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Local News

Plan to lift Joliet ban on electric fences advances

FedEx Freight, in the CenterPoint Business Center, has asked Joliet to change its zoning ordinances to allow electric fences.
FedEx Freight, in the CenterPoint Business Center, has asked Joliet to change its zoning ordinances to allow electric fences.

The Joliet Plan Commission has approved an ordinance that would lift a city ban on electric fences.

The ordinance next goes for final approval to the Joliet City Council, where it has met some resistance.

No one spoke at a public hearing Thursday before the plan commission for or against the ordinance. But a representative from Electric Guard Dog, an electric fence company that has urged Joliet to lift the ban, was there to answer questions.

Council members Larry Hug and Jan Quillman have questioned whether the city could allow electric fences in some areas and not others without facing lawsuits. But the city attorney has determined zoning can restrict the fences.

The proposed ordinance would require special use permits to be granted before the fences could be installed. They only would be allowed in areas zoned for I-1 Light Industrial, I-2 General Industrial and I-T Intermodal.

FedEx also has urged city officials to permit electric fences. The company wants to install one around the distribution center it opened earlier this year in the CenterPoint Business Center, which is located in an industrial area along Route 6.

The commission voted, 8-0, in favor of the ordinance.

The ordinance includes 10 requirements that must be met before an electric fence is allowed, including that they conform with standards set by the International Electrotechnical Commission.

Electric fences would have to be surrounded by a nonelectrical fence or wall at least 6 feet high.

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