Minutes With the Mayor: Chickens in Homewood

In this installment of "Minutes with the Mayor," Village President Richard Hofeld explains his sentiments towards chickens.

Patch gathered questions from readers, for  Village President Richard Hofeld. Now, Patch will regularly air a series of video responses to the questions readers voted as most pressing.

In this edition, Hofeld responds to a question that might seem a bit more odd compared to the last, but it was most assuredly asked with sincerity: will Homewood residents ever be allowed to raise chickens? His answer? Don't hold your breath.

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Kate Duff July 02, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Oh Mr. Mayor. You've got to beware the Chicken Coup. :-)
DM July 02, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Actually, Chickens don't stink. They take daily dust baths and have no odor at all. Chicken poop stinks. A chicken coop that is kept dry and cleaned (fresh bedding) once a week should not stink at all. Just out of curiosity, is this the mayors decision to make? From a local "man" who loves chickens.
LocalRez July 02, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Homewood has a village president not mayor. It is run by a council of trustees and the president. I don't think this means that the president gets to decide what he wants or doesn't want in the town based off his childhood experiences. Even the city of Chicago allows it's residents to raise chickens. We live in a more suitable area than the city to raise chickens. Maybe the ladies at the farmers market should start a petition...??.
Wendy Barry July 02, 2012 at 04:07 PM
I had chickens for many years, they do not smell. If you are raising hundreds or thousands of them, then maybe they are not kept as clean as they should be and yes, they may smell...but one or two or even a few, should not smell if looked after. It should be personal choice..with a limit of how many you can raise.
SouthSide July 02, 2012 at 04:13 PM
(We all know who we're talking about. It doesn't matter that some people call him Mayor even though his official title is Village President.)
SouthSide July 02, 2012 at 04:16 PM
I'm all for people raising chickens in one's yard as long as no one complains that coyotes are attacking their pets/livestock/small children. Put a limit on the number of chickens a household can raise, and put stipulations in the ordinance about humane and safe conditions for the animals.
DJ Morgan July 02, 2012 at 05:09 PM
The key inst to say "NO" but to figure out what guidelines need to be in place to make it work for everyone. No one is talking about putting in a large scale operation, villages have limits on the number of dogs a household can have--and trust me, an unkempt yard with 2-3 large dogs will smell MUCH worse than a well kept coop with 2-3 laying hens.
A. Reader July 02, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Set the limit at 4, ban roosters (who are loud).
SRJ July 02, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Homewood needs a new mayor.
FlossmoorMom July 03, 2012 at 12:11 AM
I totally get that people want them- but from someone who owned horses for 25 years and worked at many working barns with chickens...they also bring RATS and MICE an racoons and other animals that will dig there way into the coops, get in your walls (to build nests) because of the chicken feed...so yeah, I wouldn't be happy if my neighbor had them- it's one thing if you have a large space, but not a residential neighborhood.
LocalRez July 03, 2012 at 09:03 PM
SRJ, I think you are correct - except the position is village president, not mayor. I'm a believer in term limits. I think others should have a chance to contribute to Homewood and the job of village president shouldn't be a life-long position. I'd like to see an article that would inform residents what they need to do to get any ordinance changed - chickens or otherwise.
PAUL MCKAY July 04, 2012 at 02:13 AM
PAUL MCKAY July 04, 2012 at 02:15 AM
TERM LIMITS SHOULD BE PASSED FOR HOMEWOOD P[RESIDENT term limits should be passed in homewood Leave a comment
T'sMom July 05, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I agree with SRJ and Paul McKay. There should be Term Limits for Homewood's Village President, just like the President of the USA, who has a two term limit. This should be from the White House down to your local village government. We all would be in better shape with 2 Term politicians and not a career politician who has lost sight of the taxpayer who gets lost in their political gain for money & glory.
T'sMom July 05, 2012 at 08:26 PM
My response was in regard to SRJ comment on 7/2/12, Cfoam's comment on 7/3/12 and Paul McKay's comment on 7/3/12 on this page. As for the chickens, we don't need them in the village, we already enough "wild-life" in the area.
Linda T July 06, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Even tony Palos Park allows chickens. Chickens do smell (with their olfactory sense,) but they don't stink. If pet owners keep their animals, and the areas where they poop clean, there should be no stink. With common-sense regulations there should be no reason to ban chickens. If chickens need to be banned then so do dogs. Their poop stinks a lot worse, is a lot bigger, more pathogenic, and is no fun to clean off your shoes when irresponsible owners don't clean up after them. At least chickens are generally confined to back yards. Even in areas that allow them, I've never seen anyone take their chickens for a walk and let them pee and poop on other people's lawns. Some people are great about picking up their dog's poop, others, not so great. And the pee, well that burns lawns. Plenty of people around us have outdoor, or indoor/outdoor cats. They don't confine them to their backyards. They poop in my garden and eat native birds. Let's ban cats too. Even if chickens were allowed I don't see myself owning any, but there's no good reason to ban them as pets in urban and suburban areas. They're not wildlife, they're domesticated. Pets aren't the problem - irresponsible pet owners are, and whether they own dogs, cats, or chickens, they can, and should be cited and fined if they violate the rules.
Thomahawk July 06, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Other villages that allow chickens: Evanston, Wilmette, Oak Park, Westmont, and Downers Grove.
where is homewood going July 06, 2012 at 08:21 PM
i think it's funny that Hofeld knows what neighbors would think about chickens. Further, I think i'ts odd that based on his own words, only women want chickens. Most oddly, as the Mayor, he does not have the capacity to edit/add/delete to the village code, such power is granted to the trustees. Even funnier, Hofeld wants the village signage to mirror such prominent communities such as Evanston, Wilmette, Oak Park, etc., but isn't interested in the other "quality of life" aspects of such communities as "Thomahawk" has pointed out in his comment. Hofeld is great, just ask him. I'm sure he wont stand for re-election as the TIFs that he promoted come to expiration. How many subsidies did the Best Buy deal get? And, er, um, how much longer is Best Buy likely to remain in business. Thanks for all your help Hofeld, Halsted will likely look great for a few more years, and the seniors will continue to love their modest utility discounts for a few years. Futher, Hofeld, by how much did local property taxes drop when garbage was outsourced? As the first jewish U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis, said in his work "Other People's Money": "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants"
where is homewood going July 06, 2012 at 09:23 PM
truth in advertising, perhaps he shoudl get a new shirt?
where is homewood going July 06, 2012 at 09:25 PM
ok, cool, flossmoor mom, please let flossmoor know what u think. i was under the impression that this was a homewood issue.
where is homewood going July 06, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Higgs-Boson, you have to attend church, because if you don't, they won't have mass.
where is homewood going July 06, 2012 at 09:28 PM
if your nose runs, and your feet smell, aren't you built upside down?
SHUSSBAR July 06, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Ban cars and trucks, they are louder?
Ashley McGee July 09, 2012 at 04:52 PM
I have the cutest picture of my friend's toddler in their chicken coop in Chicago. Please Mr. Mayor, legalize it! Homewood-Flossmoor Patch, if you give me an email address, I'll send you the picture. It's a great one!
lynne July 11, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I have a message for Hofeld...wonder if I will ever vote for you? Don't hold your breath!
inkypinkie July 14, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Wait... we're not allowed to have chickens in our own backyards? Wow. I've lived in Homewood nearly my whole life; this is just another reason to move out of Homewood (aside from a school system going downhill, house values on a steady downward spiral, business after business closing downtown). Chickens SMELL? Really? Wow. That is a pretty lame reason not to allow people the opportunity to promote sustainability, environmental and health issues, and help minimize the damage careless food corporations are doing to our country by having a little chicken coup in their own yard. How vapid, hollow and thoughtless and just plain... HOMEWOOD. Homewood is sooo concerned about its own aesthetics, not so interested in things like allowing its residents freedom to make their own decisions. Who cares about street signs and flowers over viaducts if the quality of life and the ability to make simple decisions about what you can and cannot do in your own yard are taken from you? Oh, the vanity of a dying town. If only I could sell my house... but no one wants to move here, apparently. No wonder why.
Enrique Arceo November 20, 2013 at 11:58 PM
Seems to be a bit of a problem to be a resident of Homewood. Nothing wrong with having some chickens in your own property as pets and for eggs vs eating contaminated eggs from the store. Just about all food is made with eggs. Like someone said rats, racoons and whatever els comes from chicken feed?? Well those are just all excuses. Those rodents and wild animals are everywhere without chickens around. Chickens are better than having dogs around. Chicken poop is organic fertelizer for a vegie garden vs dog poop is useless and much more smelly. Chickens are quiet vs dogs bark and loud. There are many more reasons why you should raise your own chickens. The world is going organic so dont be the last town to do it. All should vote "yes" to be able to have your own chickens. Don't let nobody stop you from going organic.
Vernon Cherrywood April 12, 2014 at 07:24 PM
I grew up in Homewood but live in Denver now. I recently moved into a house that has 4 chickens in the next door neighbor's yard. At first I thought it was kind of charming but now I wish they weren't there. While I agree, a well maintained chicken coop won't smell- but if it is not constantly cleaned, they are disgusting and unsanitary. The one thing no one has commented on, is that they are LOUD! They are not roosters, these are chickens. They really should have a space limit and Homewood houses are too close together.
Vernon Cherrywood April 12, 2014 at 07:35 PM
As for the comments I saw on the Village President, you don't seem to understand how your village government works. The Village Manager is really the head of the local government, while the Village President is more of a Village Trustee and town spokesperson/figure head. This is a major difference from a Mayor, who holds much more power. As for "term limits" and needing a new Village President, Homewood is a democracy and there is an election every four years. He ran unopposed last election and won the last 3, I think. He's obviously still strongly supported and if he isn't, someone else can always run for local office. I like that he has helped to bring so many businesses to Homewood and that he has never accepted a penny of salary, unlike all the other suburban "leaders". Careful what you wish for.
Vernon Cherrywood April 12, 2014 at 08:01 PM
I AGREE WITH HOFELD! Chickens are dirty, noisy, unsanitary. I live next to them now. Disgusting and SO LOUD! NO CHICKENS IN HOMEWOOD (unless from KFC)


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