UPDATE: City Council Passes Chicken Ordinance

City staff stresses there was no one way to address this issue. The measure passed with another amendment added tonight.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with aldermen comments and more about the amendment that was passed on Monday.

Batavians, please note: your newest neighbors might peck, cluck and lay eggs.

The Batavia City Council on Monday voted 9-5 in favor of allowing chickens on residential properties. The move drew applause from about fifteen people at the meeting.

The following aldermen voted against the proposal:

  • Dave Brown
  • Lisa Clark
  • Janet Jungels
  • Michael O'Brien
  • Dawn Tenuta

The decision came after months of having chickens as a recurring topic at city committee meetings. Those meetings included hours of public input from those on both sides of the issue.

Prior to approving the ordinance, Alderman Susan Stark suggested an amendment that indicates that a pen, coop or enclosure must be a minimum of 30 feet from any occupied residence, other than the owner. The amendment passed ten to four.

Stark said she was initially opposed to the ordinance, but then changed her mind after reviewing other city ordinances. She suggested the amendment based on Naperville’s ordinance.

“This is a movement that is here to stay,” Stark said of the chickens.

Alderman Jim Volk said he was quite surprised at the level of interest and passion in this subject.

“It certainly generated more interest and ingenuity then our budget meetings ever do,” Volk said.

The City Services Committee has held several meetings on the issue of chickens in Batavia backyards. Volk said an unscientific count indicates that about two-thirds of the residents are in favor of chickens in residential areas.

Here are some of the other rules and regulations from the chicken ordinance:

  •  Residents can only have eight domestic hens and no roosters. 
  • The hens need to be in a covered enclosure in the rear of the yard and in a fenced area at all times. 
  • The housing area of the hens must be constructed so as not to attract rodents or permit odors. 
  • Residents will not be allowed to slaughter the chickens, unless for humane reasons.
  • The chickens must not produce noise so loud that it would become a nuisance.

Residents will need to apply for a permit to have chickens and comply with inspections. If three violations occur within a 12-month period, the permit can be revoked.

The council also voted on the Streetscape project. To read about what's next for that project, click .


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