Is the village of Lake in the Hills the proper place to keep and raise chickens?
That is what Village Board trustees are trying to decide.
Trustees at the committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday discussed a request from residents Bill and Barb Rasmussen to harbor hens on the property they rent from the village. The Rasmussens moved into the house at 1111 Pyott Road about six months ago, village staff said.
Village Board members Tuesday night decided to table the issue, removing it from the upcoming village board meeting agenda, until they can hear first-hand from the Rasmussens on what their intentions are for the raising the hens.
Several trustees were concerned that granting permission to the Rasmussens’ would spark similar requests from other residents.
“Where else would (someone have chickens)?” Trustee Stephen Harlfinger said. “This is the perfect place for it — it used to be a farm. It’s isolated. But at the same time we’re going to be opening the door (on the issue). This village is going in a residential direction, and no longer is farmland.”
Some trustee said the fact the village owns the property should be weighed.
“I’d be more inclined to go for this if we didn’t own the land,” Trustee Ray Bogdanowski said.
The Rasmussens currently have about six to eight hens on the land, Village Administrator Gerald Sagona said. The chickens are kept in a hen house surrounded by a small fence. The birds do not roam the property freely, according to village documents.
In their request to keep the hens, the Rasmussens have offered to donate fresh eggs every month to the Algonquin-LITH Interfaith Food Pantry. The pantry, currently located at 600 E. Oak St., plans to move to its new facility located on the Rasmussens' property in March.
The property was once used as a farm with an abandoned chicken coup on site and neighboring horse stables. It is zoned as institutional property, according to the village.
Hens are considered prohibited animals; however, the village municipal code allows the village board to grant special permission to own chickens.