The Village of has approved an ordinance that will allow residents to keep chickens in their yards. (File photo)

Village Board votes to allow backyard chickens


By Dave Fidlin


After a lengthy review process, Union Grove officials have decided to give village residents an opportunity to have chickens on their properties in specific circumstances.

The Village Board on July 25 voted in favor of the chicken-keeping ordinance, which includes a provision feathered fowl can be kept on residents’ premises through a permitting process.

As outlined in the ordinance, up to six chickens are allowed on parcels of 4 acres or less. The ordinance further states residents on parcels of 5 acres or more could have up to 33 chickens.

Mirroring the provisions in place in a number of other urban communities, Union Grove is stipulating residents can only raise hens; roosters are prohibited, by virtue of their propensity for being noisy.

The ordinance outlines the steps residents need to take to obtain a permit, including a presentation of how and where the chickens will be kept on a property. The document also outlines a detailed complaint process.

Village President Steve Wicklund first presented a proposal for keeping chickens at the board’s meeting in February.

At the time, Wicklund outlined the reason he was bringing the proposal to his elected colleagues.

“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.

Trustee Jan Winget was the sole dissenter of the July 25 vote. Winget previously indicated she was opposed to the ordinance during preliminary talks.

“I wouldn’t want it in my neighborhood,” Winget said of chicken keeping in February. “There’s the smell, there’s the noise.”

Since the preliminary conversation this winter, the board took several additional steps before the late July adoption, including a formal public hearing in April that indicated there was community support for such an offering.