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St. Charles committee backs residential chicken regulations

Published: Monday, July 14, 2014 10:11 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 7:40 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – A St. Charles city committee on Monday supported added regulations on residential chickens, but they will work with residents who already have more than the proposed limit of six.

The Planning and Development Committee voted unanimously in favor of the proposed regulations, which also includes a five-foot minimum distance for any chicken enclosure to the property line, and a year-round landscape or wall screening of the chickens.

The committee directed city officials to explore regulations after those officials said there was growing interest in acquiring and maintaining chickens among residents.

Matthew Hill was part of a group of St. Charles residents who spoke favorably of chickens at the meeting. He currently has eight on his property and wanted to have more so his family and friends could consume more eggs.

He was disappointed in the city’s limit on six, but takes comfort in the fact that he won’t be forced to give up two chickens unless they are a nuisance.

If there are any complaints that stem from the chickens, they would be noise- or odor-related, said Bob Vann, the city’s building and code enforcement division manager.

Hill said that none of his neighbors have ever complained about the chickens. Instead, he usually gets people on his property that are curious about the birds and want to learn more.

“They are awesome to have, it’s a lot of fun,” Hill said of the chickens. “They do become your pet.”

The additional restrictions will officially go into effect once the full St. Charles City Council votes on them at their next meeting, Vann said.

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