By Steve Robinson | May 16, 2011 - 10:05 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Town Council, The Normalite

NORMAL – Normal Town Council members voted 5-2 to send a proposed ordinance amending Town Code to permit the keeping of horses and chickens on to Normal Planning Commission for public input.

In addition to urban chickens, the proposed ordinance clarifies the rules pertaining to riding horses and homing pigeons. Town Code currently permits riding horses but has no regulations. The proposed ordinance would require at least 10,000 square feet of open space per horse. The proposed code addition further clarifies the ability to house homing pigeons in the Town, as permitted by State law.

Council members Adam Nielsen and Jeff Fritzen voted against sending the proposed amendment in the Normal Planning Commission’s direction.

At the Council’s May 2 meeting, members heard a proposal from Normal resident Michael Sebald to amend Town Municipal Code so that it would allow for ownership of chickens on residential property.

Based on the discussions on May 2, Town staff drew up a prepared ordinance with a number of key provisions, including:

• Permitting up to four hens of specific chicken breeds.

• Disallowing roosters.

• Disallowing the slaughter of chickens.

• Requiring an enclosure for the chickens.

• Maintaining a distance of at least 25 feet between the chicken enclosure and residential structures on adjacent lots.

• Filing an annual permit with the Town Clerk.

• Maintaining the chickens and the chicken enclosure that does not create a nuisance for neighbors.

Prior to Monday’s meeting, Town Code prohibits owning any poultry. But nine other Illinois communities including Naperville, St. Charles, Decatur, Springfield, Urbana, and Oak Park have ordinances in place for such animals. In addition, there are large cities such as Portland, Ore., Seattle, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Madison, Wis. that allow people to own poultry.

Council member Adam Nielsen said he was “a little concerned about sending this to the Planning Commission since we have not sent something like this to the commission before.”

Council member Sonja Reece said she felt it was not uncommon for the subject of amendments to ordinances to be heard by the Planning Commission.

Caisley Reappointed To Serve On Transit Board: Council members unanimously approved the reappointment of Mary Caisley to serve a third term on the board of the Bloomington-Normal Public Transportation System. Caisley’s reappointment means her term will expire on March 31, 2014.

Retiring Finance Director Recognized: Ron Hill, who has served the Town as its Finance Director for 32 years until he announced his retirement as of May 13, was honored by Council members at Monday’s meeting.

“I am grateful for the quality of people I have worked with,” Hill said, addressing Council members.

“You were an outstanding staff member and you’ve give this body a lot of credibility” with handling financial issues, Nielsen told Hill.

“The thing that stands out for me is the high level of integrity with which you carry yourself,” Fritzen told Hill.

Although Hill’s retirement has already started, he will still be around Normal City Hall, serving to assist his successor, Andrew Hahn, until the end of August. During that time, he will help with the transition and put finishing touches on current projects.

Of Hahn, Hill told Council members, “He’ll do a wonderful job. No doubt about it.”

Liquor Commission Imposes Fine: Council members, serving as the Normal Liquor Commission, unanimously voted to impose a $1,500 fine against Mac’s Convenience Stores, LLC, doing business as Circle K #150, 1606 N. Main St. The action taken was the result of a recent Town liquor audit.

Town Attorney Wayne Karplus explained that, although this was the second offense by the establishment in the last three years, the amount of the fine was because the latest violation was the sixth in the last seven years for this particular store.

Omnibus Agenda Items Approved: Omnibus agenda items approved by the Council included:

• Approval of the inauguration and seating of three trustees on May 2, 2011.

• Approval of minutes of the Regular Meeting of May 2, 2011.

• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of May 11, 2011.

• A motion to approve payment of $16,226 to Bloomington-based McLean County Information Technologies for annual support of the E-Justice System (EJS).

• A motion to authorize the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to award a contract to Peoria-based Krumholz Brothers Landscaping, Inc. in the amount of $97,383.75 for the Uptown landscape planting project.

• A motion to waive the formal bidding process and accept the low quote submitted by Bloomington-based Masters Brothers for replacement of the air conditioning unit at the Ironwood Clubhouse in the amount of $13,600 and approve a budget adjustment for the replacement.

• A motion to accept a bid from Bloomington-based George Gildner, Inc. and award a contract in the amount of $500,976 for the Gregory St. Watermain Replacement Project.

• A resolution authorizing execution of an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for maintenance of traffic control devices on U. S. 51, U. S. 150, and Veteran’s Parkway.

• A resolution conditionally and partially approving the final plat of the Patriot Station Subdivision by expedited process (Irving and Hester).

• A resolution conditionally approving an amended final development plan for the Morgan Court Planned Unit Development (711 Kingsley Ct.).

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