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Chicken measure sent to committee

A plan to "spread the wealth" of chicken coops around Evanston was carted off to the Human Services Committee Monday night after its sponsor said it should have gone there in the first place.

A plan to "spread the wealth" of chicken coops around Evanston was carted off to the Human Services Committee Monday night after its sponsor said it should have gone there in the first place.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, who sought to have the backyard chicken ordinance approved by the City Council last month amended to permit no more than three coops in any ward, said city staff erred in putting the proposal on the full City Council agenda and that she wanted it reviewed by the Human Services Committee first.

The current ordinance — adopted after over a year of heated debate — limits the number of coops in the city to a total of 20, but sets no restrictions on how many could be in a single ward.

One of the supporters of the backyard chicken concept, Hugh Bartling, a public policy professor at DePaul University, told aldermen the new restriction isn’t needed — that the health department has started issuing chicken coop licenses and no violations have been reported.

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