A report published on the village website details several options for changes to fowl regulations—including requiring permits to house chicken coops and allowing neighbor input in the process. Updates—if any—could also include revised yard setback requirements.
One option up for consideration would leave the ordinance untouched. Residents would still be able to keep chickens on single family parcels that meet the minimum setback requirement of 50 feet from the lot lines. The Village would take action to prohibit keeping of roosters.
Two other options would involve adjusting the setback requirement, resulting in more relaxed regulations so that the majority of single-family residences would be eligible for a limited number of permits.
Under one of those two options, neighbors would be able to object and override an applicant's permit. In the third option, neighboring residents and property owners would be notified of the application for a chicken coop building permit as a way to encourage interaction among the prospective chicken owner and surrounding neighbors.
Village staff began researching the ordinance in Jan. 2013, after Commissioner Becky Rheintgen asked that they look into the possibility of increasing the number of chickens permitted, decreasing setback requirements, banning roosters, and requiring a license or permit for keeping chickens.
The current ordinance—adopted in 1987—defines fowl as "any domesticated bird, poultry or water fowl, except for homing pigeons and caged birds kept as house pets." A maximum of four fowl aged 18 weeks or older and four fowl younger than 18 weeks are permitted on residential properties.
Per current village code, all fowl must be entirely confined in a pen, coop, building or other enclosure at all times. Enclosures must be set back at least 50 feet from any property line and shall be kept "clean, sanitary and free from all refuse."
There are currently 14 municipalities with property in DuPage County that allow backyard chickens: Bartlett, Batavia, Burr Ridge, Darien, Downers Grove, Itasca, Lemont, Naperville, Oak Brook, Schaumburg, St. Charles, Warrenville, Wayne and Woodale.The item is up for its first reading—and will be discussion only at the meeting Jan. 14, at 7 p.m.
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