Sleepy Hollow residents prohibited from raising backyard chickens

 
 
Updated 7/6/2016 2:57 PM

Already prohibited from building sheds, putting up fences and leaving commercial vehicles in driveways, Sleepy Hollow residents are also barred from raising chickens in their backyards.

The village board voted 4-3 Tuesday not to allow urban hens within village limits -- a topic brought forth for discussion after a resident asked trustees earlier this year to consider letting him raise chickens for their eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Worried chickens and coops could taint Sleepy Hollow's character, however, the zoning board last month unanimously disapproved of the idea, Chairman Jim Kruger said, noting the village's open and rural -- but not agricultural -- atmosphere.

Because Sleepy Hollow doesn't allow structures such as fences and sheds, he added, "the ability to properly shield chickens from neighbors and potential (predators) is not feasible."

Though some officials echoed Kruger's sentiments Tuesday, Trustee Joseph Nemec, who denied the motion to oppose chickens, said residents keeping chickens and coops in their yards would have to adhere to regulations and limitations outlined in the village code.

Trustee Scott Finney, however, said he worried residents would abuse such guidelines.

"Every time I come back to Sleepy Hollow after being gone a month or two, it's obvious to me the general slide in the look and feel of the village -- and that's without chickens," he said. "I can only imagine the slide with chickens will be even worse and faster."

But Trustee Russell Getz, who sided with Nemec and Trustee Dennis Fudala against prohibiting chickens, questioned how they would deteriorate the atmosphere of the village.

"The smell, the noise, the potential for abuse," Finney responded. "It's not worth it."

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