Suburban Farm Issues- Neighbor Concerns

Bob Susnjara reported last week at the Daily Herald Online that, “The movement to grow backyard chickens has caused controversy in many suburbs, so it should be no surprise that a proposal to house thousands of them just outside North Barrington’s village limits is drawing resistance from the birds’ prospective neighbors.

“If approved, a plan calls for the cluckers to be used for egg production on a large-scale poultry farm at the southwest corner of Scott Road and Route 59. The site is a little more than 5 acres and has an agricultural zoning classification, which may make it hard to derail the plan.”

The article noted that, “Anoosh Varda, who owns the land with his wife, said an outside company would operate the farm strictly for egg production. While some residents living near the site have publicly voiced opposition, Varda said he believes they’ll like the end result after three barns are completed.

“‘We’re in compliance with Lake County and we’re doing our best with construction,’ Varda said. ‘Once we’re finished, everything will look much nicer than the neighbors are expecting. But we still have a few more months to go.'”

Last week’s article added that, “Odor, noise and environmental concerns were raised by the opponents about the few hundred chickens on the land now and the thousands more that might soon arrive.

“Kevin Johnson, who lives in unincorporated Lake County on North Barrington’s border, said he first noticed the chickens a few months ago. He contends the animals don’t belong in a residential area and the situation would worsen in a large-scale chicken farm.

“‘The odor is terrible, depending upon the wind and the weather,’ Johnson said.”

“[Eric Waggoner, director of the Lake County planning, building and development department]┬ásaid state law opens the door to the proposed chicken operation. He said sites greater than 5 acres in unincorporated areas are exempt from local zoning and building codes if used for verified agricultural purposes,” the article said.

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