Law could allow for backyard chickens in Burr Ridge
Updated: December 3, 2012 1:34AM
BURR RIDGE — The Plan Commission has agreed to consider an ordinance that would allow residents to raise chickens on properties of 1 acre or more.
Chris Herringshaw raised the issue of allowing chickens on properties smaller than 5 acres so he can raise hens in his Steepleside Drive yard.
“I grew up on a farm in rural Michigan,” said Herringshaw, who wishes to raise three or four chickens for their organic eggs.
“I thought it would be a great way to expose my girls to that,” he said.
Burr Ridge allows livestock, including chickens, only on properties 5 acres or larger. Plan Commission members directed village staff to draft an amended law that would allow four chickens to be raised in the back yards of properties 1 acre or larger. The chickens must be for personal use only and housed in a fully enclosed, predator-resistant coop.
“This is a common allowance in zoning ordinances in other suburbs,” said Doug Pollock, community development director.
Western Springs, Winnetka and Evanston are among the suburbs where chickens are allowed.
The commission discussed whether neighbors would be bothered by noise or smell from nearby coops. Chris Cronin said he lives within a few hundred feet of Hanson Center and he is not bothered by their chickens.
To protect neighbors, the proposed ordinance will include rear- and side-yard setbacks.
The proposed ordinance will come back to the Plan Commission on Oct. 15. Its recommendation would then go to the Village Board for final approval.
If approved, Pollock said he doesn’t expect to see a lot of residents interested in raising chickens.
“I don’t think we’re going to see an onslaught of people,” said Pollock, who knows of no chickens in Burr Ridge other than those at Hanson Center. ~.