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Downers Grove Village Council to look at fowl ordinance

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 11:12 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:43 a.m. CDT

DOWNERS GROVE – The Downers Grove Village Council will take another crack at the backyard chicken ordinance at the regular meeting Tuesday night.

The current ordinance only allows residence to keep backyard chickens in a coop at least 50 feet from lot lines, meaning there are only about 500 family parcels in the village that would be able to have the birds, according to village documents.

Options on the table for discussion Tuesday could possible loosen or change requirements to allow more residents to have fowls.

The council last discussed the ordinance a year ago, ultimately deciding to leave it as-is.

That discussion was prompted by code enforcement activities related to residents keeping chickens on lots that did not meet the minimum requirements, according to village documents.

For Tuesday's meeting, Village Manager David Fieldman is proposing three options created following one-on-one meetings with council members.

The first option would be to not change the ordinance.

The second option would reduce the setback requirements, but also create a required license or permit. The village would only create a limited number of licenses and they would be awarded first-come, first-serve. Neighbors would also be notified of the license or permit application and would be allowed to comment and object a permit.

A neighbor objection would prevent the village from issuing the permit, according to village documents.

A third option would also reduce the setback requirement, but there would be no fowl permit or license. Instead, residents would have to obtain a building permit for the chicken coop. Neighbors would also be notified, but a neighbor objection would not prevent the village from issuing the building permit, according to village documents.

Based on data from other towns, village staff estimates that less than 30 permits would be issued.

The item is up for first reading and discussion at Tuesday's meeting, but any vote would take place at a later meeting.

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