Byron officials hear from residents on chicken proposal

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BYRON, Ill. (WIFR) -- The City of Byron prohibits chickens to be raised on residential property. Now, some residents want to see that chapter of the municipal code be amended. At the latest City Council meeting, council members heard from the public.

Hannah Feldhaus would like to raise chickens in the back of her Byron home. She spoke in front of the Byron City Council in support of a proposal that would allow backyard chickens within city limits.

She says, "Byron was a city built on agricultural values. I'd like to see that coming back. We would simply build a coop, allowing our chickens to range in our garden until I planted. We would have a top covered, so that they would be protected from predators. We would make sure they are obviously taken care of and we would only have five hens."

While there is plenty of support for this proposal, some residents are concerned of unwanted visitors. Pamela Kultgen, a Byron resident who spoke against the proposal mainly because of the fact there are already predators in the region. She doesn't want any more.

She says, "I'm concerned about more predators coming into town. I live on the edge of town and we do see coyotes, foxes, and raccoons. I don't want to see them come any further into the town."

Alderpersons say concerns like these need to be fine tuned by the City Council. Because if this proposal were to pass, they want everything to be set in stone. 1st Ward Alderperson Dan Reilly says that while he is happy to hear from residents, the discussion is far from over.

He says, "There are lots of nuisances that need to go into it. Just how we are going to enforce it and things like that. Because it's not something we just want to pass and have to revisit later."

After hearing from the opinions of residents, council members are still holding off from making a final decision. Members will decide over the next few weeks if they got enough information in committee and then will eventually take a vote on it.