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Local

CL seeks input on chickens

CRYSTAL LAKE – City officials want to know what residents think about allowing chickens in the backyards of homes throughout Crystal Lake.

A passionate group of people recently petitioned the Crystal Lake City Council to change an animal control code ordinance that prohibits keeping fowl within city limits.

A public input workshop is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 26 at City Hall, 100 W. Woodstock St.

The workshop will begin with a short presentation on the issue. It then will be opened up for comments from the public. In addition, comments can be sent Crystal Lake Planner Elizabeth Maxwell at emaxwell@crystallake.org. She can be reached at 815-356-3738.

“We want to hear from people on either side of the issue,” Maxwell said. “If we can get that feedback, we’ll have a better idea of what residents want.”

Efforts to change the city’s ordinance began after Erik and Charlotte Blome received a warning from the city in late June. Officials told the Blomes that having four egg-supplying hens was a violation of city code.

This month, about a dozen people showed up at a City Council meeting to advocate on behalf of backyard chickens. Council members said they would look into the issue.

City planners have been studying ordinances adopted by other municipalities regarding chickens, Maxwell said. Towns that allow them typically prohibit roosters. Some set limits as to the maximum number of the chickens per home and the minimum amount of space per chicken. Others ban the slaughter of chickens.

In Crystal Lake, planners are working on a draft ordinance this week. They expect to display it at the public input workshop July 26, Maxwell said.

The Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Commission will consider it first. The commission will hold a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the code at a meeting at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 3 at City Hall.

The City Council also plans to discuss the issue at a meeting at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at City Hall.

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