Thank you.
MR. MILLER: You bet. Rick Miller. I work with K-State Research and Extension here in Johnson County. Our office is located in Olathe, 11811 South Sunset Drive. I just wanted to come up and make a couple of comments. I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Scott and City Staff to talk about this issue. I know it’s one that a lot of cities are grappling with and trying to decide how to come down on it. I would just reiterate it is an interest of a lot of people to grow their own food, whether that’s rabbit or poultry or fresh fruits and vegetables. And so it is a topic that more people are talking about, and while it may seem a little unusual to have poultry in urban areas it’s certainly a trend that’s been happening for five or ten years. I believe that there are ways to do that and set some guidelines so that poultry are no more intrusive than other pets that we might normally come up with. And I think you guys have already talked about some really good practices. Not allowing roosters in town, that’s typically where the noise issues are going to be. Hens certainly can make some noises, but it’s generally not troublesome enough that it becomes an issue, setting kind of a maximum number that you would have. That’s probably going to help take care of some odor issues. Poultry tend to not have a lot of odor issues. And if owners are good managers or stewards or practice good husbandry with cleaning out those pens or kennels, composting that material, using it in the lawn and garden, it can be a great renewable resource and works very, very well. I think the only other comment, I know one of the issues might be the step back and you guys have talked about some things. Just prior to the meeting I did some research and I found some eight or ten year old research where somebody was doing the same thing you are doing and they looked at 25 cities in the US and saw what ordinances they had for poultry. About half of those, probably 12 of them, used a range anywhere between 25 and 50 feet from adjoining property buildings, not necessarily the property line, but the neighboring houses. So, that might give you a little bit of guidelines there. You’re thirty, thirty-five feet from property line probably is in that range then, but you could use distance from an adjoining neighbor’s dwelling as another way to make that distance if that would help you as well.
And then really my final comment is one thing we’re known for is our educational material that we have and being able to answer questions for people. And I simply want to offer that up to you that as you work with citizens who want to keep poultry in the city, we could be a resource for best management practices for them, poultry husbandry. We have publications that address that and they can always stop by the office and talk to us, call me up on the phone. Just want to let you know that we’ll be a resource and we’re happy to help you out in any way we can.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Miller. Mickey.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I like the idea of coming from the property itself versus the property lines because that way you don’t have to be out in the middle of a yard back in the back somewhere.
MR. MILLER: Sure. That’s just another option.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Because then you could actually move it around if you have a -- depending on what your yard looks like.
MR. MILLER: Sure. And it also might be a way if you had one of those really narrow lots, but long, you could keep that distance by getting further back in the property where it might not work from [inaudible].
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: That’s my thoughts. I like that.
MR. MILLER: Very good.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. Thank you.
MR. MILLER: All right. Thank you very much.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Sir, if you wanted to come on up. If you’ll also state your name and address for the record.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: You’re a vegetarian right?
MR. BOLLAND: Yeah. Brian Bolland, (Address Omitted). I spent all day writing up this thing because I thought that this would be a lot more negative because this is Johnson County and I’m not from this county. So I just kind of ruined all that.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: We’re the exception.
MR. BOLLAND: Yeah, you are.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: [Inaudible] lucky to the north.
MR. BOLLAND: So I want to, I think I’ll probably just read this because I’ll just mumble through it if I don’t.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Sure.
MR. BOLLAND: As a citizen who was raised in a farming environment, I’m in favor of the City modifying the municipal code to a less restrictive framework in regards to poultry. If I were to make a recommendation it kind of goes along with Mr. Sandifer’s maybe the 30, 35-foot setback from a building. In my case, the width of my property is 75 feet, so I would only have about a 5-foot strip in the middle of my deal, whereas, my back yard is wide enough where I can move it left or right and it wouldn’t bother my neighbors any more or less if my chicken coop or run or whatever was along my back fence. Growing up on a farm as a child taught me many valuable lessons. I learned about life and death, time and resource management, sustainability and personal responsibility. I have two kids, aged five and three. Although we live in the city I want to teach them where their food comes from. I want to teach them responsibility with a less restrictive city ordinance. More of us could be involved in 4-H. A lot of people show poultry and rabbits and that sort of thing. I think it’s a great way to encourage families to work on outdoor projects together, to get them away from video games and television. Some of those doubts and concerns that have been brought up about chickens in the back yard, and I would say probably five years ago I would have had a lot of the same concerns. I grew up on a farm, but we didn’t have chickens. Our neighbors did all the eggs and chickering and they’re far enough away that we didn’t have to worry about smells or sounds.
So, the first myth that I think a lot of people believe is chickens create too much waste and odor. A 40-pound dog puts out about the same waste as ten chickens per day. And granted, any animal that you keep cooped up in a kennel or a coop all day long, yeah, it’s going to stink if you don’t take care of it right away. But spread out over a run, you know, chickens are a lot smaller. They poop over a wider distance. It’s not going to stink if it’s well maintained.
The myth that chickens are too noisy. A hen is no louder than this. A rooster -- a rooster is about 100 decibels, which is no louder than a dog. If you think that chickens are going to be too noisy, then you’ve never lived next to a noisy dog. Oh, and chickens sleep at night, dogs don’t.
So, another myth is chickens attract predators, pests, and rodents. While they can attract foxes, coyotes, possums, raccoons, so does my garden, so does my trees, so does the squirrels. So, gardens, fish ponds, bird baths, trash, you know, that’s just what we have to live with whether we live in the city or live out on the farm. Chickens are actually voracious omnivores. They’ll eat anything that fits in their mouth. That includes ticks. We’ve heard of lime disease. Ticks will, you know, transmit lime disease to humans in some cases. Chickens eat ticks. Chickens eat mosquitos. Chickens eat flies. So, they’re a good pesticide in that sense. You already covered all that.
So, as a citizen, I’d like to see you go to Option One. I don’t like the consent deal as far as having to ask my neighbors’ permission for me to keep chickens because they didn’t ask me permission to keep dogs. And if they want to talk to me, they can come talk to me. If it smells, come talk to me. You know, I think we can all be reasonable adults and, you know, as far as a homeowner association goes, that’s the reason I didn’t move into a homeowner association is so I didn’t have to be bound by these outrageous ideas and rules and purple shingles on a playhouse. So, that’s all.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. Thank you, sir.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Thank you.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: And if you’ll sign your name at the -- yeah. Perfect. All right. Is there anyone else who would like to speak on this item tonight? All right. If not, we’ll open it back up to Council conversation. Jim.
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: I’m ready to make the motion whenever you’re ready.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Well, okay, I will accept a motion.
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: I might just offer up one -- Stephen had just pointed out to me Roeland Park’s language, which is along the lines of some of the comments tonight which is coops must be located ten feet from any property line and 40 feet from any building, which is kind of a good compromise on both of those. So, we could look at some language like that if that seems appropriate.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Yeah, that sounds good.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Great.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I like that.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Yeah.
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: I would move to direct staff to draft an ordinance based on the discussions tonight and bring it to a future Council meeting.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. Is there a second?
COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Second.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yes, sir.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: We’ve had some options. I was wondering if he was kind of basically referring to Option One.
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Yes.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: So, a modified One?
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Okay. I was just asking for clarification.
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Yeah. That’s fine. That’s good.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Sure, yeah. All right.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: But that’s allowing –
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: With some of the changes.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: -- the changes that you just talked about from Fairway?
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Right. So, we’re talking about a modified Option One with the Roeland Park language rather than the 35 feet.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Yes. And was it Fairway or Roeland Park?
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: It was Roeland Park.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Roeland Park.
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: We may look at lot sizes and play with those numbers just a little bit.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Do I have a second?
COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Second.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All those in favor say aye.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Opposed nay? Motion passes. (Motion passes 8-0)
3. DISCUSS MOBILE RESTAURANT PARKING REQUIREMENTS.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. The third item on tonight’s agenda is to Discuss Mobile Restaurant Parking Requirements.
On August 14, 2015 and September 8, 2015, the Council Committee reviewed information related to Mobile Restaurants, or Food Trucks. The Council Committee requested staff to provide alternatives to regulate where mobile restaurants can park when they are not operating. Lauren Grashoff, Neighborhood Planner, will present several options relating to the parking issue for the Committee to consider. Ms. Grashoff go ahead.
MS. GRASHOFF: All right. Thank you for having me back. I think maybe we’ll wrap up the mobile restaurant discussion tonight with a final offer.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Knock on wood.
MS. GRASHOFF: At the previous meeting, the September 8th Council Committee meeting, we reviewed the draft regulations that we proposed. More specifically, we reviewed some options about where we were going to allow them to operate and then some options about where they can park when they’re not operating. We did have a mobile food restaurant that does currently park at their home and we do have a complaint about that because they currently are not allowed to park at their homes. So tonight, I’m just going to review just a summary of what we’ve discussed so far, the draft regulations and then at the end we’ll get into – I have three separate options for the parking when not operating.
So first off, we’re just really simply calling mobile restaurants any temporary or transient business, offering the sale of food or beverages in a vehicle, trailer, or push cart. We’re not including ice cream trucks, produce stands, or any sort of special sales. As far as licensing goes, they would be required to get a business license from the City, and part of that licensing requirement would require proof that they have the food establishment license from the Kansas Department of Agriculture. The fee for that would be $100 annually and it would be prorated depending on the time of year that they applied.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Can I ask a question on that right there? So, let’s say we had an event and there was, I don’t know, let’s say multiple, and they weren’t normally here in Shawnee, maybe they come from Kansas City, Missouri over to our event. Do they have to get the $100 -- let’s say it’s a City-sponsored event.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: We have funded that before, didn’t we?
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: That’s why I’m asking.
MS. GRASHOFF: If it was something like Old Shawnee Days?
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Let’s just say, there’s been some talk downtown about people having, you know, about us, the City of Shawnee having a food truck event type of thing where you know we have a bunch of food trucks in and use that as kind of a draw to get more people downtown. So, if we had a City-sponsored event, and maybe those people only come once a year, you know, but maybe there’s people that live here that do go in other areas of Shawnee on a regular basis, do those City-sponsored events, do they require that $100?
MS. GRASHOFF: We were going to require them to get the business license just like other restaurants that operate in the City.
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: I mean, we currently require anyone who works in the City to get a business license. So, even a contractor who comes into the city to do work so.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Okay. I’m just wondering.
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: The intent of this would be to handle it consistent with other businesses.
MS. GRASHOFF: As far as where they would be allowed to operate, they would be allowed to operate -- there was some discussion at the last meeting. First, we said at City events, and then we talked about there are other events on City property that we authorize, so we did change this language to City-authorized events. So that could be a City-sponsored event or something at a park that maybe a private club is holding. And then they are allowed to operate on private property, and that doesn’t matter if they’re selling to the public or just to some employees at a business. And then they also would be allowed to vend in the public right-of-way.
There are some location restrictions that we have added to the ordinance. They’re not allowed to operate in residential zoning districts unless they’re part of an approved block party or other private event and they would have to be parked on the private driveway.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Jeff.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Yeah. Just the part on the private driveway, I would just say that many block parties, they’ll get permission to block off a cul-de-sac, so I mean the language needs to at least say if that if the street is blocked or it’s a cul-de-sac, something so that -- because you’re not going to park in somebody’s driveway and that’s how block parties are is they block off the whole cul-de-sac.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I agree a hundred percent.
MS. GRASHOFF: So, maybe if it’s not a thru-street, then we would allow --
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Either that or if it’s --
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Maybe they --
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I don’t know. If it’s within a neighborhood. I mean if the neighborhood is having the party, or if they’re getting, I don’t know, I mean.
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: We’ll work with that. I understand what you’re saying.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Yeah. All right.
MS. GRASHOFF: They must have written consent from the property owners if they are -- where they are operating. The 50-foot buffer would be required from any brick and mortar restaurants during their posted hours of operation unless they have basically approval from that restaurant. Items can only be sold curbside if they are operating in the street. They can’t operate on public facilities or parks unless again they are part of basically an approved or authorized City event. And then they cannot operate in public right-of-way along parade routes on the day of the parade, and I think that’s been brought up so we didn’t add that to the ordinance.
Additional regulations. This would just make sure that any trash or debris is contained while they’re operating and then also before they leave. They must comply with all City noise ordinances. They would have to have a fire extinguisher. And then some lighting requirements, just making sure there’s no flashing lights and it would just be allowed to basically shine on their vehicles.
For signage. We would allow the signage to be permanently affixed to the vehicles or trailers. They are allowed the A-frame signs which is what we allow for other restaurants in the City. And they do not have to get any sort of permits for temporary signage, but they would be restricted to the certain types of temporary signage that we allow. So basically no flashing lights, moving signs, anything that we consider prohibited to any other business in the City.
And then we added just this clause as any part of our licensing goes. Any license can be revoked or suspended, and that would be through a public hearing process through the Governing Body. And then that process would require at least a ten-day minimum written notice.
So, with that, we’ll move on to kind of the main discussion point of this evening, which is parking when not operating. I have three options here. I did talk with -- kind of when this whole food truck discussion got started, I talked with other cities in the area just to know what their regulations were and if they have any issues with food trucks parking in residential areas. All the cities that I spoke with did not have any. They’ve never had any complaints about food tucks in residential areas. A lot of them weren’t even sure if they had mobile restaurants in those areas. So, I think we were kind of new to bring up this issue.
Option One. So, the first option, which was what was in the original draft of the regulations was that mobile restaurants, if they meet the definition of the commercial vehicle, then they would not be allowed to park in residential areas. In the packet, the memo, we included the definition of commercial vehicles, so it has to do with certain size requirements, number of passengers and then like a weight limit. So other cities that do this similarly would be Olathe, Overland Park, and Lenexa in Kansas, and then Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit in Missouri. When I talked with Lenexa they were – they’re currently in the same process that we are. They had not thought about bringing up where mobile restaurants can park when they’re not operating, so they were I think going to maybe include this in their next draft of the regulations to add this.
Option Two would be just to allow mobile restaurants in any areas, to park in areas in the City. So, they would be exempt from the commercial vehicle standards even if they maybe would qualify by definition. The only other city that I’ve found that follows this is Liberty, Missouri. They’re allowed to park in any area with approval from the property owner.
And then Option Three, this option we called a parking exception permit. They would be allowed to park in residential areas with approval of this permit. It’s kind of similar to what you guys just discussed with the special animal permit. It would go probably though City Clerk. There would be a fee for this, nonrefundable fee. All property owners within 60 feet of the applicant property would be notified and they would have to consent. And that consent process, we’ve just kind of briefly discussed how that might happen, that could be anonymous. We would just send a mailer. They don’t have to include any identifying information when they return that. The mobile restaurant has to be parked behind the front line of the house. And then the permit could be revoked if they have more than three complaints within a 12-month period. And they would not be transferrable if, you know, they moved houses and went somewhere else. The only kind of similar thing that I found when researching other cities was that Overland Park has an administrative process, kind of a variance process. But it’s not -- it’s not a permit and they still have standards that if essentially they -- if they meet certain standards they’re not even allowed to have the variance. So, if it’s -- I think it’s 20 feet in length, 7 feet wide and 8 feet high, which is essentially what our commercial vehicle standards are. They don’t even allow the variance process. So, this is fairly new, at least from what I found to allow this type of exception. We did talk with the City attorneys and they said that we could not limit it though to just mobile restaurants. So, if there were other vehicles that maybe were not allowed to park in residential areas by our code and they could then seek this parking exception as well.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Mickey.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: This is kind of where I was going that we’re still opening up that box of worms again here. And what I spoke about at our last -- last time we brought this up was the individual that’s here happens to have one that sits in behind his house. You can’t even see it. And some type of an exception for that type of parking. Because I’m not, you know, Option Three is probably the one I’m more towards, but I don’t want a mobile restaurant parked on the side of somebody’s house with the signage and everything on it. You know, so you’re right there in vision still where his was showing that -- or saying that his isn’t even in vision. Is that --
MRS. IRELAND: [Off mic] I brought some pictures if you want to see them.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Well.
MRS. IRELAND: [inaudible]
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: But, you know, if there’s some way that we could do a justice to where it would be -- where it’s not in vision, or we do a special variance for like for exemption for particular ones that are parked, say, like if you can’t see this one. But to have them, just to open it up and allow it to be parked next to their house as I am understanding, that’s going to open it up to where a lot of other big trucks and all kinds of things could be parked right next to their house.
MS. GRASHOFF: Well, in Option Three there is the -- if you guys want to include this in the exception permit is that they have to be parked behind the front line of the house.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Right.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: That’s this side of the house.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Well, that’s the side of house. I’m saying if it -- back in to where you can’t see it. Where it had walls built around it or it went down into a lower area or something to where you can’t -- it’s not in sight.
MS. GRASHOFF: If commercial vehicles, even if they meet our commercial vehicle requirements, if they are enclosed in a garage, some sort of shelter and we can’t see it --
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: That’s right.
MS. GRASHOFF: -- then they’re allowed to park in the residential areas.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: But if I remember rightly, this particular individual’s vehicle, he had a drive that went down to the basement of his house. And it wasn’t closed in, but you couldn’t see the vehicle. And if you make it to where it has to be a covered garage type of ordeal that wouldn’t allow for that type of parking.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I think the way you’ve got it written is good. I mean, you’re --
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I don’t like them on the side of the house where you can just drive down the street and read the truck.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Make it the back line of the house.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Jim, go ahead.
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Yeah. My question is going back here and it says the definition -- when a motor home parked in compliance with Title 17 or Title 15 of the Shawnee Municipal Code. I know in our neighborhood we have two large motor homes and several large RVs that are parked on the side of the house, but they have like an eight-foot or ten-foot fence in front of them so you can’t, I mean, they’re -- a fence or somehow so that you don’t see them from the street. And I would just -- I don’t know what the wording is that covers those for the motor homes and things like that, but I could live with something similar to it as long as it’s not visible to the street or it’s behind some sort of fence or something on that line.
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: I don’t believe we require any of that fencing for motor homes. It may be that they have to be at the front line and parked back, but we don’t require it to be shielded in any way.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Can we? I mean just for --
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Talk about opening a can of worms.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I have Jeff and then Dan.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I think everybody forgot to hear the point they said though that we can’t just restrict this to food trucks. So, keep in mind that a food truck tries really hard to keep their food looking good or nobody is going to buy food from them. But when we open up this can of worms to parking any commercial vehicle you want behind the front line of your house, which is the side of your house, you know, Bill with Bill’s Plumbing could have the ugliest, nastiest, rustiest, beat-down step van in the City that says Bob’s Plumbing with a can of paint on the side of it and he can park on the side of his house. And we just allowed that. You know, I mean, there is one person in the audience, and I feel for them. I know what they’re trying to accomplish. But are we going to change the rules and the policy for the entire City to accommodate one person? Because right now we have one person that this is an issue with. One person. One family.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Variance.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: And nobody else. And we’re ready to change a commercial vehicle policy that is going to push us in the wrong direction as a city because we’re trying to make our city better. We don’t want to allow more commercial vehicles in the neighborhoods. In fact, we have an issue and a problem with probably vehicles now that shouldn’t be in there trying to improve our neighborhoods. This doesn’t improve our neighborhoods. So, I’m just adamantly opposed to restricting our policy to accommodate one person in the city because we are opening up a can of worms on commercial vehicles. And I guarantee you’re going to have some very upset people when this really ugly, big, commercial truck is now parked on the side of somebody’s house and we’ve got to look at him and say, well, that’s the policy we passed because we had somebody that wanted to park their food truck at their house and we tried to accommodate them. I don’t want to have to explain that one.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Dan.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I think if you just add a privacy fence to that, I mean, or behind the back property line or whatever I think you’re probably fine.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Jeff.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: A privacy fence. I think the highest fence we allow is six feet. I know my neighborhood only allows a five foot. And a step van or a commercial vehicle is 12? 10? I mean, a step van can run 10 feet, 11 feet. What’s a privacy fence going to do, so you can’t see the grille and half the windshield, but you can see the top four feet of the vehicle, or six feet? I mean, come on.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Any other discussion from the Council? Okay. If not, is there anyone from the audience who would like to speak to this item? Come on up, ma’am. And if you’ll state your name and address for the record.
MRS. IRELAND: Chris Ireland, (Address Omitted), Shawnee, Kansas.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: If you’ll come up to the mic. Thank you.
MRS. IRELAND: I’ve brought these pictures that we originally submitted to the people.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: You can put them on the overhead.
MRS. IRELAND: First of all, we do have a Shawnee business license.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Good.
MRS. IRELAND: And second of all, we do have a Kansas health permit, so we’re a hundred percent legal in the City.
MR. IRELAND: I think you need to clarify that. The business license and the health permit are two different items. We have had a Kansas health inspection -- whether you’re in the state of Kansas or anywhere else. Okay.
MRS. IRELAND: That’s not the problem.
MR. IRELAND: That’s not an issue.
MRS. IRELAND: No. That’s really not an issue. But anyway, I kind of get nervous up here so I forgot some things, so I made some notes.
MR. IRELAND: Let’s stop right here and take a look at the photo.
MRS. IRELAND: Yeah. There’s our house.
MR. IRELAND: The truck is in the driveway in both photos.
MRS. IRELAND: And it’s behind the back line of the house, not the front side driveway. And those pictures, that’s the side angle and that’s from the front. And we’re standing in the street. So, if you are driving down the street that’s what you see.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Top photo, is that a house behind there on the left?
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Is their neighbor’s house.
MR. IRELAND: That’s a house on the left, that’s a house to the right.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Do you have a picture from their house?
MR. IRELAND: That is in front of their house.
MRS. IRELAND: Well, that’s their garages right there on the left.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: No. So, your house, which one is your house? The one I’m looking at?
MRS. IRELAND: The gray one.
MR. IRELAND: That one over there. I’m standing in the middle of the guy’s driveway, actually in the street, to take that photo.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: So, you’re --
MRS. IRELAND: Our driveway goes down because we have another garage underneath that we drive in. So, a fence would not be real cool because then we can’t get the other car out of --
MR. IRELAND: Where’s the [inaudible]?
MRS. IRELAND: I gave them to him. There’s one more that I brought. But we took them from different angles. And that is behind the back of our home. Our driveway goes down the hill and around into a bottom --
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: My point though is that your house right there, the big one?
MRS. IRELAND: Yes.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Okay. So, I’m seeing a roof to the --
MR. IRELAND: [Inaudible]
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Well, hold on.
MR. IRELAND: Is in this shadow right here.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I’m a seeing a roof to the left, right?
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: The next-door neighbor.
MRS. IRELAND: That’s our neighbor.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Okay. Do you have a photo from their house, taken from their house?
MR. IRELAND: We are in front of their house.
MRS. IRELAND: He’s taking it from in front of their driveway over that angle.
MR. IRELAND: This is their driveway.
MRS. IRELAND: The truck isn’t showing because it’s in that shadow there.
MR. IRELAND: It’s right there.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: That’s the truck.
MR. IRELAND: But I didn’t do that.
MRS. IRELAND: That’s the truck. I know.
MR. IRELAND: I mean, that’s the machine.
MRS. IRELAND: Oh, is it? The glare. The glare of the machine. Okay. But anyway, so some people from City Hall, I don’t know which, drove by I guess unexpectedly just to check it out. And they made the comment to me, or to us that if they hadn’t been known that truck was down there they had to really look for it or they wouldn’t have seen it. So, and like I said, it goes down the hill around to another garage down below. And so we park it or back it right up against that tree when we’re not using it. When we load we do back it into the front because, well, here is our schedule for this week. I had to -- tonight, I had to give an event to another truck so I could be here. But we’re out tomorrow lunch, tomorrow night, Thursday lunch, Thursday night, Friday, two events on Saturday and one on Sunday. So, the truck isn’t even at that house a big part of the time. So, and we do not have a homes association. I didn’t know. There’s only four of us there on that street and those people all reap the benefit of that truck by the way. It’s someone in the condos that -- there’s a group across from us. And the majority of those condos have a garage built straight in front of it, so they can’t even see out their front window, so I don’t know what the problem there is. I mean, I can’t prove it because obviously I don’t know who for sure. I know it’s none of our immediate neighbors that complained. But there’s a gentleman that had a flat-bed construction truck parking it in the street over there that was forced to move it. And that’s there for -- this truck has been sitting there for four years and I just figured that’s probably a retaliation move, but I don’t -- I can’t prove that, so I can’t tell you guys.
MR. IRELAND: And I think Jeff said it right. There is only one operational food truck in the City of Shawnee.
MRS. IRELAND: In the City of Shawnee that I know of.
MR. IRELAND: One that I know of.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Well, that’s not necessarily true.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: There’s more than that.
MR. IRELAND: How many?
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Well, there’s one right across the street, so there’s two. That’s all I know.
MR. IRELAND: It’s not there anymore.
MRS. IRELAND: We drove by on the way over here.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: No, it’s there.
MRS. IRELAND: Is it there?
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Yeah.
MRS. IRELAND: In that vacant lot?
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Yeah. That’s my lot and it’s the guy that -- it’s not my food truck.
MR. IRELAND: It wasn’t there today.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Because he was using it.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: There you go.
MRS. IRELAND: But that’s the point. The food truck is selling [inaudible].
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: But those other restaurants. Sombrero’s has a food truck.
MRS. IRELAND: Right. And they park, it out in the lot.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: And I think Moe’s or Moe’s had one, Harvest, whatever it’s called.
MRS. IRELAND: It’s a food trailer but it’s parked right there where you can see it on Shawnee Mission Parkway.
MR. IRELAND: But that’s more advertising for their business.
MRS. IRELAND: So anyway, I just wanted to bring those pictures because I wasn’t sure if you guys had seen them or not. I did bring them up to City Hall, so. Let me see what else because like I said my mind goes blank up here. And when we are in the driveway at all we are loading or unloading. Some nights we get home as late as 12 or whatever and this truck has to be plugged into 220, which we have wired into our garage there where we can plug it in because we have four refrigerators and two freezers. And we cannot unload those every single night and then get them cold enough to go out the next morning with pop and food and stuff. I mean, if the health inspector stopped us we would not pass.
MR. IRELAND: Once again, it’s more in the line of an RV where is somebody was to come home on a Thursday night and want to load up to go out to Clinton Lake on Friday, he’s going to have to plug it in, get his refrigeration cold, so on and so forth. And it’s pretty much the same thing. If you’re in and out like that, you’ve got to keep those refrigerators to code, and that’s 41 degrees. Everything has to stay 41 degrees or below. And then on a hot day, on a 95-degree day, you’re not going to cool that refrigerator down with just even a couple of hours of use. It’s got to stay plugged in. I mean, from the time I leave I have to plug the generator in, fire it up and go and it’s even operating down the street with a generator going to keep everything to code.
MRS. IRELAND: So, then when we get home we have to plug into that 220. So, if we find a lot or something that we can park it on we can’t really function unless we have some way to plug it in. And then like I said, then we’d have to unload that food every night and then get up first thing in the morning, God knows what time, because some nights we don’t get home until midnight and go again. So, like I said, the truck is gone more than it’s even at home. And it’s, I mean, it’s been there four years. So, I don’t know why all of a sudden it seems to be a problem, so. So, that’s how we wanted to tell you. I just wanted you to do see that.
MR. IRELAND: And I guess my last comment is the person that has got an issue with it hasn’t shown his face in the three meetings that we’ve had --
MRS. IRELAND: Well, you don’t know that.
MR. IRELAND: -- as far as rebuttal.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: The meetings that we had weren’t necessarily because of your food truck.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Right.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I brought this up at the --
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: This was on the agenda. It specifically aimed at your particular food truck.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: We didn’t do this because of you guys or anything.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Blame Dan.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: But if we could work it out for others and you and whoever else, right.
MRS. IRELAND: And once again it’s kind of like the chickens. Right now we don’t really have a whole lot of these around here to worry about. I mean, if it becomes a problem or whatever, then I could see where we would need to address it. But right now I don’t -- I guess we have two in Shawnee. I didn’t realize the other one was running.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I think there’s more than that.
MRS. IRELAND: Well, Sombrero’s I guess if you want to call that a food truck.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: And Moe’s and --
MRS. IRELAND: And Moe’s.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: So, there’s -- I don’t know. You probably know a lot more.
MRS. IRELAND: Yeah.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. Thank you. Mickey, did you have a comment?
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I’m still going to fall back on what I talked about at our last meeting on this. Is there any possibility that we could do some type of a special permit or a variance or just for a particular use like -- that way we don’t have to change the ordinance? Are we able to give a special permit for somebody to do this if it was --
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Again, I guess I defer to Ellis who is -- I think he Lauren had conversation about the consistency of the commercial vehicle application. So, you might ask Ellis to come up.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: That way we can pick and choose what was allowed.
CITY ATTORNEY RAINEY: Well, I’m not -- Paul and I -- it’s a legislative act. So, unless you have a rational basis to treat people who are similarly situated differently you have treat them differently. So, in this case I’m assuming you’re going to have other people who are going to come along who are going to say we have a commercial vehicle and we wish you to treat us similarly or in the same manner you did them and under the general guidelines and precedent for adopting legislative provisions. You’re going to have to treat everyone who is similarly situated in the same manner unless you have a rational basis to them differently. Did that answer your question?
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: So, food trucks are different than other commercial?
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Did you find anything rational in this?
CITY ATTORNEY RAINEY: Well, I don’t get to make that decision, you do. You get to determine what is a rational basis.
MRS. IRELAND: I know. But last time you guys were saying that we didn’t meet all the qualifications for a commercial vehicle. And I know a lot of the cities are talking and are going, I mean, the food truck thing is new. Some of them don’t have a clue, but they’re going to make rules and regulations strictly for food trucks.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I’m going to have to go along with it is still a commercial vehicle because it’s selling product. So, I’ve got to stay with that part of it. And what I’ve got to follow through with here is do I want to open this up to where we’re going to have issues with commercial vehicles, which we’ve already had a few. And this could really open up the doors to where some of them that we have said no to we won’t be able to say no to anymore. That’s where I’m at. And if there was some possible way of giving a special permit of allowing you to do this, I don’t see an issue.
MRS. IRELAND: Especially since it’s behind my house.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: But the point is of opening the door of what we have to put up with past you, you know, because we can’t say no to some other people. And I’ve got to -- I’m kind of torn with that one now.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I think Jeff and then Dan and then Eric.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Real quick.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I think the question is for you, yeah.
MRS. IRELAND: Oh.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Now, let me ask you guys a question before you sit down. I’ll just ask you the question because I don’t know this. So, your inspection requirements that comes from the state or from the county -- or state I guess.
MRS. IRELAND: Yes.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: So, they inspect your truck, right?
MRS. IRELAND: Right.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Do they inspect your house?
MRS. IRELAND: No.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Okay. But you store food in your house?
MRS. IRELAND: Yes.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: All right. So, basically your house is a warehouse, food warehouse, but it’s not inspected. These are the things that kind of -- and where I’m going with this is I talk to plenty of people in restaurants that have food trucks. Their biggest beef is, you know, everything I do is open to inspection, where I store my food, where it’s processed, my truck, everything. So, I guess the question is, is a food truck truly a home-based business? That’s why Missouri requires commissaries because they’re saying we’re not --
MRS. IRELAND: [Inaudible – speaking off mic]
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Exactly. That’s why Missouri does. Because they’re saying we’re not inspecting your house as a food warehouse, so you have to have a commissary. That way that can be inspected and the trucks can be inspected. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel in Shawnee and I don’t want to open up a can of worms. I understand where you’re coming from, but there’s a whole lot of people out there. And so let’s take, for example, this talk we’re having about associations. You don’t have an association. But what we’re saying is you can -- and it happens. It’s going to be the same with chickens and everything, but it’s no different than a guy with a restaurant that has a food truck and he goes, well, I can’t park it at my house. I have an association that won’t let me. I just have a hard time with us taking the policy and reducing the teeth in our policy to allow something. I mean, you guys were retired when you got in this business. I remember you saying that. And I don’t think you’re going to do this for 20 years. But what I’ve learned in my short career, five-year career in government is that when we do something it lingers for 20 years. So, far past you guys being done in this business the implications of this are going to survive. And then it’s going back and getting another council together and getting on an agenda and doing all the research to say this isn’t working out great, do you want to redo this. At that point we might have 30 people that are parking commercial vehicles, not just food trucks in their house, they’re going to be sitting there yelling at us saying, well, I’ve been doing this for 20 years, how can you change this on me. I’ve got to look at the big picture and the long term. And sometimes it’s nice to satisfy a want and a need right here. But as we roll year after year after year after year, I’ve got to look at what do my decisions do 20 years from now to this council. Are they going to have to be dealing with the decisions I make? That’s kind of what this comes down to with me because I grew up in Kansas City, Kansas. I can tell you what it looks like to have commercial vehicles parked on the side of a house, in the yard and, you know, in the driveway, behind the house and all because they don’t enforce their codes at all. And I saw what it did to property values. And the frustration people had with this beaten up on old one-ton sitting on the side of a house with ladders or whatever it was, it just, you know, or even wreckers, you know, permanently parked at a house, so it’s a tough one. It’s difficult up here, but, you know, when we look at, and that’s why I asked about the requirements is I think when you talk about looking at whether it’s the county -- whether it’s the state or cities looking at changing requirements, I could probably see eventually the state taking a serious look at do we want to require a commissary. Because I think as this grows I think you’re going to have those issues with that come up with, well, wait a second, you’re storing food for the public in your house. You’re basically a food warehouse, which as we know a food warehouse is open to inspection. But they’re not inspecting your house, they’re inspecting your truck. I just don’t want to make this decision to change this for something I think five years from now is probably going to -- the state is probably going to change it for us. But those are my concerns. Thanks.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Dan and Eric, are your comments questions for them or -- no. Just general statements? We can let them sit down maybe. All right. Thank you. And if you guys will just sign next to the podium. Thank you. And then I have Dan and then Eric.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: So, I guess my opinion is that food trucks are different than regular commercial vehicles. A guy selling mufflers or, you know, tires is completely different than a food truck or trailer that’s being inspected by the state of Kansas. So, I think it’s totally different. I think we should allow it. I think the staff has written up an ordinance, or most of one anyway, and I think we could go with Version Three.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Eric.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I still want to address whether or not this could be a special use permit and why it couldn’t be a special use permit. It is a business. It’s tied to home, so it’s not a -- it’s a home-based business. If they don’t have the stuff in the home to put into the truck there is no business. I mean, they don’t keep it in the truck. So, they’re basically having a home-based business with the truck being an extension of that business, go out and actually market the product. And if it was a special use permit, I think that would allow you to do a whole lot of things. It would allow you to control the placement of that vehicle and place requirements on how the vehicle could be placed. It could lend itself to potential variances and there’s a lot of different options there. And I don’t know why we can’t go the route of a special use permit on this.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Jeff and then Jim or Mike -- Mike and then Jim.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: And to what Dan just said, it is a different vehicle. But if you listen to what Ellis just told us, it’s not recognized as a different vehicle. And what staff told is, yeah, we might look at it as a different vehicle, but we can’t selectively choose a food truck over a plumber. It’s a commercial vehicle.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: That’s actually not what he said.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: It’s exactly what he said. It’s what staff told us.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: He said that it’s up to us to differentiate if there is something different between different kinds of vehicles.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: But if we single -- hold on. But what he’s saying is if we single somebody out, then we open ourselves up to litigation because that person can say why am I being treated differently. We’re going to put food trucks on a higher standard like, oh, well, food trucks are okay. It could be the exact same truck. It could be the exact same model, make and year of truck, except one sells food and one sells plumbing. And the plumbing truck could be all beat up and rusted and look like hell, but they could apply for that special use and actually force us to give it to them based on the fact that, but you gave it to that truck. And how can we say that -- how can we as a Council single that out? I think we open ourselves up. And that applies to the special use. I understand. I wish we could figure out special use, but that’s kind of what I’m saying. We’re exposing ourselves to anybody coming in and applying it and if we single somebody out and say no for having the exact same type, you know, similar vehicle, well, then they’re just going to take us to task on that and say you can’t enforce that because you allowed that. I mean, I listen to the attorneys. I hear what he’s telling me, unless I misunderstood him. Bring Ellis back up and have him explain that.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Mike and then Jim.
COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Yeah. Actually, Ellis, if you will come back up. I want to make sure that I’m understanding this properly. On page 24 of our packet under Option Three, it says the Mobile Restaurant Parking Exception permit would only apply to mobile restaurants. And it’s my understanding from the presentation tonight that that’s not accurate.
CITY ATTORNEY RAINEY: I’m trying to read the packet.
MS. GRASHOFF: I’ll answer that one. Yeah. That’s incorrect in the memo. We did talk about this today and yesterday. We’ve been trying to research and figure out if there was -- we could kind of source it to just the mobile restaurants, but we figured out [inaudible].
COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Right. So, you’re saying we cannot. So, this is inaccurate in the packet?
MS. GRASHOFF: It is incorrect, yes.
COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Okay. So, then is Option Two possible or not possible because that seems like the same type of idea? If we just make an exception for them, how is that different than --
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: That’s a good point.
CITY ATTORNEY RAINEY: That’s the same issue. I’m sorry. You’re right. It’s the same issue.
COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Okay. Because when I look over here back on page 23, Point Number 5 says that the following vehicle is basically subject regardless. And then we list five that are subject regardless. But you’re saying we can’t make an exception? Do you see where I’m at? Page 23, Point Number 5.
CITY ATTORNEY RAINEY: I brought the other one up with me. Page 23. Okay. Now, I’m sorry. Your question was, sir?
COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Well, it seems like there we’ve singled out certain types of trucks that are commercial regardless of the criteria above it. Because above it Points 1 through 4 basically tell us what establishes it as commercial. And then my understanding is in Point 5 we’ve said regardless of the above criteria, these are commercial regardless unless I’ve misunderstood the language above it.
CITY ATTORNEY RAINEY: Okay. I remember when this was originally adopted and that was a specific discussion at the time that the residents who were interested in this were opposed to having these types of vehicles with the markings on the vehicles in the driveways. It wasn’t the nature of the business that was displayed on the side of the vehicle.
COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Right.
CITY ATTORNEY RAINEY: It was the size and it was the fact that it had these visual displays on it.
COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Okay. So, I think that answers. So, I guess I’ll make a comment, a couple comments here. If we really zoom out and we look at the big idea, this food truck is -- the issue with the food truck, we’ve really had two issues. One is allowing them to do business in Shawnee, and we discussed that last time. And I think most people were pretty much on board with allowing them to do business and making it easier for them to sell food in the City. Tonight it really about where they’re going to park it when they’re not selling food. To play the devil’s advocate, they can sell in Shawnee and not park it at a house in Shawnee. So, just something to keep in mind. So, like I said this discussion is really can we park it here or not. To some degree I agree with Jeff. It’s kind of opening Pandora’s box if we say you can park here and then any commercial is then up for it. And I’m -- really after tonight’s discussion I don’t know if Two or Three are even options from a legal standpoint. So, I kind of have concerns over, I mean, before coming into this meeting I kind of liked Two and Three, but now I’m questioning whether we have the authority to do it or not.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Jim and then Mickey.
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: No, I don’t have anything.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. Just Mickey.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: From my understanding listening to a little bit earlier here, if they were to build a closed-in facility on their property they would be able to park their vehicle on their property. So, some type of an outbuilding that would enclose the vehicle they could park it, is that correct? And they would not have to have a permit or anything?
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: The way the language reads is commercial vehicles are prohibited in residential areas. So, we’d have to probably clarify that language if we wanted to allow that just --
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Well, if they were to build an outbuilding, because there are outbuildings in the City residences or residences for motor homes. So, if they were to build an outbuilding that would satisfy a motor home they could probably pull a truck like that in there. So, the option that we could is that we, I mean, that would eliminate somebody putting a tractor trailer in their back yard because the same outbuilding is not going to fit that type of a commercial vehicle.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: They can do that today though.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: No, not without --
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: [Inaudible].
DEPUTY CITY MANAGER CHARLESWORTH: Commercial vehicles inside a residential garage are not regulated by our parking regulations.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Okay. So, they can do that?
MS. GRASHOFF: Yes. Yes.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: So, it sounds like, to echo what Mike said, our only real viable option without opening the floodgates for every commercial vehicle to park in our residential areas is Option One, to maintain the current regulations.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Well, I did raise another possibility and I didn’t get any feedback on that and I’d really like some. Why it couldn’t it be a special use permit? Can we have some information on that?
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I think that’s --
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: That’s a very good point and I’d like to have that addressed.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I think perhaps that was addressed in the conversation regarding why we can’t treat food trucks any differently than commercial vehicles. We can’t give them a special use permit exemption.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I don’t agree with that. This is a vehicle that deals in perishable items. You can leave a plumbing truck out there for six months and you don’t have to anything to it and nobody -- and all the gaskets and plumber’s putty and everything else is going to still be useable. I mean, it’s a completely different -- you’re comparing apples and oranges here. This is a restaurant and I don’t think I want a restaurant parked next to my house. So, I’m all in favor of that. I think that’s a good thing we’re talking about. That’s why I feel like a special use permit would require the applicant to meet a bunch of standards and get that where it is not a negative for his neighbors and it would be concealed in some way or something along those lines and I don’t know why that we can’t do that. I’m just confused as to why we can’t do that.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Carol and then Jeff.
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: I think that the difference and similarity that Ellis was discussing was more specific to that commercial vehicle. I think it possibly could apply to the special use permit, but I would not feel comfortable saying yea or nay whether it could or not could be done without spending more time just looking into it further.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Jeff.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: A bread delivery truck has perishables. So, do we allow them to park at their house? Well, if he’s a delivery -- a bread truck. He’s got perishable bread, so do we give him a permit? Let’s say he works for a company and they say, hey, it would be a lot more convenient if you started your route from home and he goes, hey, Shawnee allows it now. So, now he’s parking that bread truck next to his house at night so he can get up in the morning and zoom out and not have to go drive into the warehouse and, I mean, you know, Frito-Lay trucks. There’s a lot of trucks with perishable items, and I understand what you’re saying, but --
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: You’re missing the point completely. They don’t have a warehouse they can go to.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I understand.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Their house is basically like somebody brought up here is their warehouse.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I understand that.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: It is their food warehouse. And if you work for the bakery or you work for Twinkies or anybody else, you can start -- you have an option. You can start from your business and go on.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: But is that for us to decide to whether they have an option or not. Because we’re the ones that will be making that decision then, will they have an option. Because of what Ellis is saying is we can’t single anybody out.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I still think --
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: So, when they apply for that special use we’re the one that’s sitting up here making that -- deciding whether they have a valid option or not and making that decision. I don’t want to make that decision.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: If somebody came to the City and wanted to build a restaurant, they would have to get a special use permit to put the restaurant in. These folks who are wanting to put a restaurant in Shawnee that’s on wheels. Why can’t they come in and apply for a special use permit to establish a restaurant?
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Well, you don’t need a special use permit for a restaurant.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: So, perhaps the best of course of action at this point then is to hold off on making a decision so staff can look into whether a special use permit could be used in this situation. How do we feel about that?
COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: I’d go for that.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Decided to keep going? Okay.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I like that.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Would someone like to make a motion saying such?
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I move that we have the staff take a look and see if a special use permit could be somewhat of an answer to this issue on parking these vehicles.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Do I have a second?
COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Second.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. All those favor say aye.
COUNCILMEMBERS PFLUMM, NEIGHBOR, JENKINS, KEMMLING, MEYER, SANDIFER, KENIG: Aye.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Opposed, nay.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: No.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. Motion passes. (Motion passes 7-1) I think we probably don’t -- do we --
CITY MANAGER GONZALES: We could -- if you would like to have a motion to move the remaining provisions of the food truck ordinance that we talked about forward, we could certainly move ahead with those.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Let’s do that.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I feel comfortable recommending that and making that motion.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Second.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. All those in favor say aye.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Opposed, nay. Motion passes. (Motion passes 8-0).
4. DISCUSS REVISIONS TO POLICY STATEMENT PS-7, CONDUCT OF PUBLIC MEETINGS.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: The last item on tonight’s agenda is to Discuss Revisions to Policy Statement PS-7, Conduct of Public Meetings. At the September 14, 2015 City Council Meeting, a citizen brought forth a proposed revision to PS-7 to allow public comment during Miscellaneous Council Items at City Council meetings. If the Council Committee supports the proposed revision, a revised Policy Statement would be brought forward to a future City Council meeting for consideration. There is no presentation as this item -- for the Committee to discuss rather. It's pretty straightforward. Staff is available to answer any questions and you have it in the packet. And I think you all provided kind of a revised version of what that statement might look like, page 47, specifically. Any discussion from the Council? Jim.
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Yeah. I would just offer that again we beat up PS-7 many, many, many times and it comes down to that the Mayor, the Chair of the Governing Body of the meeting may ask for public comment on agenda items for the meeting. I think the Mayor or the Chair of the Committee is running the meeting. They have that latitude to ask for public opinion on any of the items and I don’t think we need to specify it or add anything to what’s there. I think it’s up to the chair. I’ve sat through meetings in Topeka where the opposition never even had a chance to talk. I think that we go and give everybody the opportunity, but I think that the PS-7 as written is fine.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Mickey and then Dan.
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I think what we’ve been currently accomplishing has done well. I know we had a big to-do on it a while back and we made some changes. And I don’t think there’s an issue at this period of time and I’m willing to leave it alone.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Dan.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I mean, so far I’ve always been in favor of public comment. So, I think we’re here for the public and if the public wants to discuss one of the items that we’re discussing up here I think --
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: We’ve always let them.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I’m just saying that actually we don’t allow them under Council Items, under -- what am I saying?
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Miscellaneous.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Miscellaneous.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Miscellaneous Council Items. So, I’d be in favor of letting the public talk.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Jeff.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Well, I’m in favor of letting the public talk and we give them plenty of opportunity on agenda items. I don’t agree with adding that in there. I mean, at the end of the day if the chair can allow anybody to talk anytime they want we can’t do anything about it. But the Miscellaneous Council Items is an opportunity for us to talk about things that aren’t necessarily on the agenda. And I don’t think if we bring something up it should be this conceived idea that it’s open for discussion by whoever wants to come up and talk about it. It’s our time to make statements that aren’t on the agenda. We’re not voting on it. We’re not making anything that’s set in stone. We’re just talking about things that -- whether we’re congratulating somebody or things that we’re concerned about or whatever, and I think we’re encouraging it to turn into a conversation, which isn’t good, because then we turn it into a conversation about something that’s not on the agenda. And while it’s in a public meeting it’s not an agenda item. So, we can make a statement, but it’s not supposed to turn into a discussion, it’s not on the agenda.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Jeff, I agree with you that I think it’s kind of miscellaneous things that haven’t necessarily been covered. But I have seen instances where members of the Council have sort of said something directed at someone who has spoken earlier without -- and then they don’t get an opportunity to respond to that. So, I can definitely see where this would be perhaps beneficial towards that end because I have seen people not be able to comment.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: And that’s always the ability of the Chair to go and allow comment.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: That seems to offer a lot of discretion. Eric, Mickey, Jim. Who’s next?
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Well, I, too, strongly support adding this into the Policy Statement 7. And I’m all into transparency of government. I’m all into getting as much public input as we can get. We sure need it sometimes. And I think the case that was just stated by our Chair in this meeting is true. We have had people that were addressed by the Council, people that made previous comments to this Council and then they were addressed during Miscellaneous Council Items, and I think that’s inappropriate. I think that person should certainly have the right to come back and rebut that or make additional comments. So, I strongly favor this.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Mickey and then Jim.
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: If I remember rightly our last meeting somebody came up and spoke at the items from the Council and there was not an issue. And from what I remember that happens quite often. We never stop anybody. And as in being transparent, one more transparent than we’ve ever been. And we don’t stop people from coming up, talking at the podium at that --
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: [Inaudible].
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: It hasn’t been an issue.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: [Inaudible]
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: There should be no issue having a policy statement if it’s not a big deal.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I agree with you, Eric. Jim.
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Under Public Comment, Section D, Discussion Issues. “Members of the Governing Body are discouraged from engaging in debate with a member of the public at Council or Council Committee meetings. The purpose of is for Councilmembers to receive input or information from the public.” I believe that can be done. I would think at the end of the meeting we get back in this debate, this tit for tat and I think it’s very counterproductive. It makes us look not very professional sitting up here. I would think if it was that -- if there are issues between someone out there or at what someone said on the dais, I would number one, ask someone -- the people on the dais to perhaps be a little more thoughtful in their comments and not start throwing hand grenades. And the other part is that perhaps it would be more important at the next meeting with Business from the Floor. I think that this would be an opportunity for -- I just don’t think it’s a good idea. I think it’s covered here. And it all boils down to the Chair and how the Chair runs their meeting. If the Chair wants to let someone talk, the Chair can have -- ask that person to talk.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Brandon.
COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Yes. I was just going to say I think this change has some application though outside of debate or offering rebuttals. I think we comment on a number of different things in terms of how the City is doing or City events, different things like that. And there’s an opportunity I think for the public to give feedback on those or be able to provide their feedback and then permit when we get to the end and where you open it up for those miscellaneous items. So, just, you know, I know we’re talking in the context, in a specific context here obviously because there’s a prior history with that context. But I do feel that there is other uses where I think this would be very helpful for the citizens to provide input.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Jeff.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Then I would say that it needs to be, and if there’s anybody at the end of the meeting if we’re going to do that, then it would be anybody who wants to add any additional comments. But this is worded that, “[M]ay ask for public comment on the agenda item for the meeting, including items brought forth by members of the Governing Body under Miscellaneous …,” which means if we’re concerned about something and we bring up the issue, somebody could stand up then and come up and tell me why he doesn’t agree with my position on that and why he doesn’t think it’s an issue. Well, is that really the time to have that debate and is that the time that we open that up? It’s not an agenda item. So, if we’re going to do that, then, yeah, we can make our comments. And then at the end of it is, is there anybody who would like to add any comments, not in rebuttal to any of the Councilmembers’ statements. Because what you’re saying is, yeah, we talked about, hey, we really enjoyed this show or we really think, you know, this is a great event this year. So, does the public want to get up and piggy-back on that and say, hey, you know, I took my kids and it was wonderful and I just want to -- I think that’s great. I love to hear that. But do we want to turn it into a debate? Do we want to further debate when we make a statement at the end of it? Do we want the public to come up and rebut our statement when it’s not an agenda item and it’s just something we’re stating that, hey, I think we should look more into such and such, it’s a concern of mine, and somebody sitting out there goes, I think that’s bull and gets up here and says, well, let me tell you why I don’t think we should. Well, that’s not the time to have that debate. That’s not on the agenda. And that’s what this is saying is, “[C]omment on … including items brought forth by members of the Governing Body.” You know, that’s not the time for the -- if I’m talking about it and it makes it to a Committee meeting or to a Council meeting, they have plenty of opportunity to come up and talk about why they think my idea is crazy or why they think it’s wrong. But me bringing it up at that point is not the time to turn that into an argument. So, I’m with Brandon if we can do it where, yeah, you guys want to add to our compliments or add to what we’re saying or come up and -- but when we talk about concerns, they’ve already had -- we already had Business from the Floor. We do that. So, do we want to change Business from the Floor to the end of the meeting? The problem with that is then everybody uses Business from the Floor as an opportunity to tell us why they think everything we did was wrong for the last, you know, seven items we had on the agenda. That’s typically why cities don’t have Business from the Floor at the end of the meeting. You have an opportunity to get up and speak your mind. You don’t want 15 people following up at the end of the meeting saying how disappointed they are that we voted the way we did. I mean, they’re going to have other areas and other ways of telling us that. But that’s why you time it the way you do. So, right or wrong that’s not an uncommon way to do it. You know, I said I think if people want to get up at the end of a meeting and say something, great. I just don’t want to make a comment and then have someone get up and turn it into a debate against me at the end of the meeting.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I guess I just think that’s kind of a hard place to be in. And where I see us maybe needing to address this is, for example, if I were now to say I think crepes are terrible and anyone who would sell them in a food truck is a moron. I would want these -- obviously I would be an idiot to think that, they’re delicious, but I would want them to have the opportunity to get up and respond to that. I don’t think it’s fair to then say, well, that’s what we’ve said, we’re moving on. It doesn’t seem like that is fair and transparent to me.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: If there’s no more discussion on this item, I’d like to move for approval of the Policy Statement change.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Well, let me see if there is anyone from the public who would like to speak first, so just a second. Anyone from the public? Yeah. If you’ll state your name and address for the record. Come on up.
MR. ERLICHMAN: Ray Erlichman, (Address Omitted) here in Shawnee. First, I’d like to thank the City Manager and the rest of the staff for bringing this up as expeditiously as it came up on the agenda. A couple of things. I might be a little bit out of sequence here. The Mayor or a Chair of the Governing Body meeting may ask for public comments. When I first brought this up on September 14th, I made a comment that there were only three people on the Governing Body who have attended more Council meetings than me, Mr. Pflumm, Mr. Sandifer and Mayor Distler. I have never heard any mayor ask during Miscellaneous Council Items would somebody from the public want to comment. I’ve never heard any president of the Council when sitting in, and there have been a bunch of them, ask for that. And on the one occasion that I can remember the senior Councilmember President, Mr. Goode, when the president and the mayor were both gone, he didn’t ask for it. The Miscellaneous Council Items is an agenda item just like Business from the Floor. The difference being Business from the Floor, and I’ve seen it both with myself and various other citizens up here, the Council sometimes does ask questions or make comments of what the person has brought up. The miscellaneous comments from Councilmembers has on some occasions become a free fall. There have been times, and we’re not talking about we want to thank the Parks Department for the way they handled the special event or something, where information was given out about something, statistics or whatever, facts that were not accurate. And I’m not saying get into a debate, but I don’t see anything wrong with somebody from the public coming up and saying, gee, you just said we’ve got 45,000 people living in Shawnee. Well, the City Manager tells us it’s 64,000. There’s nothing wrong with that. And there are times over the years where somebody has raised their hand to speak during Miscellaneous Council Items and the presiding officer went --
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I’ve never seen that.
MR. ERLICHMAN: I have because it was my hand that was raised. So, I see nothing wrong with allowing a citizen of the community to come up, not to get into a debate or an argument, but to provide additional information. Anyway, thank you very much for your time. Oh, by the way, if anybody interested, Houston-2, Yankees-0.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Thank you for all of that. If you’ll sign. Yeah. Jeff.
MR. ERLICHMAN: Everything has got [inaudible].
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I was definitely not looking at that. Jeff.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: You know, Ray just validated my point. So, if I say something that someone in the audience doesn’t feel is accurate, then they’re going to come up and tell me it’s not accurate, which becomes a debate. Because then I’m going to say, no, it is accurate, and they’re going to say, no, it isn’t, and now we have a debate. I mean, at some point a Councilmember is going to say things. And if it’s not accurate, then, you know, put it in your blog and post it on Facebook and do anything you want. But the agenda item is comments from the Council, it’s not -- it comes from the Governing Body. It’s not let’s debate the issues. It’s not a specific item, agenda item. It’s we’re going to talk about things that we want to talk about. And if it goes from there, then further down the road it will be debated. But that’s not the time for it to be debated.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: If there is no other comment I think we have a motion on the floor.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Second.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. All those in favor say aye.
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: What is the motion?
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I’m sorry. The motion, Eric, if you would like to restate it?
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: The motion was to adopt the suggested changes to PS-7.
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: No. No. This is only to move it forward to the full Council. We can’t adopt that at this point.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Correct.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Move it forward to full Council then.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Second.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All those in favor say aye.
COUNCILMEMBERS PFLUMM, JENKINS, KEMMLING, MEYER, KENIG: Aye.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Opposed nay.
COUNCILMEMBERS NEIGHBOR, VAUGHT, SANDIFER: No.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. I believe the motion passes.
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Can I ask for a roll call on that?
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Sure. We will do a roll call vote. All right. I will start. Councilmember Neighbor?
COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: No.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Councilmember Pflumm?
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Yes.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Councilmember Jenkins?
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yes.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Councilmember Kemmling?
COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Yes.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Councilmember Meyer. I am a yes. Councilmember Vaught?
COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: No.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Councilmember Sandifer?
COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: No.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Councilmember Kenig?
COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Yes.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Well, I guess we have a tie.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: No.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Oh, I guess I can’t count. Good grief. All right. Motion does pass. And it’s time for my bedtime I guess.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Nothing separates you from the Bahamas except for that motion to adjourn.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I know. I’ve got baseball going on now. Sorry about that. Motion passes. (Motion passes 5-3)
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: If there is no other business to come before the Committee I will accept a motion to adjourn.
COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: So moved.
COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Second.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. All those in favor say aye.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Opposed nay. Motion passes. (Motion passes 8-0). We are adjourned. Thank you.
(Shawnee Council Committee Meeting Adjourned at 9:14 p.m.)
I certify that the foregoing is a correct transcript from the electronic sound recording of the proceedings in the above-entitled matter.
/das October 16, 2015
Deborah A. Sweeney, Recording Secretary
Stephen Powell, City Clerk