Chickens likely to continue to be limited to larger lots in Salem Lakes

A slim majority of Salem Lakes Village Board members showed a preference for continuing to allow chicken keeping in the village only on larger lots.

Most Village Board members expressed during discussion of a backyard chicken ordinance at a meeting Monday a preference for keeping the minimum lot size for keeping chickens at two acres.

Several aspects of a draft ordinance had universal agreement, such as banning roosters. But the minimum lot size proved to be a sticking point.

Discussion was held regarding reducing the minimum size to at least a third of an acre (about 15,000 square feet). That would make backyard chickens allowable in some village subdivisions.

“I liken it to having two dogs or three cats,” said Trustee Michael Culat. “Chickens are docile. They’re quiet.”

But other trustees felt a third of an acre was too small.

“I’m not for 15,000 square feet,” said Trustee Dan Campion. “That’s city lots.”

Village President Diann Tesar polled the board with the result being:

  • Willing to approve a third of an acre: Trustees Ron Gandt, Ted Kmiec and Culat.
  • Wanting to stick with two acres: Trustees Bill Hopkins, Dennis Faber and Campion and President Tesar.

The draft ordinance, which allowed chickens on lots as small as a quarter of an acre, will need to be amended to two aces before being enacted. Board members also seemed agreeable to deleting provisions of the ordinance requiring the issuing of a permit.

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