City Ordinance to Fine Pet Chicken Owners upwards of $500 per day

Pet Chickens enjoying a treat!

The Chicago City Council will fine residents up to $500 per day for having Pet Chickens without a permit.  

Alderman Raymond Lopez of the 15th Ward proposed the Bill saying, “My residents signed up to live in an urban environment” as one of the reasons the ordinance is necessary.

 (Cited from Block Club Chicago article: )

The 15th Ward Alderman now wants responsible chicken owners to go through an onerous process to keep their beloved pets. 

In the ordinance pet chicken owners must annually provide written notice by mail to property owners within 500 feet of their residence. If 51% of the property owners object, then the owner will lose their family pets and be assessed a daily fine until they are relocated. 

Responsible chicken owners all over the city are outraged. A well-established Facebook page called “Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts” has begun mobilizing pet chicken owners and pet chicken supporters to “cull” the proposed ordinance. 

One pro fowl proponent commented, “Why do chicken owners need to notify property owners 500ft away when commercial developers only need to notify property owners 250 feet away, and their impact on the area is way more intrusive then a couple of chickens?” 

Additional requirements include: 

• $25 dollar annual permit fee  

• Lengthy Application Process 

• Contingent upon Local Property Owner Approval (Notice must be sent via mail) 

• Final Approval from a City Dept Commissioner with Arbitrary Discretion 

Local Jefferson Park resident Bella Ventresca, who has been keeping chickens as a hobby for over 5 years now says, “…My family and I care about the health a wellbeing of our flock. Not only are they our pets, but their eggs are a food source, and the [pet chickens] serve as an educational tool for our young children.” 

This sentiment is shared by many. 

An Old Irving Resident, who did not want to be named felt that yes chickens who are kept for commercial purposes should be regulated but it was not right for the government to regulate people’s pets on private property. 

“If the government begins to regulate what we are and not allowed to grow, raise, and eat from our own private property, where are the boundaries? How long will it be until they dictate what fruits and vegetables we can grow and eat and where?” questions Bella who invites any public official to come visit her flock and see what responsible chicken ownership looks like. 

Local Pet Chicken owners all over the city are urging the committee on License & Consumer Protection to kill the ordinance.


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