Lincolnshire officials pass on pilot program for backyard chickens

  • A proposal to allow Lincolnshire residents to keep chickens in backyard coops as part of a limited pilot program has been nixed by village trustees.

      A proposal to allow Lincolnshire residents to keep chickens in backyard coops as part of a limited pilot program has been nixed by village trustees. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer, 2017

 
 
Updated 9/18/2020 1:56 PM

A proposal to allow Lincolnshire residents to keep chickens in backyard coops as part of a limited pilot program has been nixed by village trustees -- and a local woman who owned chickens will have to give them up as a result.

Village officials began investigating the issue last October after receiving a complaint about a resident with chickens on her property even though local ordinances don't allow them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In response, village staffers developed rules for a possible one-year pilot program. Assistant Village Manager Ben Gilbertson unveiled the proposal during a committee-of-the-whole meeting held remotely Monday night.

Under the proposed rules, chicken coops would've been allowed in the rear yards of single-family homes. Residents could've kept between two and four hens.

"Chickens are social and they may need a friend to socialize with," Gilbertson said.

Roosters would've been banned, as would the sale of eggs produced by the hens.

Five permits would've been allowed in the pilot program, with permits costing $75 for one year.

Trustees weren't convinced the program is needed or desirable, however. Trustee Mark Hancock noted that there hasn't been a lot of demand for chicken ownership in town.

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"The more I think about this, I think we're wasting time for just a couple people," he said.

Trustee Julie Harms Muth said she's worried about chickens attracting predators to neighborhoods.

And Trustee Veronica Pantelis said she'd heard from residents concerned about the impact on property values.

The trustees didn't take a formal vote on the issue. It simply won't move forward.

The resident who owns chickens will be given time to relocate the birds outside the village, Village Manager Brad Burke said. Burke is unaware of any other residents keeping chickens.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Also Monday, trustees reviewed and tentatively approved a proposal that would allow the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort to keep the beehives that have been on its property for years. Honey from the bees is used in recipes at the Marriott's restaurants, but there's nothing in the village's codes that allows such an operation.

Under the proposal, beehives will be allowed as a special use for nonresidential properties that occupy at least 100 acres. The only such property in town is the resort.

The resort has 10 wooden hives near its golf course. They're "well removed from the hotel," Gilbertson said.

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