Archive for the ‘Laws’ Category

Joint Statement Opposing Proposed Chicago Livestock Ordinance and Call to Action


If you’re a Chicago resident, please read the following statement and take action using the template and call script below. You can also download this information: Livestock-Joint-Statement-9.26.19-1.

Joint Statement Opposing Proposed Chicago Livestock Ordinance
(O2019-7576)
September 26, 2019

Right now, Aldermen Lopez (15th ward) and Napolitano (41st ward) are pushing an ordinance to severely limit livestock in your backyards and neighborhood farms. This ordinance – introduced without meaningful community input – hinders the ability of Chicago residents and urban farmers to grow and raise their own food through fees, fines, and unnecessary burdensome regulations. This ordinance also puts animal welfare organizations at risk for caring for abused animals, if they shelter roosters or exceed the limit on livestock. Together as urban agriculture and animal welfare advocates, we oppose the Chicago Livestock Ordinance, O2019-7576. Join us in contacting your Alderman, as well as Ald. Lopez and Ald. Napolitano, to oppose this ordinance.

Current regulations protect Chicagoans’ right to raise backyard livestock and practice urban farming that is humane to animals and respectful of neighbors. Existing City of Chicago ordinances already address the potential public health, nuisance, and animal welfare concerns related to raising small farmed animals. The ordinance will create unnecessary regulation by banning roosters, capping the total number of fowl at six and other livestock at two, only allowing single-family or two-flat residences to keep livestock, and levying fines up to $500 per day for permit violations – all without
consideration for lot size.

If enacted, this ordinance will threaten the ability of many of our city’s residents and urban farmers to raise their own food and put them at financial risk with costly fees and fines. I n addition, the ordinance infringes on the rights of residents by unduly limiting what animals they can keep. These animals are critical community members, offer hands-on ways to learn about ecology and food (in homes, schools and daycare centers), and provide organic pest control and fertilizer, companionship, and other environmental benefits.

We have worked together for years to create a supportive system for Chicago’s thriving home and community gardens, urban farms, and livestock keeping. These activities are critical to healthy food access, ecological health, and workforce development in our city.

Community education and networking is often more effective than blanket regulation to prevent and solve potential problems. We look forward to collaborating with the Lightfoot administration on our major priorities, including equitable land access, affordable water access, ecological resilience, stronger animal protections, and clear business licensing for urban farms.

Please contact your Alderman today to oppose the proposed ordinance O2019-7576.

Please use the letter below as a template and tell your Alderman to VOTE NO on these proposed changes and to support community-developed urban agriculture and animal welfare solutions.

Signed,
Advocates for Urban Agriculture
Chicago Animal Save
Chicago Food Policy Action Council
Chicago Roo Crew
Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts
Home to Roost
Illinois Environmental Council
Urban Growers Collective

As of 9/26/19
TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Alderman to Oppose Ordinance O2019-7576

Help us track the citywide opposition by filling out this brief form after your interaction

FIND YOUR WARD AND ALDERMAN BY STREET ADDRESS

Call Script:
Hello, my name is __________, and I am a resident of the ____ ward. I’m calling to ask that you oppose ordinance O2019-7576, introduced by Aldermen Lopez and Napolitano. This ordinance, introduced without meaningful community input, burdens residents who keep roosters, chickens and other livestock with fees, fines, and unnecessary regulations. I urge my alderman to vote no on this ordinance and to support community-led urban agriculture and animal welfare solutions. Thank you very much.

FIND YOUR ALDERMAN’S EMAIL ADDRESS
Email Script:
Dear Alderman _________,
My name is __________ and I am a resident of the ____ ward. I am writing to ask that you oppose ordinance O2019-7576, introduced by Aldermen Lopez and Napolitano. This ordinance, introduced without meaningful community input, hinders the ability of Chicago residents and urban farmers to grow and raise their own food through fees, fines, and unnecessary burdensome regulations. This ordinance also puts animal welfare organizations at risk for caring for abused animals, if they shelter roosters or exceed the limit on livestock.
Current regulations protect Chicagoans’ right to raise backyard livestock and practice urban farming that is humane to animals and respectful of neighbors. Existing City of Chicago ordinances already address the potential public health, nuisance, and animal welfare concerns related to raising small farm animals.
There are better ways to address concerns around the treatment of these animals, as well as the communities that keep them. I respectfully request that you oppose the proposed legislation and meet with members of the animal rescue and urban farming community to consider alternatives to this regulation.

Sincerely,
_____________

TAKE ACTION: Contact Aldermen Lopez and Napolitano to Express Your Opposition
Alderman Raymond A. Lopez (15th)
Ward Office: (773) 823-1539
City Hall: (312) 744-4321
Email: Ward15@cityofchicago.org
Alderman Anthony V. Napolitano (41st)
Ward Office: (773) 631-2241
City Hall: (312) 744-3942
Email: Ward41@cityofchicago.org

Additional Ordinance Details:
The proposed ordinance (O2019-7576) would amend Municipal Code Titles 4 and 7 to regulate backyard livestock, roosters and urban farms. It outlines the following:
● Require those possessing fowl or livestock to obtain a “livestock permit” from the Commissioner of Health for $25 per animal, which must be renewed annually.
● Applies only to single-family home or two-flats. All other residential properties would be BANNED from obtaining a permit.
● Cap the total number of fowl at 6 and other livestock at 2, regardless of the size of the livestock and of the property where they would reside.
● Require anyone applying for a permit to contact all residents within 500 feet of their property line to inform them of the proposed keeping of fowl or livestock. If 51% or more of those contacted object, the City must not issue the permit,
regardless of reason for objections.
● Levy fines of up to $500 for each animal every day until the animals were removed. This would apply to anyone in violation of this ordinance, even those operating within the law before its adoption.
● Ban roosters within the city, even though existing nuisance ordinances are more than adequate in addressing any sound or nuisance complaint a rooster may cause.
● Require those selling any products from livestock or fowl (i.e. eggs, milk, butter, etc.) to obtain an “Urban Farm” business license. Currently, no clear urban farm business license exists within the City of Chicago.
● Require the Commissioner of Health to immediately notify the appropriate alderman when an urban farm license is requested in his or her ward.

New Chicago Ordinance Proposed to Affect Chickens: What to Do


For anyone asking what to do about the new proposed ordinance going before the Committee on License and Consumer Protection:

READ the proposed ordinance and Alderman Lopez’s summary post:

Then:

Contact your alderman, whether on the License committee or not. To find your ward and alderman, use this link.

  • Encourage them to go on the Coop Tour this weekend!
  • Explain your reaction to the proposed ordinance as a responsible chicken/livestock keeper.
  • Inform them about backyard chickens and other livestock, and how you manage yours to prevent problems they may have heard about.
  • Invite them to meet you and your animals – assuming you have a good example to show them – if not, work on that! So important!

We encourage people to build relationships with their Alder and Ward staff ahead of urgent issues – so they know you and can go to you for more info. Be among the people they are glad are in the ward making it a better place to live.

 

Survey regarding proposed limits on poultry in Cook County


The Sun Times reports that the controversial vote that would limit chicken keeping in unincorporated Cook County has been deferred. 

UPDATE: Please fill out this survey if you live in Cook County, regardless of whether it’s incorporated or unincorporated. 

The Chicagoland chicken keeping community discourages keeping roosters if you live close to other people or in dense residential areas, but we do not recommend a ban on roosters. Also, many urban chicken keepers easily house more than five birds on less than an acre of land.

We encourage the board to take a closer look at what resources and support the Chicago chicken keeping community has established for its members. We have built a solid foundation for information sharing and community support.

We also encourage the board to explore what chicken keeping looks like in an urban or suburban setting, as there are many misconceptions and misunderstandings. The Windy City Coop Tour is an ideal means to investigate this urban ag practice.

 

Des Plaines Considering Chickens


Board members in Des Plaines will be considering chickens on Monday night, August 7. For more information, and to come out and support the effort, click here and here.

Bartlett Considers Chickens


The latest in the Chicagoland communities to consider backyard poultry! For more, click here.

Terms of Berwyn’s New Chicken-Keeping Ordinance


On March 22, 2016, Berwyn passed a law allowing chicken keeping. You can find the language of the ordinance of page 48 of the minutes: 20160322-CouAgenda-Full-Packet

Breaking News: Berwyn Legalizes Chickens!


This just out from the alliance of Berwyn chicken keepers: Chickens have landed. The ordinance has passed! Congrats to Vince and his group! Interested in joining the group? Check out Chickens in Berwyn on Facebook.

Maybe we need a Svengoolie skit “The Chickens of Berwyn” a la “The Werewolves of Berwyn”?