Illinois village requires more than 1 acre for raising chickens!?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by proud2b4family, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. proud2b4family

    proud2b4family Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2010
    Fox Lake, IL makes it impossible to raise chickens without significant dollar spend just to apply for the ordinance and a virtual 100% guarantee that at the end of it all, the petition would be rejected. Even if your next door neighbors completely approve (which mine do). Even if your entire neighborhood sponsors the petition. Even if your entire neighborhood is bordered on 2 sides by a huge earthen berm and on the other two sides by thousands of acres of forest. Even if just up the road from your neighborhood there are people raising chickens, horses, etc.

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    4-3-6-1: PROHIBITED ACTS: It shall be unlawful to: ... H. No person shall cause or allow any place or stable, public or private, where any animal is or may be kept to become unclean, unwholesome or create any annoying or noxious odors, or do any act which endangers the public health or results in annoyance or discomfort to the public. It shall be unlawful to keep any live goats, swine, pigs, poultry, horses or cattle anywhere in the Village, except on properly zoned farms.
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    You have to apply for a variance per property or neighborhood. $400 to apply, plus $700 for every hearing required to resolve the variance question (usually it's just one, to tell you "no").

    It's complete Kabuki theater. The $400 fee goes toward publishing and processing costs and the $700 goes towards paying appointed, not elected, individuals to review and ultimately reject the case.

    Even if an entire neighborhood can be persuaded to allow chickens the decision is still up to the city council and is likely to be struck down simply because of the overall zoning restriction.

    Even an acre lot is considered too small for even a few chickens. Really? Even for something the size of a doghouse for one chicken? That's what the building commissioner says.

    In other words, it would take an act of God to get the variance.

    I think the act of God is on its way, though, at which point we might be a little more "free" to choose how we choose to obtain our egg products. http://www.helium.com/items/1933168-us-in-economic-great-depression

    Anybody
    got any ideas of how I can frame my arguments if I do decide to apply for the variance?
     
  2. UrbanChick101

    UrbanChick101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good Luck... Our City just passed our ordinance change, it took 18 months. I was not one that got anything started and was unable to attend Council Meetings. Our group did a great job. I am sure there are many reasons it may have passed. Although, we have a local nature center that supported the efforts of Urban Chickens. There was also support from the news stations and airing news/information about the project. I am like you, my neighbors are totally great with the idea, when I know there can be neighbors who are not keen on chicken keeping. Lots of support, and remember when its time to vote for City Council Members your vote counts. Stay optimistic! :eek:) There are people rooting for you!! (How discouraging that it can cost $1,000 plus just to be heard.)
     
  3. proud2b4family

    proud2b4family Out Of The Brooder

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    18 months! Wow, that's a long time from start to finish. I'm not sure how crazy my neighbors would be about organizing an effort like this for that long of a time period. I like the idea about weaving in a nature center narrative. I work in PR, so I'm thinking of my options in that regard. What lessons-learned can you share with me on how you did your PR outreach?
     
  4. IvoryLotus

    IvoryLotus Out Of The Brooder

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    Mundelein, IL
    Are you currently raising chickens?
    If your neighbors are ok with it, and you're surrounded by open space, I don't see why you couldn't "underground"

    Unfortunately our village doesn't allow them either, but there are a few undergrounders here.
    Strangely, our village allows vietnamese pot bellied pigs.

    -Your neighbor in Mundelein,IL
     
  5. bleith

    bleith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 10, 2010
    West Dundee IL
    I am doing the Same in West Dundee even though we have an ordinance that says that we can do it with a license application. Thats the catch, they havent issued me a license yet, been working on this for about 3 months. Keep plugging away. Do know that chicago, st charles, naperville, downers grove and oak park do allow for backyard chickens. The more the marrier.
     
  6. proud2b4family

    proud2b4family Out Of The Brooder

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    @IvoryLotus, we're not yet raising chickens because we fear the daily fines that might come about if we did. Then we'd just have to get rid of them anyways. Also, now that I've broached the subject with the village, I've got more of a target on my back than before.

    @bleith, thanks for the tip about other communities that do allow them. I'll be sure to use that if we do a "song and dance" routine to promote BYC. A former co-worker just got set up with them at her house and she's in the Chicago suburbs closest to downtown Chicago, so it makes no sense that a community as "sub-rural" as ours would prohibit them.
     
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Quote:18 months to get a law changed? Not long at all.
     
  8. IvoryLotus

    IvoryLotus Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2010
    Mundelein, IL
    Hey @ proud2b

    any luck with this?
    I recently approached my village about this, because someone else had proposed backyard Chickens to the village board. So someone else has set the ball rolling, and I had to go and give it momentum or else it'd look like only one person was interested...

    I wrote a letter to the village which I read:
    http://ediblelandscaper.blogspot.com/2012/06/being-called-to-greatness.html

    I don't know if this helps any, but the more towns join in... the more other towns will bend.

    -Holly
     
  9. proud2b4family

    proud2b4family Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks @ivorylotus. Your arguments are very well constructed. I wish you luck on your ordinance change efforts. We definitely need to see more local towns adopting positive ordinances. Look up Mark Fuhrmann in Round Lake. He's been my mentor and information provider through my own efforts. See the following blog posts for transcriptions of two very useful documents he gave me.

    http://foxlakechickens.wordpress.co...myths-and-misconceptions-about-backyard-hens/
    http://foxlakechickens.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/why-backyard-chickens/

    We actually had a recent breakthrough. I'm the scoutmaster for Lake Villa Troop 274 (http://lvtroop274.org). Last September someone mentioned to me that maybe it would be a good idea to introduce the scouts to community involvement by having them propose a new ordinance. Well, we started working on a presentation, in conjunction with the Communication merit badge (it also fulfills a requirement for Citizenship in the Community) and the boys came up with good points for a future presentation about BYC.

    Fast forward to a few weeks ago, my son was working on finishing his Communication requirements and needed to talk to someone from the village. We set up an appointment with the zoning/building commissioner. I had accompanied him to the appointment, but had to take a last minute phone call for work. My son (13) went in and sold it (he's heard me talking about it enough, so he knows all the talking points by heart). The commissioner was 100% on board (not sure why I was unable to convince him before with the same points when I first called him, as noted in my original post above, but I'm pretty sure it was the 13 year old, all American boy scout vibe this time).

    Anyways, this Tuesday my son and I and his troop are going before the village board to present our case for BYC. We're bringing a minimum of visual aids...just two handouts.

    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B4Qaf6DQnoljV1dSUEJIeFhkLWs
    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B4Qaf6DQnoljY2RHWWtlWE9XRmc

    We only have a few minutes at the beginning of the meeting, so that should be sufficient to get our point across without overwhelming them with a powerpoint or something more involved. If anything, the "boy scouts showing up at a village meeting to participate in the community" thing should have the greatest impact.

    Even without the scouting or nostalgia angles, the idea sells itself in today's economic climate. There are virtually zero reasons anymore why anyone should legitimately object to BYC. We're not living in the 80s with the whole gated community ideal anymore. People are just happy to have a house and a job and some food. Proposing a little food self-sufficiency and better health through local food consumption in the community can only be a good thing.
     
  10. IvoryLotus

    IvoryLotus Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2010
    Mundelein, IL
    how did this go?
    Give us an update--- and if possible make an event for us to go and support you!


    Mundelein is discussing it right now, but there's no solid date for a meeting.
    https://www.facebook.com/events/449938595030530/ You can put yourself as a yes-to stay updated on the dates of meetings.


    The BYC movement is wanted by sane, responsible, serving members of our community that are normal everyday people.
    I don't know why there continues to be a stigma.
    There shouldn't be that mindset that people who want chickens are any less people than anyone else.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012

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