Chickens will be allowed in Channahon backyards as part of a pilot program approved by the Village Board Monday.
It took the village a year to do the research, put together an ordinance, set rules for applications and get a feel for how residents felt about the possibility. The final vote was 4-2 to allow town ordinances to be amended to allow for the keeping of chickens.
Voting for the program were Trustees Sam Greco, Chantal Host, Scott McMillin and Mark Scaggs. Voting against were Trustees Patricia Perinar and Scott Slocum.
“I’m very happy that they passed it,” said resident Jennifer Parshall, who brought the request to the board last fall.
In past months, several people have spoken at Village Board meetings for and against the measure.
Parshall and other backyard chicken proponents spoke about the benefits of raising chickens as a fun and educational experience for children, a way to cut down on food garbage going to landfills and as an enjoyable hobby.
Chickens produce eggs and keep down the mice, mole, tick and flea population as well, they said.
Parshall said she will apply for the program and raise chickens as a way to keep her beehives healthy and free from pests. She’s looking at Polish chickens right now, but said she still is deciding which breed to buy.
Opponents, such as resident Donna Barrows, who spoke against the measure at Monday’s meeting, said chickens would draw predators and would be noisy and smelly.
“I pay good taxes not to live next to a chicken coop,” Barrows said.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea for all the reasons mentioned tonight,” Slocum said before the vote.
The trustee voted against the measure and said he believes more people in the village are against it than for it.
Host was one who voted for the measure, saying after the vote that the provisions of the ordinance address all of the concerns of those who are not comfortable with having chickens in yards near them.
To be accepted into the backyard chickens pilot program, a resident of a single family home living in an R-1 or an R-2 district must have a minimum lot size of 12,500-square feet and agree to several conditions, including constructing a coop and a pen and making sure the chickens remain in those spaces.
The coop must be a minimum of 10-square feet for each hen and may not be larger than 50-square feet. It also must have a setback of at least 10 feet from any lot line and at least 30 feet from residences or adjacent or nearby lots.
An adjoining pen is required for each coop and may not cover more than 25 percent of the backyard. It also must have a permanent, secure cover capable of deterring predators.
The pens and coops must be completely surrounded by a six-foot solid wood or PVC fence and kept in clean, sanitary condition, with no odors emanating. The ordinance contains many other conditions, such as storing feed in a rodent-proof container.
Residents may keep no more than four chickens, and no roosters are allowed.
Applications for the 18-month pilot program will be accepted Dec. 1 through Jan. 31. The village intends on issuing up to eight licenses. After the trial period, trustees will decide if the program should be made permanent.
Village staff said that before applying, those who are in homeowners associations should check their contracts, as many HOAs do not allow chickens on their properties.
Also in the ordinance, the number of certain animals allowed on A2 rural properties was increased from four to eight, with a maximum of four being chickens.
Channahon trustees are also considering increasing the tax on diesel motor fuel from 9 to 11 cents per gallon. The increase could add an extra $225,000 to the village each year, according to Village Administrator Thomas Durkin, that would be used on road maintenance. Local taxes on gasoline would remain the same, at 4 cents per gallon. The board could vote on the increase at its next meeting.
Also at Monday’s Channahon village board, Village President Missey Moorman Schumacher proclaimed Nov. 6 “Chief Master Sergeant Scott J. Super Day,” after former Channahon resident Super, who grew up in Channahon and now lives in Florida. Schumacher said Super is the ninth and highest enlisted rank in the United States Air Force and is serving with honor in the USAF.
Schumacher said Super is responsible for advising the commander in support of 326 personnel, with 15 clinics, nine operating rooms, 17,000 active duty and 92,000 beneficiaries. He has also deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and to Central and South America on medical humanitarian missions.
Schumacher also commended several Channahon residents who served in the military, in advance of Veterans Day.
Named were Ron Agnich, Jr., Michael Good, Mandy McCann, Adam Bogart, Andrew Ogg, Armando Reyes, Bob Manion, Boyce Thweatt, Boyce Thweatt, Jr., Brian Kasher, Brock Hermann, Sarah Smith-Hermann, C.C. Prosise, Christina Vargo, Derek Breen, Connie Manion Holt, Craig Bartz, Daniel McDonald, David Grimmenga, David Ferro, David Kasher, Donald Jerzycke, Ernest Gardner, Gerald Larson, Glenn Pope, Harvey Spier, Henry Dziekan, Jake Tollstam, John Druacka, John E. Baker, John Grimmenga, John M. Baker, Kevin Kasher, Larry Duffy, Micholas Bengtson, Rachel Osborne, Richard Blaskie, Thomas Sheridan, Timothy Warawa, William Rabe, Steve Rittof Jr., Dennis Bubinas, Scott Burdick, Robert Crickman, Tim Davis, Bob Duncan, Robert Grimm Sr., Ken Grudis, Don Konjevich, Michael Kratochvil, John Kwait, John McNamara, Larry Moorman, Thomas Raddatz, Harvey Spier, Jerry Zeborowski, John Blough, Matt Brooks, Jon Jackubowski, Brian Kasher and Steve Weiss.