Backyard Hens Approved in Palatine

The Palatine Village Council voted 4-2 in favor of allowing petitioner Steven Brosio to house six hens in a chicken coop on his 1.8 acres of property.


The Palatine Village Council on Monday approved a permit to allow resident Steven Brosio to have a chicken coop and house six hens on his 1.8 acres of property at 624 W. Hill Road.

The issue has been in question in Palatine since it was first proposed in the spring of 2012. 

In early January, Brosio received unanimous approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals relating to his request. 

Three Palatine residents, and two individuals who live nearby to Brosio in unincorporated Cook County spoke in favor of his petition at the village council meeting Monday for an Accessory Unique Use Permit to allow the hens and the chicken coop on his property.

None of the 19 individuals (from 11 households) who previously signed a petition against the proposal attended the village council meeting.

Councilmen voiced different perspectives on the issue.  

“I agree chicken coops don’t have a place in an urban setting, but this is a different setting, 1.8 acres…this is certainly a rural setting, different than all of our neighborhoods,” said Greg Solberg, District 4 councilman.

Brosio’s nearly two acres of property opens up on one side to the bike path and there is a significant structure behind the chicken coop that divides it from residential properties , said Village Manager Reid Ottesen.

Ottesen said the approval comes with conditions: limit of six hens, required 20-foot setback for the chicken coop from property lines and 40 feet from residential properties, no roosters, addition of necessary fencing, and prohibition of slaughtering chickens on the property.

Eggs produced from the hens also cannot be used for business, or commercial purposes.

The village will require a six month review of Brosio's chicken coop and hens to ensure the public, and property values of nearby residents are being protected. The village also reserves the right to impose additional conditions to address concerns if they arise. 

In November of 2012, the Palatine Village Council denied a request from resident Vanessa Barsanti. Ottesen said any requests that have previously been turned down can be brought before the village council after a year's time has passed. 

Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills Voted "No" to Chickens

In August 2011, the citing concerns the birds would negatively impact surrounding property values and attract predatory animals and rodents.

Some city leaders said approving backyard chickens could potentially open the door for residents who might want other farm animals for pets such as goats and ducks.

Lake in the Hills Village leaders in March 2012 also voted down a resident's request to have chickens.

Bill and Barb Rasmussen, who leased the village-owned home on the Larsen property at 1111 Pyott Road, had brought their five hens with them when they moved from Barrington.

The Larsen property has a barn with horse stables and other farm buildings. The couple, unaware that chickens were banned in the village, sought to keep the hens on what is essentially a farm site.

However, Lake in the Hills leaders expressed concerned that approving the couple's request would set a precedence - opening the door to future requests from homeowners wanting the birds - and creating a conflict, particularly because the land is owned by the village.


Stephanie Price contributed to this article.


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