Chickens and Bees in Cleveland Heights?


The city of Cleveland has already seized a national leadership role in the urban agriculture trend, but it looks like a few suburbanites may have to be dragged kicking and screaming.

On Monday night Cleveland Heights hosted a public forum to discuss ideas for improving the city’s sustainability. Cleveland Heights Patch reported that one of the issues discussed was a “chickens and bees” ordinance similar to the one Cleveland passed in February 2009. It legalized what was already a common practice: keeping beehives and chicken coops in backyards.

Apparently that’s the case too, according to some of the citizen testimony reported in Patch. One resident said he’d been keeping beehives for 40 years, while Jan Kious revealed she’s got chickens already in the backyard of the acclaimed strawbale house she and her husband Dr. Gus Kious built on Cedar Road.

Some of the panicked objections are similar to the ones raised in Cleveland: Dirt! Noise! VERMIN!

"You've got to be kidding me. Chicken coops in Cleveland Heights? I know I live in a very liberal community, but chicken coops shock the heck out of me," said resident Rita O'Conner. "You know what it draws? Rats.”

So far, in a poll at Cleveland Heights Patch, those who think residents should be able to keep chickens are outnumbering those who don’t by better than 2-1. City council will vote on the chickens-and-bees provision and other proposed sustainability amendments to city code on April 16. — Anastasia Pantsios

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