No Backyard Hens for Palatine
A neighbor objected saying allowing a coop would bring down her home's value and would attract predators.
A couple that has been working to bring backyard hens to Palatine won’t be eating fresh eggs anytime soon unless they can reach an agreement with their neighbor.
The Palatine village council voted Monday to table Vanessa and Jason Barsanti’s request to house hens after a neighbor appeared before the board and objected.
Ann Harrison, who lives in the 300 block of Elm Street, said she is concerned that allowing chickens in backyards would bring predators—such as coyotes—to the area, as well as reduce the value of her family’s home, which she estimates is worth more than $500,000.
“It is my belief and conclusion that having a chicken coop would affect the resale of my home, which is a huge investment of our family financially, and we continue to invest in yearly,” Harrison said. “I don’t think we should be penalized if we chose to buy a residential area with a half acre.”
The zoning board unanimously recommended approval at its July 24 hearing, and for the most part, the Barsanti’s neighbors gave their consent for the chickens. However, the village did receive one letter of objection and Councilman Jim Clegg said he spoke to someone who was also against the hens.
The Barsantis, who live near the intersection of W. Daniels Road and S. Elm Street, have a large garden and several trees on their half-acre property. If the council had approved the special use for an accessory unique use to permit the Barsanti’s to raise chickens in their backyard, their case would have served as the benchmark for all future backyard hen requests.
Both Councilman Clegg and Councilman Aaron Del Mar asked whether allowing chickens would be a slippery slope for permitting other livestock such as sheep, goats, ducks and peacocks.
Village manager Reid Ottesen said that with every single request that comes forward the village looks at their business plan, how they use their lot and its size, animal type.
“I don’t think it would be right of us to say, ‘well, you can allow this, but we can’t allow that,’” Ottesen said. “Every single special use that comes before you is unique unto that property.”
While the committee of the whole voted 6-1 to deny the Barsanti’s request for a backyard chicken coop for egg production, the village council deferred any final action to give the two neighbors time to potentially work out an agreement. Councilman Kollin Kozlowski was the only board member who voted in favor.
In September 2010, Evanston approved a measure allowing residents to have two to 6 chickens. However, in February 2012 Arlington Heights voted no on allowing chicken coops.