Blue Zones Project® Pottawatomie County announces that the Pottawatomie County Food Policy Council is working with Rebecca Blaine, Shawnee City Planner, on updating the Code of Ordinances, Sec. 5-7 Keeping Fowl, for the purpose of including an ordinance for allowing backyard chickens within City limits. This issue was brought to the PCFPC by the Well-Being District Coalition in an effort to address food insecurity within City limits and the Well-Being District.

The PCFPC researched and had conversations with communities around Oklahoma who have backyard chicken ordinances and policies. This resulted in the foundation for writing the Code which includes some of these requirements below:

All City lots zoned (RE (Residential Estates District), R-1 (Single-Family Residential District), R-2 (Medium Density Residential District), R-3 (Multi-Family Residential District) and TN (Townhouse Development District). Lots zoned as agricultural do not require a permit

This code is not in conflict with any restrictive covenant that may be applicable to any property. If a covenant restricts ownership of chickens, this ordinance does not give authority to ignore the covenant rules. Property owners are responsible for checking with any applicable homeowner's association to determine neighborhood rules before obtaining a permit.

No lot shall exceed six (6) chickens.

The coop and run shall be attached and located in the rear or backyard of the property.

The coop and run shall be no closer than 5 feet from any side or rear property line and no closer than 25 feet from any dwelling other than the owner/occupants.

Coops shall be predator resistant and any open wall or windows shall be designed and screened to prevent access by predators.

No roosters allowed.

No slaughtering of chickens is permitted.

From dusk until dawn, chickens shall be kept within the coop, from dawn until dusk, chickens shall have access to the run and coop.

All areas where chickens are present shall be cleaned to prevent an accumulation of food, fecal matter, bedding or nesting material so as to prevent a nuisance or unsanitary condition due to odor, vermin, debris or decay. All waste not composted shall be properly bagged and placed in garbage containers.

The fee to obtain a permit is $15.00.

As this Ordinance is being discussed and the City of Shawnee makes decisions about residents raising chickens in their backyards, Pottawatomie County OSU Extension and Shawnee Public Library are sharing resources for those interested in starting a flock. Do your homework, be informed!

Want to get involved? Blue Zones Project is encouraging community members to attend City Commission Meeting on Tuesday, September 3rd 6pm at 16 W. 9th Street, Shawnee OK. If you are interested in learning more contact lindsay.goodson@sharecare.com.

To learn more about Blue Zones Project, visit www.bluezonesproject.com.

About Avedis Foundation

Avedis Foundation is a private foundation with 501 (c) 3, nonprofit status, established in Oklahoma in 2012. Avedis seeks to measurably improve the health, wellness and quality of life for the people of Pottawatomie County and its surrounding communities. Avedis Foundation supports projects that directly benefit people from the communities we serve, particularly those projects that support overall well-being for any age group. For more information, visit avedisfoundation.org. 

About Blue Zones Project

Blue Zones Project® is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city’s environment, policy, and social networks. Established in 2010, Blue Zones Project is inspired by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author who identified five regions of the world—or Blue Zones®—with the highest concentration of people living to 100 years or older. Blue Zones Project incorporates Buettner’s findings and works with cities to implement policies and programs that will move a community toward optimal health and well-being. Currently, 42 communities in nine states have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 3.3 million Americans nationwide. The movement includes three beach cities in California; 15 cities in Iowa; Albert Lea, Minnesota; the city of Fort Worth; and communities in Southwest Florida, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Blue Zones Project is a division of Sharecare. For more information, visit bluezonesproject.com.

About Sharecare

Sharecare is the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place. The Sharecare platform provides each person – no matter where they are in their health journey – with a comprehensive and personalized health profile, where they can dynamically and easily connect to the information, evidence-based programs and health professionals they need to live their healthiest, happiest and most productive life. With award-winning and innovative frictionless technologies, scientifically validated clinical protocols and best-in-class coaching tools, Sharecare helps providers, employers and health plans effectively scale outcomes-based health and wellness solutions across their entire populations. To learn more, visit www.sharecare.com.

About Pottawatomie County Food Policy Council

Pottawatomie County Food Policy Council is a county-wide initiative designed to improve all levels of Pottawatomie County’s food system to ensure that residents have access to safe, healthy, and affordable foods with an abundance of nutrition education opportunities. The Pottawatomie County Food Policy Council is composed of membership determined by Resolution No. 6548 of the Shawnee City Commission, August 21, 2017 and includes members from each city and tribal government within the county; appointed by the County Commission; from both the restaurant community and the grocery community; appointed by the Hospital; from the agriculture community; from the Superintendent of Shawnee Public Schools; from both the Food Distribution community and Faith Based Organizations; from public health and hunger relief; appointed by Shawnee Forward; and two members at large from the county. Meetings are the second Tuesday of the month February through November. For more information, contact lindsay.goodson@sharecare.com.