Backyard chicken permit closer to reality in Western Springs
A short fence blocks off the chicken coop area from the rest of Wendy Vichick's back yard in Western Springs. Occasionally, hens fly over the fence, but Vichick says she's always out when they are, keeping on eye on them. | Jane Michaels~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 15, 2012 2:46PM
An ordinance allowing the possession of backyard chickens is one step closer to acceptance in Western Springs.
Some residents in the village have shown a desire to see the possession of hens legalized. The village’s General Government Committee has been working on an ordinance that both allows and regulates the chickens.
Village Trustee Deborah Lyons said Monay the solution was to create a temporary use permit for residents interested in having the birds in their back yards.
The committee has been meeting with residents and village staff to discuss what the chicken legislation would look like.
Lyons presented a draft ordinance to the Village Board in May.
“Our committee is not interested in allowing anything other than chickens and hens and that would be on a temporary use basis,” she said at the time.
The ordinance has not been approved by the Village Board, but it proposes residents would be allowed no more than four chickens per home. Anyone raising chickens must also have the proper kind of coop. Proper sanitation of the coops would be required.
Prior to receiving a permit residents will have to meet with village staff to explain how they plan to maintain the chickens.
The proposal grants the village authority to revoke the permits, should the chicken coops not meet the standards.
Wendy Vichick, who has chickens in her yard, and her husband, Greg, applied for a temporary use permit and are serving as a test case for the allowance of chickens.
Because the proposal is considered as a temporary use permit, it would be part of the development control ordinance and go to the Plan Commission, Lyons said.
After the Plan Commission, the ordinance will be returned to the Village Board for final approval.
Other communities with various regulations allowing backyard chickens include Westchester, Brookfield, Downers Grove, Naperville, Batavia, Evanston and Schaumburg.