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Channahon takes step toward allowing backyard chickens

Channahon moved one step closer to allowing its residents to keep chickens.
Channahon moved one step closer to allowing its residents to keep chickens.

Channahon residents are one step closer to being able to raise chickens at their homes after village trustees on Oct. 2 approved asking staff to draft a resolution regarding the matter.

The resolution likely will be taken up for a vote by the Village Board at one of its next two meetings, Oct. 16 or Nov. 6, Village Administrator Thomas Durkin said.

Supporters of backyard chickens came before the village almost a year ago, asking trustees to consider changing local laws to allow the keeping of chickens in town. Drew and Lynda Cipriani said Channahon police told them in October 2016 that they would have to find other homes for their four chickens, as it was against the law to have the animals at their A-1 zoned residences.

Those who live in rural A-2 areas in Channahon are allowed up to four chickens on a 5-acre parcel, but those in town are not allowed any.

Over the past year, trustees and staff have researched the matter. They sent it to the Planning and Zoning Commission this fall. The commission held a public hearing in September, where members voted, 4-3, to not amend the zoning regulations.

However, this week the Village Board decided to go the other direction and consider an ordinance that would allow the chickens.

Voting in favor of drafting the resolution this week were Trustees Mark Scaggs, Sam Greco, Chantal Host and Scott McMillin. Voting against were Trustees Patricia Perinar and Scott Slocum.

Residents who attended the meeting have said chickens are not noisy or smelly and do not attract predators. In fact, resident John Carbonaro said this week that chickens eat bugs such as fleas and ticks.

Area communities that allow keeping backyard chickens, the residents said, include Naperville, Brookfield, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Orland Park, Palos Park and even Chicago.

Slocum, however, said that of the Channahon residents he has spoken to about the subject, most were against changing the ordinance to allow chickens.

Channahon resident Jim Ventsias told trustees this week that he was not in favor of allowing chickens in town.

“I don’t see any benefit to the community,” he said. “I don’t think it needs to be done.”

Ventsias said it would present a burden to the taxpayers, who would have to pay village staff to police the regulations.

Host, who eventually voted for drafting the ordinance, said it might place a burden on Channahon’s new inspector, who is quite busy.

Perinar said she would be concerned about property values decreasing in neighborhoods with chickens. A report in the New York Times said values did decline, she said. Greco said that property values in Naperville did not decrease when city leaders approved allowing chickens.

The board approval to draft the ordinance does not mean that chickens will be allowed in village neighborhoods right away, or even ever. The Village Board still will need to vote on the ordinance, which could include a trial period.

“Based on the decision tonight by the board,” backyard chicken proponent Jenny Carbonaro said. “I am hopeful that we will continue to make progress toward passing this ordinance.”

Also at the Oct. 2 Channahon Village Board meeting, trustees approved several public works projects, including a $347,630 road maintenance project awarded to Gallagher Asphalt for patching, resurfacing and reconstructing sections of Tallgrass Trail, Woodrush Way and Oakridge Court.

A $115,000 project to perform
phase 2 engineering on Dove Drive was awarded to Strand Associates, and approval was given for the village to join with the state to fund phase 2 of the Dove Drive engineering project. Eighty percent of the costs will be funded by the surface transportation program.

Durkin said the project will involve reconstruction of Dove Drive from Sunset Drive to Route 6, likely beginning next summer. The rural nature of the road will be urbanized by getting curbs, gutters, sidewalks and storm sewers.

“It’s the evolution of the road,” Durkin said after the meeting. “It has become a heavily traveled road, evolving into a collector street to Route 6.”