Up to five Deerfield families will be awarded licenses to raise as many as four egg laying chickens in the Village after the Village Board of Trustees voted 5-1 Tuesday to begin a yearlong pilot program.
Only hens capable of laying eggs will be allowed, according to the new law. Roosters are prohibited. The animals must be kept in a coop located in a rear yard more than 10 feet from all neighboring property lines.
Earlier: Chicken Raising Program Brings Questions and Answers
Not everyone was happy with the new law. Trustee William Seiden was the lone member voting against it. “I looked at the pluses and minuses and the bottom line is I don’t want hens in the yard next to me,” he said.
Trustee Barbara Struthers, who grew up in a rural area of eastern Oregon, knows what it is like to have chickens nearby and she looks forward to the change in Deerfield as positive.
“They’re not a problem and you get fresh eggs,” Struthers said. “If they’re kept right there is no odor. No one even noticed with the guy on Northland,” she added referring to a resident who has kept chickens for a number of years. He plans to get one of the licenses.
Despite strong support, the Board is taking a cautious approach with a pilot program allowing potential for study and change. .
Two Deerfield residents who plan to take advantage of the pilot program are Barbara and James Solheim. They came before the Board Feb. 4 during the ordinance’s first reading with a plan and questions about their intent.
“We want to get chicks,” Barbara Solheim said Feb. 4. “We understand in five or six months they will be laying and (keep it up) for a couple of years. After that we want to keep them as pets” She wanted to know if she could keep the hens beyond their egg laying years.
She got some reassurance from Oppenheim at that meeting. “Anyone who will be here in the beginning will be there for the next step,” Oppenheim said. “We would expect (the original licensees) to be first in line to have their licenses renewed.”
In other business, the Board moved along the potential approval of two subdivisions, one on Meadow Lane and the other at Parkway North Center. It also cleared the way to allow a child care facility operated by Bright Horizons. The final vote on that matter will be March 4.