Keeping Bees and Chickens in R.I.

Feb 11, 2020

Credit Flickr "IMG_2405" by misterlevel

Rock Island wants to encourage residents to participate in urban agriculture. So the city council this week revised its ordinance for keeping chickens and passed a new ordinance allowing people to keep bees. 

Planning and Redevelopment Administrator, Miles Brainard, proposed the ordinances. 

"You know there were a lot of concerns before the adoption of the original urban chicken ordinance about what the negative impacts of the chickens might be - there haven't been any. They're not a nuisance. They're a fun hobby a lot of people have. Often times folks won't even know that their neighbors have chickens because they're so much quieter than say a dog. The same is true of bees."

Brainard says the revised urban chicken ordinance is designed to be more flexibile. For example it eliminates setback requirements for where coops are located. 

The beekeeping ordinance requires a 6 foot fence around the yard and for the hives to be at least 10 feet away from property lines. 

Brainard says any resident can obtain a license and not be penalized for already having chickens or bees.