Who here remembers Chicken Unlimited? Decades ago, in the spot currently occupied by Teddy’s Red Hots just south of 63rd Street on Main, there stood a restaurant called Chicken Unlimited. It’s gone now, resting in our collective subconscious along with Feebs and Purple People Eater. Yet the Ghost of Mr. Chicken is with us still, ruffling the feathers of Downers Grove residents and village council members alike.
After what only seems to be decades of back and forth discussion, our village council is finally going to talk turkey on the chicken issue at 7pm tonight at Village Hall, and finish it once and for all. We hope. This issue has legs. And wings.
What issue, you may ask, as many of my neighbors did a couple of years ago at a neighborhood Christmas party. They accused me of “making things up.” They did not believe me that not only were chickens currently being encooped in town, people wanted to relax restrictions that determine what size lot and setbacks are required. Which caused a great and immediate controversy!
People on one side of the issue argue raising chickens affects neighbors’ resale values, attracts nasty nuisance predators like coyotes, and causes sanitation issues. People on the other side argue “Nuh uh” to all that, plus they should have a right to produce healthy reliable food on their own property.
Honestly, both sides have studies to back them up. I have no desire to raise chickens myself, but I also don’t care if someone else does on the face of it. However, if I was trying to sell my house and potential buyers were turned off by living next to a chicken coop, or if the coop smelled or created a poop pyramid, or a parade of skunks started marching around the neighborhood rolling eggs down the street, I’d be pretty mad at my neighbors and would think they were selfish jerks. But I have no way of knowing if that would happen or not. And, I don’t think it’s something I’ll have to deal with anyway.
It seems like this affects a very small number of people, and an awful lot of time has been spent deliberating it. Maybe we should call in an expert to testify.