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Troy City Council discusses Draft Ordinance/Revisions regarding Chickens

By Josh Jones
Times Tribune Editor
jljones@timestribunenews.com 

TROY — The Troy City Council held a discussion and reviewed revisions to an ordinance that would change some requirements regarding the allowance of chickens on private property during its regular meeting on Monday. 

The topic was brought up last month when a couple who was planning to close on a house was advised that they wouldn’t be allowed to have chickens with how the property was currently zoned and they would have to seek R-1E Single-Family Residential zoning designation as well as a special use permit. The proposed revision would Amend Title IX: General Regulations, Chapter 90: Animals, Section 90.06 Livestock of the Codified Ordinances for the City of Troy, Illinois. 

Prior to Monday’s discussion it was noted that the ordinance was in the animal section of the city’s code and not in the land-use section, meaning it is not required to go before the planning commission for the council to change it.  The original ordinance covers aspects of the issue, defines livestock, penalties for violations and more. The parts the council looked at concerned section “C” and section “D”.

Section C originally states the following:  “It shall be unlawful to keep or to allow any livestock in the city except in those areas with an agricultural zoning designation,” The ordinance states, “Exception: Chickens may be kept on single-family residential lots of at least two acres in the R-1E Single Family Residential zoning designation provided that compliance with all of the conditions required by this section are maintained.”

The revision changes out the R-1E Single Family Residential zoning designation and replaces it with “on single-family residential lots of at least two acres”. 

Troy City Council member Troy Turner said that he wouldn’t have a problem reducing the lot size from two acres. 

“Some of the lots you will have a shotgun lot and you are 300 feet from the property,” Turner said. 

Council member Elizabeth Hellrung said that a shotgun lot potentially puts neighbors in close proximity and expressed her favor of keeping the requirement at two acres for now. She confirmed that many lots on Doug Drive and David Drive were two acres. 

“My thought was, we are doing this for this one couple, but as we look at moving our boundaries out we are going to continue to run into this anyway and we know we are moving towards Doug and David and there are several of them out there,” Hellrung said. “We are looking at this no matter what.” 

Section D is similar with its wording and originally states the following: “Conditions for keeping chickens on single-family residential lots of at least two acres in an R-1E Single-Family Residential zoning designation: The purpose of this section is to create appropriate regulations for the keeping of chickens as pets and/or a personal food source. The purpose of this section is not to create regulations for the commercial sale or distribution of chickens or eggs.”

The revision would once again change out the R-1E Single-Family Residential zoning designation for single-family residential lots of at least two acres. 

The revision would also strike the wording of R-1E Single Family Residential zoning when applicable. 

The ordinance would keep all other rules regarding owning chickens, including that the chickens are for personal use and not commercial use, the need for a special use permit, only five chickens may be kept, the chickens must be kept at least 20 feet from the nearest property line, no roosters are allowed and more. 

It was noted that various other towns and cities have ordinances allowing chickens including Collinsville, Edwardsville, Glen Carbon and more. Troy City Administrator Jay Keeven discussed the issue. 

“There is a small number of the population that would like to raise chickens. Obviously they are not allowed to have roosters, they are not allowed to be problematic to their neighbors, which is why they have to have two acres to have chickens on their property,” Keeven said. “Many communities allow this. I know when I was in Edwardsville they allowed it under certain parameters. If you look at ordinances throughout the metro-east area you will see that many communities allow for it.”

No formal decision was made during Monday’s meeting. The council gave a consensus for the city to move forward and the revisions are expected to be voted on at the next city council meeting. 

IN OTHER BUSINESS: 

The council approved a resolution authorizing the city administrator to execute an agreement with Pyrotecnico to provide Fourth of July fireworks. The cost was stated to be the same as last year at a total of $76,000. 

The next planning commission meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. April 11 at City Hall. 

The next finance and economic development committee meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. April 15 at city hall. 

The next city council meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. April 15 at city hall. 

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