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Rooster ban won’t see light of day — pols say complaints were as scarce as hen’s teeth

“We revised it to take away the restriction on roosters,” said Commissioner Peter Silvestri, chair of the zoning committee. “There were only three complaints [about roosters] last year … Why regulate something that’s not a problem?”

A New Hampshire rooster, left; Cook County Commissioner Peter N. Silvestri, right
A New Hampshire rooster, left, is displayed at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield in 2011; Cook County Commissioner Peter N. Silvestri, right, in 2018. File photos.
AP Photo/Seth Perlman; | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Roosters in Cook County can breathe a sigh of relief. But horses might want to get a better lobbyist.

After ruffling feathers with a proposed ban on roosters in unincorporated parts of the county, the County Board’s Zoning and Building Committee walked back that proposal entirely at a Wednesday meeting where they passed a zoning amendment.

The update drops the proposed prohibition of roosters, doesn’t limit the number of fowl residents can have on their property and clarifies the rules for owning a horse.

Those rules include allowing only one horse per acre.

It passed committee with no one voting nay.

And commissioners were crowing about their handiwork.

“We revised it to take away the restriction on roosters,” said Commissioner Peter Silvestri, R-Elmwood Park, who is the chair of the zoning committee. “There were only three complaints [about roosters] last year … Why regulate something that’s not a problem?”

The original amendment, which came up in May, proposed outlawing roosters and reducing the number of fowl that residents in unincorporated areas can have on their land — dropping the number from 12 to five if the resident’s plot of land is smaller than an acre in size.

The matter was deferred a day later after some urban farmers complained about the move to ban roosters. Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, D-Evanston, said at the time environmental groups sent emails to commissioners urging them to rethink the ban.

The amendment will come before the full County Board of Commissioners for a vote Thursday.