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Article updated: 11/1/2010 10:29 PM

W. Dundee closer to allowing backyard chickens

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The West Dundee village board on Monday moved discussion about allowing backyard chickens one step further.

The matter has not yet been put to rest, and likely will come before the board one more time before they can "send the chickens to roost," as some trustees joked.

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After already approving a change to the animal control ordinance allowing residents to own up to four chickens based on certain licensing provisions, the board voted Monday night to also accept an amendment to the zoning ordinance.

The board passed amendments on Oct. 4 that changed the chicken licensing fee from $25 per bird to $25 for up to four birds. The board then passed the baton to the Planning and Zoning Commission to settle a nagging inconsistency.

An ordinance passed in 2004 initially amended the animal control section to allow chickens in residential areas, but the board never voted to align the zoning ordinance with that change. It continued to read that raising poultry, pigeons, bees, livestock and fur-bearing animals was prohibited in the village.

"The original ordinance had wording that said it would supersede other ordinances," said Cathleen Tymoszenko, West Dundee's community development director. "The people who were here then thought that would do the trick, but something a little more formal is needed."

A unanimous vote Monday allowed a change that prohibited the same list of animals except as regulated by the licensing amendment to the animal control ordinance, meaning backyard chickens are allowed.

The West Dundee village board, however, still wants additional revisions to the licensing regulations.

Trustees discussed prohibiting chickens behind multifamily high-rise homes, requiring a minimum coop size of 40 square feet and a maximum of 100 square feet, and amending boundary lines for coop locations to be 10 feet from a property line or 15 feet from the nearest dwelling, whichever is farther from the neighbor's home. They passed on these suggestions to Tymoszenko and West Dundee village staff to draft an ordinance that takes into account all the changes.

"We're edging ever closer to chickens in town," Village President Larry Keller said.

The board will likely vote on the final version of the ordinance at its Nov. 15 meeting.

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