Island Lake won't allow backyard chickens

  • Chickens aren't welcome residents in Island Lake.

      Chickens aren't welcome residents in Island Lake. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer, 2017

Posted7/10/2020 5:30 AM

Despite their popularity in some other towns, backyard chicken coops will remain forbidden in Island Lake.

Trustees on Thursday informally agreed not to pursue an ordinance that would allow homeowners to keep live chickens.


Under current village rules, chickens are allowed only on properties zoned for farming. No such properties exist in Island Lake, said Joe Zeinz, chair of the village's planning and zoning commission.

Pigs, horses and cattle are similarly restricted.

In recent years, residents in several suburbs have requested permission to keep chickens at their homes.

Wauconda, Elgin and Naperville are among the towns that allow backyard coops. Libertyville, Mundelein and Arlington Heights are among the towns that do not.

Proponents want to raise hens -- not roosters -- for their eggs. Critics usually cite concerns about noise, odor and property appearance.

During Thursday's village board meeting, Island Lake Trustee Will Ziegler said he thinks chickens could create an unpleasant smell on hot days like those we've experienced recently. He also voiced concern about rodents.

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"I personally wouldn't want to see that around my home," he said.

No trustees spoke in favor of allowing backyard coops.

Trustees also briefly discussed whether to allow beekeeping in town but took no action on that topic. It'll come up again at the July 23 meeting.

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