Chickens have a long ways to go to gain acceptance in Arlington Heights.
Teri and Matt Scallon loved their dog until he died. Now they would like to raise three hens in their backyard as pets and a source of eggs, but the village board has said no.
Trustees Mike Sidor and Carol Blackwood were the only ones who voted in favor of the chickens at last week's village board meeting.
Mayor Arlene Mulder and several trustees said they worried about the precedent approval would set. Trustees also mentioned concerns about noise, odors, potential to attract predators and even disease, especially since the home is close to a school, Our Lady of the Wayside.
One nearby neighbor wrote a letter objecting, and a petition portrayed as having 35 signatures of village residents also opposed the chickens.
Matt Scallon of the 400 block of South Walnut Avenue presented plans for his hen house and run, said he would clean the pen regularly and brought an expert and a letter from a veterinarian to the meeting, where the board spent more than an hour on the issue.
Scallon told Trustee Norm Breyer that birds fascinate him, and that the family was seeking another pet since it had lost its dog.
After the vote went against Scallon, he thanked the board and said "on to something else."
Suburbs that allow backyard chickens include Batavia, Cary, Evanston, Lombard, Oak Park and Naperville, according to James McCalister, director of the Arlington Heights Health Services Department.