Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Victory in the "Battle" to Maintain Backyard Hens.

Chicken fanciers are slowly fighting and winning their battles to maintain chicken coops on their property. The hens obviously produce eggs which are consumed by their owners.

In our practice we see a large number of chickens raised by these  poultry fanciers. Chickens are actually quite intelligent and interactive, despite the impression that most people have of them. They are wonderful creatures and I am glad that chicken fanciers are gradually winning these fights and gaining acceptance. There will be more hearings coming up in other suburbs.

This news item is from the Palatine Patch.

Backyard Hens are Coming to Palatine

The Palatine Village Council voted 4-2 in favor of allowing petitioner Steven Brosio to house six hens in a chicken coop on his 1.8 acres of property.

The Palatine Village Council Monday approved a permit to allow resident Steven Brosio to have a chicken coop and house six hens, on his 1.8 acres of property at 624 W. Hill Road.

The issue has been in question in Palatine since it was first proposed in the spring of 2012.

In early January, Brosio received unanimous approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals relating to his request.

Three Palatine residents, and two individuals who live nearby to Brosio in unincorporated Cook County spoke in favor of his petition at the village council meeting Monday. Brosio sought an Accessory Unique Use Permit to allow the hens and the chicken coop on his property.

None of the 19 individuals [from 11 households] who previously signed a petition against the proposal attended the village council meeting.

Prior to the vote, District 2 Councilman Scott Lamerand said, “When you purchase a home in the village, there are a set of ordinances you are governed by. The rules of the game are such that this is outside of the scope of things, it is difficult to change things.”

Other councilmen voiced a different perspective.

“I agree chicken coops don’t have a place in an urban setting, but this is a different setting, 1.8 acres…this is certainly a rural setting, different than all of our neighborhoods,” said Greg Solberg, District 4 councilman.
Brosio’s close to two acres of property opens up on one side to the bike path and there is a significant structure behind the chicken coop that divides it from residential properties , said Village Manager Reid Ottesen.

When the vote came, Kollin Kozlowski (District 5), Brad Helms (District 6), Aaron Del Mar (District 1) and Solberg voted in favor of Brosio's request. Lamerand and Mayor Jim Schwantz voted against it.
After the vote, Helms and Kozlowski explained why they voted as they did.

“This is a very unique piece of property, and we had to look at it that way,” Helms said.

“My feeling is that this sets a baseline for our community [in regards to Brosio's property size],” Kozlowski said.

Ottesen said with the approval comes conditions Brosio will have to adhere to. They include allowing only six hens, requiring a 20 foot setback for the chicken coop from property lines, and 40 feet from residential properties, prohibiting roosters, adding necessary fencing, and prohibiting the slaughter of chickens on the property.

Eggs produced from the hens also cannot be used for business or commercial purposes.

The village will require a six month review of Brosio's chicken coop and hens to ensure the public, and property values of nearby residents are being protected. The village also reserves the right to impose additional conditions to address concerns if they arise.

In November of 2012, the Palatine Village Council denied a request from resident Vanessa Barsanti. Ottesen said any requests that have previously been turned down can be brought before the village council after a year's time has passed.

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