Chickens were back on the agenda this week, as Channahon village trustees approved extending its pilot backyard chicken program.
The program initially was approved in November 2017, but no one applied to participate despite several residents asking the board to create it. The application period has since expired.
In the meantime, a couple of residents requested the village allow the pilot program to begin again.
Gianna Danno, 16, made her request first.
“Our idea was to get a flock of four hens,” Danno told trustees.
The coop and run in their backyard would not bother neighbors and will be visually appealing, she said. She and her brother will take care of the chickens. Danno hopes to buy four Buff Orpington hens, a breed she described as friendly. She calculates they could lay as many as 720 eggs a year.
In addition to being egg producers, Danno said the chickens will be pets. The family has two dogs, two cats, two tanks of fish and a beehive for honey.
Her mother, Liza, said raising chickens began as a 4-H project. The family lives on McClintock Road.
Two applications for the program have recently been submitted to the village. No more than eight will be accepted, and the pilot program will end in December 2020, after which the village will decide whether to make the program a permanent one.
To be accepted into the program, a resident of a single-family home living in an R-1 or an R-2 district must have a minimum lot size of 12,500 square feet and agree to several conditions, including building a coop and a pen and making sure the chickens remain in those spaces.
The coop must be a minimum of 10 square feet for each hen and may not be larger than 50 square feet. It must also have a setback of at least 10 feet from any lot line and at least 30 feet from residences or adjacent or nearby lots.
An adjoining pen is required for each coop and may not cover more than 25% of the backyard. It also must have a permanent, secure cover capable of deterring predators.
The pens and coops must be surrounded by a 6-foot solid wood or PVC fence and kept in clean, sanitary condition, with no odors emanating. The ordinance contains many other conditions, such as storing feed in a rodent-proof container.
Residents may keep no more than four chickens, and no roosters are allowed. Trustees Patricia Perinar and Scott Slocum voted against extending the program.
The Village Board this week also approved entering into an agreement with the Canal Corridor Association for a bicycle rental station along the I&M Canal. Channahon will contribute $10,000 for a two-year period for a station where bicycles will be kept for rental. The communities of La Salle, Morris and Ottawa also might have rental stations. Each station would have five bicycles that could be rented online.
Hopes are that rental fees collected will fund the stations from the third year on.
Village President Missey Moorman Schumacher said the program would be useful to residents, as well as a good opportunity to bring people to Channahon for recreation.
Also this week, Channahon trustees awarded a contract to low-bidder P.T. Ferro Construction for traffic signals to be installed at the intersection of Thomas Dillon/Bradley Street and Route 6. A Pilot station, a Speedway and a Ridgeline distribution building will be at the intersection. The contract was awarded in the amount of $1.83 million, with an expected completion date of Aug. 30.
Trustees also received their committee assignments. Those include Sam Greco for finance/human resources; Patricia Perinar for community and legislative affairs; Mark Scaggs for public works; Scott Slocum for community development; Chantal Host for public safety/emergency support; and Scott McMillin for natural resources and open space.