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NORMAL -- The Normal City Council will consider whether to send a proposed ordinance allowing urban chicken coops through the public hearing process at its meeting Monday night.

Normal resident Mike Sebald asked the council to consider such an ordinance at the May 2 meeting. Council members asked town staff to create an ordinance for consideration.

The proposal would allow up to four hens of certain breeds and require a $5 permit, an enclosure and at least 25 feet distance between the chickens and adjacent lots.

Residents could not have roosters and could not slaughter chickens.

The council, which meets at 7 p.m. Monday night at Normal City Hall, 100 E. Phoenix Ave., will decide if the proposed ordinance takes the next step -- going to the June planning commission for a public hearing.

If that occurs, the commission would make a recommendation to the council and the council would make the final decision.

In a report to the City Council, Town Planner Mercy Davison said staff contacted several communities with urban chicken ordinances, including Naperville and Urbana, and learned there are very few complaints.

Sebald previously told the council four hens would provide about 12 to 18 eggs a week. He also maintains that because of the expense and time involved, it likely only would interest a small group of residents so it wouldn't change the community.

Some council members expressed concern about residents who might not be responsible chicken owners.

Besides addressing urban chicken coops, Davison said the proposed ordinance clarifies the town's rules about riding horses and homing pigeons.

Currently riding horses are allowed but the ordinance does not include regulations. The proposal would require at least 10,000 square feet of open space per horse and at least 25 feet between a barn, shed, stable or other enclosure for horses and any residence.

The proposal also adds homing pigeons to allowed animals. Homing pigeons are allowed by state law.


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