Kansas City, MO, Code of Ordinances

Updated November 2021

By: City of Kansas City

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Table of Contents

Active Transportation

The city’s zoning and development code requires that developers include on-site pedestrian circulation that connects both to the existing on-street network, but also the neighboring developments’ networks (§88-450-03). The code also sets minimums for long-term bicycle parking and security and safety standards for the spaces and storage area as a whole (§88-420-09). Long-term parking space, or storage, requirements are set in Table 420-2. Depending on use, the standards set a ratio by square footage of the primary building or number of occupants. The standards for the storage space are based on security of its users and their property, so the area must be well-lit and easily monitored.

Brownfields Redevelopment

The city’s administrative code authorizes the creation of a brownfields commission (§2.964). It lays out the structure of the commission, its purpose and authority, membership, and the duties of the director of brownfields.

Group Housing

The city's zoning and development code establishes a number of group living uses, including group home defined as a single dwelling occupied on a permanent basis by a group of unrelated persons with disabilities, typically developmentally disabled persons. Group homes for 8 or fewer handicapped persons with up to two live-in caretakers are considered "households" and are allowed by right in all districts that allow household living uses (§88-805-02-B.1)

Short-Term Residential Rentals

The city’s zoning and development code addresses short-term residential rentals through a 2018 ordinance. The code allows for short-term residential rental uses in all residential, business, and downtown districts, as well as the agricultural-residential, urban redevelopment, manufacturing 1, and master planned development districts (§88-321-01).

It establishes two types of short-term residential rental uses: owner-occupied (Type 1) and non-owner-occupied (Type 2). Type 1 unit standards address carriage house units, number of contracts, maximum occupancies, signage and other issues (§88-321-02). Type 2 rentals may be seasonal (rented 95 days or less per year) or year around (rented more than 95 days per year). Standards address carriage house units, density/number caps for multifamily structures, maximum occupancy, signage, and other issues (§88-321-03). For both types of short-term residential rentals, historic properties require a special use permit; administrative approval and annual registry is required for units in R districts; in other allowed districts, units do not require approval but do require a permit and annual registration.

General requirements state that the planning department will maintain a list of all registered short-term rental units eligible to be listed on short-term rental platforms; operators and platforms must maintain records of rentals and make that information available to the planning director. The code also addresses permit denial, suspension, and revocation, and lists operational requirements, including safety requirements, inspections, and liability insurance (§88-321-04).

The fee for a short-term rental special use permit is $623 (§88-620-B.3.E).

The code defines short term rental (§88-810-1581) and short term rental intermediary (§88-810-1582).

Food Systems | Urban Agriculture

The city code addresses urban agriculture. It establishes a land bank agency, one of the purposes of which is to create space for urban agriculture, community gardens, and other healthy eating-related land uses (§74-71).

The code also allows for the establishment of Urban Agricultural Zones (UAZs) for growers or vendors in blighted areas and offers tax and water incentives for UAZ establishment (§74-201 et seq.). 

The city's zoning and development code addresses urban agriculture (§88-312-02). It defines and provides standards for several types of urban agriculture uses, including home gardens, community gardens, and community supported agriculture, with more detailed standards provided for the latter. 

Food Systems | Urban Livestock

The city's animal code addresses the keeping of livestock within the city, requiring a setback of 200' from buildings other than the animal keeper's dwelling, limiting the number of animals to 2, and addressing enclosures and manure disposal (§14-12). The property maintenance appeals board may grant special exceptions to the 200' setback requirement (§14-14).

Vietnamese potbellied pigs may be kept in residentially zoned areas of the city (§14-13).

Small animals such as chickens and rabbits may be kept in pens at least 100' from buildings other than the animal keeper's dwelling, subject to standards (§14-15). Standards address control of odors, manure storage and disposal, enclosure maintenance, and inspections. A maximum of 15 adult chickens or 10 rabbits are permitted, with larger numbers allowed if animals are less than 4 months old; roosters require 300' setback from buildings other than the animal keeper's dwelling. Eggs produced on-site may be sold from residential properties.

A special exception may be obtained if the 100' distance requirement cannot be met; the application is available online.

Zoning Reform and Code Writing

The city adopted a new unified development code in 2011 (Chapter 88). It includes a mix of use-based and form-based zoning standards. It defines and regulates uses based on broad categories, with select specific use types, and includes use-specific standards to minimize reliance on discretionary use permits. It is richly illustrated and uses tables to organize use permissions and dimensional standards.

Its purpose statements address protecting and promoting the public health, safety and general welfare; implementing adopted plans; enhancing quality of life; protecting the character of established residential neighborhoods; maintaining economically vibrant and visually attractive business and commercial areas; retaining and expanding the city's industrial and employment base; accommodating mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented development patterns; promoting pedestrian, bicycle and transit use; maintaining orderly and compatible development patterns; ensuring adequate light, air, privacy, and access to property; promoting natural resource conservation, and environmentally responsible and sustainable development practices; promoting development patterns and practices that support active living and uses that support improved public health; promoting rehabilitation and reuse of older buildings; maintaining a range of housing choices and options; ensuring provision of adequate public facilities; establishing clear and efficient development review and approval procedures; and accommodating orderly and beneficial development (§88-10-05-A).


Kansas City, MO

2010 Population: 459,787

2010 Population Density: 1,459.87/square mile