East Peoria residents may soon be able to keep chickens on their property

February 11, 2024 | by magnews24.com

After years of on and off discussions, East Peoria residents may soon be able to keep chickens on their property.

On Monday, the East Peoria Zoning Board of Appeals will discuss allowing residents to obtain a special use permit to keep chickens.

If approved, the amendment will be submitted to the city council for a final approval.

Director of Planning and Community Development Ty Livingston said the city of East Peoria would then test it out with a trial run.

“A pilot project is kind of a way to dip your toe in and see what the waters are like. It is going to put a limit on the number of special uses that are available, at least in that first year. And then we’re going to evaluate the program at the end of the year,” Livingston said, “But right now, the proposed limit is up to 10. And so we’ll see where that goes.”

East Peoria residents would be able to apply for a special use permit to keep up to five chickens. Livingston said there will be a variety of other requirements, too.

“We’re really limiting that parcel or that property type. It’s going to have to be somebody that is a resident of the city, that is on a property that is zoned for conservation, and typically these are much larger lot sizes, minimum of one acre. Typically, that will also be a requirement as a part of the special use,” he said.

In developing the guidelines of the pilot project, he said the zoning board looked to the city of Elgin that completed its own chicken-keeping pilot project in 2015

“It’s a bigger city, but they had a really good success with the pilot project. And so they tried it out, and then they evaluated it. And what they ended up doing is expanding the number of special uses available,” Livingston said.

Proposed requirements for applicants include the land size minimum of one acre, maintaining sanitary conditions, and keeping only hens, not roosters. Chickens also must be kept in an enclosure.

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