Will Lake Barrington allow backyard chickens on smaller lots?

  • Lake Barrington officials are weighing a proposal to allow residents to keep backyard chickens on lots as small as 1 acre. Current ordinance limits chickens to lots 5 acres or larger.

      Lake Barrington officials are weighing a proposal to allow residents to keep backyard chickens on lots as small as 1 acre. Current ordinance limits chickens to lots 5 acres or larger. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer, 2017

  • Lake Barrington Trustee Christopher Mitchell supports a proposal to allow residents to have hens in the backyards of homes on lots starting at a minimum 1 acre.

    Lake Barrington Trustee Christopher Mitchell supports a proposal to allow residents to have hens in the backyards of homes on lots starting at a minimum 1 acre.

 
 
Updated 6/4/2020 12:15 PM

Lake Barrington's elected officials are mulling a proposal that would permit homeowners to keep chickens in their backyards on properties smaller than currently allowed under village regulations.

Trustee Christopher Mitchell said he sees the idea as a way to make the community more welcoming and attract younger residents.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We are going to be downsizing these homes," Mitchell said. "And if you want people in the 30-something group to come in with their new families and buy these monstrous homes that are too big to sell, then we need to look at what the people (want)."

Lake Barrington Village Administrator Karen Daulton Lange said 80% of the town's homeowners associations have restrictions or covenants prohibiting backyard fowl. Board members agreed Wednesday that she should conduct more research on the issue before they likely discuss it again July 7.

Current village ordinance allows backyard chickens only on lots 5 acres or larger, said Village Attorney James Bateman. The new proposal would allow the birds on properties of 1 acre or larger.

Trustee Andrew Burke was among those who questioned the concept.

"The last thing I want is somebody who's got a neighbor with chickens and they can't do a thing about it because we've given people the green light and they've got nowhere to go," Burke said.

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Trustee John Schaller said he's unsure if raising chickens would fit with the village's tagline of "An Oasis of Gracious Countryside Living and Open Spaces."

"If I had to vote tonight, I would say no," he said Wednesday.

Backyard chickens, and where and under what circumstances to allow them, continues to be an issue Northwest suburban leaders grapple with.

In September, the Rolling Meadows City Council ended months of deliberations by voting 4-3 to permit the egg-laying backyard birds on up to 25 single-family residential lots across town. For an annual $25 fee, homeowners can have as many as six hens in backyard coops kept at least 10 feet away from lot lines.

Also in September, Hoffman Estates village board members expressed next to no enthusiasm for a resident's request that they rethink a ban on the raising of chickens in backyards.

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