On December 3, 2013 City Council adopted an ordinance that allows residents to raise up to six hens under specific conditions. Since that time, Staff has been answering inquiries from residents, speaking with the media and entering information into the City’s licensing software. The ordinance requires a coop license to be issued prior to a resident obtaining hens. A coop license costs $25.00 and is good from January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014. If licensees do not have any enforcement actions, the license automatically renews with no additional fee.
Two coop licenses have been issued to date. The coop license application requires applicants to register their property with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. This registration can only be filed by farm name, meaning that license applicants must name their properties. Thus far, licenses have been issued to Green Acre Chicks and Park Avenue Poultry. Based on the number of inquiries about the ordinance, more license applications are expected in the early Spring as the weather improves.
Interest in the ordinance remains high. To facilitate easy access to information, a webpage with a downloadable license application, frequently asked questions and local resources has been created. The page can be found at www.ci.champaign.il.us/hens. A segment on the hen ordinance will also be featured on the upcoming episode of Champaign Connection. To view episodes of Champaign Connection, visit www.ci.champaign.il.us/cgtv.