Downers Grove officials on Tuesday are expected to discuss the village's regulations on backyard chicken coops for the first time in 25 years.
Under the "new business" portion of the meeting agenda, Downers Grove Village Manager David Fieldman has included a memo titled "Discussion of Village Fowl Regulations." The discussion, he wrote, was included at the request of Commissioner Becky Rheintgen.
Downers Grove is one of several Chicago suburbs that allow residents to keep chickens, roosters and other fowl in their backyards. Other communities include Naperville, Plainfield, Brookfield, Westchester, Batavia, Evanston, Schaumburg and Western Springs.
The last time the issue was discussed in Downers Grove was when the current fowl regulations were approved in May 1987, Fieldman said.
The village 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, according to village documents.
Per 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."
According to Fieldman's memo, Rheintgen has asked that council discuss increasing the number of chickens permitted, decreasing the setback requirements, banning roosters and requiring a license or permit for keeping chickens.
No further information was available regarding Rheintgen's request. However, Fieldman noted in the agenda documents that the village has handled five fowl-related code enforcement cases in 2012, all of which were prompted by resident complaints. Two active enforcement cases are pending.
The item is up for discussion only during Tuesday's village council meeting, which will be held at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, 801 Burlington Ave. Additional action is dependent on the council's direction, according to meeting documents.
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