Rolling Meadows rejects backyard chickens again
For the second time, a Rolling Meadows alderman's proposal to allow backyard chickens in the city has been rejected.
Alderman Rob Banger Jr. sought rules that would permit up to four hens -- but no roosters -- on residential lots that are a minimum of 8,000 square feet. But he and Alderman Joe Gallo were the only two supporters of an ordinance rejected by five other aldermen Tuesday night.
Banger's proposal to allow chickens also failed in 2014, but he decided to bring back an amended version after more communities began allowing residents to keep chickens for fresh eggs. Banger also argued there have been few issues or complaints with a related proposal of his that did pass the council in 2014 to allow backyard beekeeping.
"I think it will be something we don't even notice the impact of, but the people who will notice the impact are the people who will be enjoying having chickens in their backyard," Banger said.
But Alderman John D'Astice said he had reservations with the ordinance, including that chicken coops would be allowed as close as five feet from property lines.
"If a chicken house is five feet from the lot line, would it impact the value of your home?" D'Astice said. "I certainly don't want a chicken five feet from my house."
Alderman Tim Veenbaas said in his Ward 7, located in the center of town, there's been an increasing number of coyotes, and he feared the chickens would be an added attraction.
"At least in the neighborhood I live in, we can't even keep our dogs outside," Veenbaas said. "I can't imagine if we had chickens."
Alderman Mike Cannon questioned how the city would enforce the regulations when the police, public works and community development departments "have plenty on their plates."
"I think most people would be responsible about this, but the city is usually worried about people who aren't responsible," Cannon said.
The ordinance would have required chicken coops to pass a city inspection and chicken owners to pay a one-time $25 fee before getting a license. A maximum of 25 residences citywide could get licenses at one time, under the proposal.