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Archive for the ‘Animal Welfare’ Category

Chicago Northwest Suburbs Incidents & Alerts reports a vehicle vs. horse trailer accident tonight with heavy damage.  It is unknown if the trailer has horses in it.

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barrington220In October and November 2018, the D220 Board of Education is seeking community feedback on the master-facility plan, to narrow down which parts a potential referendum question should focus on in the April 2019 general election. The Board is gathering this feedback through a phone survey, online survey and Referendum Advisory Committee. To take the online survey or view the Master Plan at barrington220.org/blueprint220

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Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 2.49.11 PMOver the past year, local media coverage has touched on the topic of backyard poultry in the Barrington area.  From complaints about plans for a large chicken farm in unincorporated Lake County to Tower Lakes’s recent enforcement actions to eliminate backyard poultry, nearby communities are struggling to regulate this newly popular trend.

As was recently reported in the Daily Herald , owners of a property in unincorporated Lake County (zoned agricultural) had applied for a permit to construct several buildings to house a large chicken egg production operation.  Residents living in neighboring lots in North Barrington (which surround the parcel) complained about odor and noise from the existing chickens, and worried about the increased nuisance that would be created if hundreds or thousands of chickens would be permitted.  Eventually, North Barrington forcibly annexed the land, with the goal of not eliminating the chicken farm, but to allow the village to exert more stringent controls on the operation.  In terms of backyard chickens for personal enjoyment, North Barrington allows 6 hens on residential lots of 40,000 sq. ft. or greater.

Meanwhile in Tower Lakes, cease and desist orders have been issued to residents owning backyard chickens and ducks.  Tower Lakes has taken the position that backyard poultry is not a permitted use according to their village code, and their Board of Trustees has taken the position that they do not wish to allow poultry ownership, even for personal use.

In marked contrast to these fellow BACOG neighbors, Barrington Hills has a long practice of not just allowing the ownership of poultry and other livestock for non-commercial purposes on residential properties, but actively promoting the tradition of the gentleman (or gentlewoman) farmer.  Both the Village Code and the Comprehensive Plan recognize the history of agricultural pursuits within our borders, and residential properties throughout the village are populated not just with poultry, but horses, alpacas, honeybees, donkeys, and goats. On those properties which zoned for agricultural use, ownership of most types of livestock is allowed.

These property freedoms certainly differentiate Barrington Hills from nearly all other suburban Chicago communities, but they also allow residents to pursue their interests and hobbies in a way that is least impactful to their neighbors due to our large 5-acre parcels.  In the case of backyard poultry in particular, residents don’t just benefit from fresh eggs daily, but these birds also provide ample fertilizer for gardens and natural pest control.  Reading the daily headlines, you can’t help but note the increasing problems with E. coli and Salmonella contamination in commercially produced eggs, fruits and vegetables.

And, in a time when even the City of Chicago allows backyard chickens, it is disappointing that some of our fellow BACOG neighbors do not share our village’s enthusiasm for the farm-to-table movement.  As always, the Observer hopes that hobby farming pursuits will be undertaken in a manner that is fully respectful and least disruptive to adjacent properties.

We are heartened that our current administration is supportive and encouraging of local agriculture. This type of property freedom is what makes Barrington Hills distinctive in the region and gives our children a unique opportunity to witnesses the wonders of nature first-hand.

 

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The Forest Preserve District of Cook County cannot evict the former owners of Horizon Farm in Barrington Hills, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday, citing an appeals court order from August that essentially sent the sale of the 400-acre equestrian estate back to the legal drawing board.

The land, which features four miles of trails for hikers, bicyclists and horse riders, has occasionally been open to the public since 2015.

The August order voided the sale of the property, which leaves the district with no right to evict the former owners, the court ruled Tuesday.

Richard Kirk Cannon and Meryl Squires Cannon argue the county unlawfully acquired the property through a $14.5 million foreclosure sale with BMO Harris Bank back in 2013.

The court’s latest opinion reverses a previous circuit court decision to award the district possession of the property and puts the eviction issue on hold pending resolution of the foreclosure case.

“We hold that the reversal of the foreclosure judgment voids the sale of the property to the FPD,” the opinion says. “If the circuit court, following trial, again awards a foreclosure judgment in favor of FPD, the court will need to hold a new foreclosure sale, and the purchaser at that sale will acquire the property owner’s rights and duties under the lease with Royalty Farms (if Royalty Farms has a valid lease).”

The full text of the Daily Herald article can be accessed here.

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A dog that recently fled its own coop in Barrington Hills ended up killing a neighbor’s 15 chickens while on the loose, police said.

Barrington Hills police said that as many as 20 additional chickens could be missing, injured or eaten in the incident that happened May 13 in the 500 block of West Cuba Road.

The dog’s owner, Timothy A. Mattson, 56, who lives in the 500 block of West Cuba Road, was cited for criminal damage to property under a local ordinance, said William Walsh, an officer with the Barrington Hills Police Department.

People commit criminal damage to property when they knowingly injure a domestic animal of another party without consent, under the ordinance, Walsh said.

To read the full Barrington Courier-Review story, click here.

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AR-170529561Efforts to save a coyote pup whose six siblings were found dead in a burlap bag on Cook County Forest Preserve District property near Barrington Hills continue.  Forest district  spokeswoman Lambrini Lukidis said the May 11 incident remains under investigation by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Lukidis said Tuesday it’s not known what occurred before a man fishing at Penny Road Pond reported seeing the animals in the burlap bag, which was in the water. The pond is by East Penny and Old Sutton roads near Barrington Hills.

She said a forest preserve officer found what later was confirmed to be seven coyote puppies, but only one was still alive. The officer brought the coyote to Golf Rose Animal Hospital in Schaumburg.

You can read the entire Daily Herald article here.

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Audio recordings from the December 7th special meeting of the Board of Trustees have been posted to the Village website.  To access the menu of recordings edited by agenda item, click here.

The meeting began with an announcement that the James J. Drury commercial boarding text amendment which was on the agenda for the meeting had been formally withdrawn earlier in the day, so no discussion or vote on that agenda item would take place.

Prior to public comments, the chair announced that the standard three minute limit rule on comments would be adhered to, as can be heard here.

Multiple Zoning Board of Appeals hearings had been held where residents had ample opportunities to speak as long as they wished, and it was noted that the public had been given significant latitude in their remarks, and that the Board of Trustees had reviewed the recordings and/or transcripts from those meetings.

Despite this, the first person to read public comments obviously decided that these established rules for public comment don’t apply to him.

The developer of Barrington Hills Farm had submitted written comments to the Board of Trustees, which were available to all in attendance, prior to the meeting.  Yet he chose to read them in their entirely anyway, in a self-serving speech lasting well beyond three minutes, choosing to ignore two polite requests from the chair to conclude his remarks as can be heard here.

Obviously some feel they are more important than others, but the fact is this person was not only disrespectful to the Board, but more so, to the many residents in attendance who took their personal time to listen to what the Board of Trustees had to say about the Zoning Board’s recommendation on commercial horse codes.

Seven other residents made comments, for and against, regarding the Zoning Board recommendation, and one used her time to comment on the Longmeadow Parkway Project.

Prior to the board beginning discussion on the Zoning Board recommendation, the chair asked Village Attorney Mary Dickson to weigh in on the validity of the “construct” of the form letter statements the Barrington Hills Farm Developer had been mailing to residents for months apparently in the hopes of amassing sufficient response to require a “super-majority” vote by trustees to pass an amendment nullifying the Anderson II commercial boarding code.

Counsel stated she’d seen a number of the petition statements, and her preliminary opinion was they didn’t satisfy the statuary requirements of our Village Code, and therefore, a super-majority may not be required.  The recording of this discussion can be heard here.

When discussion began, President McLaughlin invited each board member to provide their opinions on the recommendation before them before the Zoning Board.  To listen to each member’s viewpoints in order of presentation, click on their names highlighted below:

We recommend listening to the remarks made by all board members, particularly those made by President McLaughlin.  His uncharacteristically candid, off-the-cuff comments will resound with most residents, reminding them why he was elected, so please take a few minutes to listen.

When the vote was called, five board members voted to approve the Zoning Board recommendation to repeal Anderson II, and two opposed, thus making any debate over the number of votes required due to questionable petitions moot, as a super-majority was achieved.

The next Village Board meeting is scheduled for Monday December 19th.

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