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Beekeeping & Hen Houses in Lake County

Posted by on Oct 1, 2013 in Blog, Homesteading | 0 comments

Beekeeping & Hen Houses in Lake County

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Now more than ever, in the face of a failing federal government, we need to get more involved with our local governments. Everyday, small decisions are being made in thousands of buildings across the country that actually impact the lives of American citizens. These local politicians and small-scale representatives are capable of influencing ordinances and regulations that directly affect their populations. An issue that is currently being discussed in Lake County is the allowing of backyard beekeeping and hen houses.

Currently, both of these activities are not allowed. However, much of this is due to a lack of awareness regarding the details. A current local proposal, which would apply to all unincorporated areas of Lake County, provides an excellent example of how to properly mediate the discussion. Namely, it would only allow beekeeping or hen houses on single lots more than a quarter acre in size. It would also restrict their numbers to two hives and a small, fifty foot square, hen house, six chickens, per quarter acre.

An additional caveat that will be discussed is the method of permitting and licensing both activities. Of course, even if the zoning board approves the proposal, it doesn’t mean everyone can go out the next day and buy some bees and chickens! There will be a matter of applying, having each individual case studied for neighborhood and location concerns, and reviewing the practices and habits of our new local beekeepers and chicken farmers. This would allow for using it as an example when debating applying a similar regulation to villages and townships themselves, such as Mundelein or Libertyville.

The reason this is important is because we are reestablishing our agricultural roots and meeting a demand for locally produced foods. When a population can help sustain itself using their own residents, resources, and resourcefulness, the entire community is able to cut down on their carbon footprint and corporate dependency. With these practices in play, it provides a foundation for restaurants, grocers, and other small businesses to supply their customers with readily available local products of all varieties.

A public hearing regarding this proposal will be held at the Independence Grove Visitor’s Center on Thursday, October 17 at 6:00pm.