The propsition for backyard hens in Palatine is coming back before the village of Palatine this week.
Thirty-three year Palatine resident Steven Brosio will attend a public hearing held by the Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday, in hopes of ultimately being allowed an Accessory Unique Use to permit a chicken coop on his property at 624 Hill Road.
The proposal must first go before the zoning board before being considered by the Palatine village council.
In August of 2012, Brosio was approached by the village after a complaint regarding hens in his backyard.
In a September 2012 letter to Village Manager Reid Ottesen, Brosio stated he had been raising chickens in his backyard for approximately ten years, but did not do so from 2010 until the Spring of 2012 due to his work interfering with properly caring for the chickens.
Prior to 2005, Brosio's property was in unincorporated Palatine, and chickens are permitted by Cook County.
But when his property was annexed into Palatine due to a neighbor needing an easement, the raising of chickens was in violation of village code, which he said he was unaware of.
"It’s a hobby, I’m in the process now of seeing if I can keep my chickens," Brosio said. "It is something I really like doing, I don't see anything wrong with having them; my coop is close to 200 feet away from any homes, I'm not intruding on anyone."
In addition to housing chickens, Brosio says he has a large garden on his close to two-acre property.
"We eat and can our own vegetables, myself and my wife are trying to provide as healthy of a diet as possible for ourselves and our three children," Brosio said.
Brosio said the eggs from hens are better, and healthier than anyone can buy in a supermarket.
"You can see and taste the difference. Eggs from backyard hens have been tested, and they are actually better for you than any store bought eggs," Brosio said.
Meanwhile, 19 people from 11 households living nearby to Brosio have signed a neighbor's petition for denial, and have presented it to the Zoning Board to consider at the public hearing.
At the hearing, Brosio said he simply hopes he will be given a chance to address the concerns of his neighbors.
"My expectations are different today than they were a week ago. I want to go in there, I will answer questions. I want time to talk to my neighbors," Brosio said.
"I am happy to answer any questions that people have. But maybe by being open to talking to me, people will realize it’s not a bad thing," Brosio said.
After close to a year of working toward approval, in November 2012, resident Vanessa Barsanti came before the village council to be allowed to have backyard hens on her property. After one resident refused to meet or speak with Barsanti about her concerns, the Palatine Village Council voted against her request due to the objection.
Backyard hens are currently allowed in Evanston, Chicago, Naperville and Warrenville.
The Zoning Board of Appeals will meet Tuesday, January 8 at the Community Center, 200 E. Wood Street at 7 p.m.