The Village of Union Grove will consider creating an ordinance the would allow residents to raise chickens in their backyards.  (File photo)

Village officials willing to look into allowing backyard birds

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

Union Grove could be the latest community to consider a backyard chicken ordinance. But a number of steps still need to take place before village officials go full throttle in allowing feathered fowl within the community.

Village President Steve Wicklund presented the proposal to his elected colleagues when the Village Board held its most recent regular meeting Feb. 14.

The prospect of allowing backyard chickens through an ordinance surfaced last month when several residents went before the village’s Administration Committee.

“We had some people approach us about it, because they want to participate in the county fair, and (the county fairgrounds are) in our backyard,” Wicklund said. “They want to be heard, at a public hearing.”

Wicklund had initially proposed having the public hearing at a Village Board meeting in a month. However, the timeline was pushed off to first receive input from officials within the Racine County Public Health Department.

The plan in motion is to continue discussion of the potential ordinance in the next two months before the public hearing is held at the Village Board’s April 25 meeting.

During the brief, open-ended discussion, reservations were shared about the prospect of allowing chickens within Union Grove’s corporate limits.

“I wouldn’t want it in my neighborhood,” Trustee Jan Winget said. “There’s the smell; there’s the noise.”

Village Administrator Mike Hawes said there are tools available to regulate chicken keeping, should the board opt to actually move forward with the plans.

“If there is widespread interest, or if the board is interested in going forward, there are templates and there are ways and examples to go forward in a way that controls it as much as possible,” Hawes said. “We wouldn’t be the first ones jumping into this, obviously.”

      To read the entire story, see the Feb. 18 edition of the Westine Report.